Lean Tools Contribution to Sustainability Outcomes: Insights from a Set of Case Studies
Current research establishes an interrelation between lean tools and economic performance. However, the synergetic relationship between the lean tools and the triple bottom line approach is not so well explored and understood, making it a relevant research topic. So, this chapter aims to explore how some basic lean tools, such as 5S, Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) can support improving enterprise sustainability concerns. To attain this objective several industrial case studies are explored to illustrate how a set of sustainability outcomes may result from application of some lean tools. Moreover, the potential synergies that can be obtained by lean thinking integrated with other continuous improvement management approaches, such as Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints, and their relationship with sustainability improvement outcomes, will also be here illustrated and discussed.
This work has been partially supported by UNIDEMI—Research and Development Unit for Mechanical and Industrial Engineering by the Portuguese FCT-PEST program UID/EMS/00667/2019. This work was also supported by the research unit on GOVCOPP—Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy (project POCI-01-0145-FEDER-008540), funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020—POCI (Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização)—and by national funds through FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia).
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