By Doug Bartholomew Manufacturers trying to figure out how much and what work they need to do to achieve an "ideal" lean manufacturing state may want to take a look at a new software package from Productivity Inc. The Portland, Oreg. consulting firm, which offers seminars and training tools for lean manufacturing, is offering eLean, a system that enables companies to compare their current situation with the ideal state they want to achieve, and to see how they can get there. The software examines a series of supply-chain and IT infrastructure categories that are used to analyze the critical elements throughout the company's extended supply chain. "With eLean, manufacturers can easily assess their current state and determine how to quickly evolve to a more desired state," says Bob Rosinski, chief technology officer and head of the supply-chain consulting practice at Productivity. "Synchronizing electronically connected supply chains is the key to consistency in lean manufacturing, and the key to fatter profits in lean times."