Ranking Continuous Improvement Methods

April 9, 2007
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%

See Also

About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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