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Ranking Continuous Improvement Methods

Lean manufacturing tops the list.

While deciding which continuous improvement programs are appropriate for your employees, here's some food for thought: According to the IndustryWeek/Manufacturing Performance Institute 2006 Census of Manufacturers, out of 745 respondents, lean manufacturing was the most common method implemented by manufacturers.

Other methods listed were not as widely implemented. A combination of lean and Six Sigma was a distant second -- garnering just 12.4% of responses -- while nearly 20% of respondents say they haven't implemented any continuous improvement methodology.

Here's the complete breakdown of survey responses:

Continuous Improvement Method Implemented Percentage Of Respondents
Lean manufacturing 40.5%
Lean and Six Sigma 12.4%
Total quality management 9.9%
Agile manufacturing 3.8%
Toyota Production System 3.1%
Six Sigma 3.1%
Theory of Constraints 3.0%
Other 5.2%
No Methodology 19.1%

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