Status of lean manufacturing implementation on secondary wood industries including residential, cabinet, millwork, and panel markets
Lean Manufacturing has helped several industries to achieve operational and manufacturing excellence by increasing productivity and enhancing quality, while reducing waste and costs. However, the wood industry has been historically slow in adopting this philosophy and its many tools. In times when overseas competition has taken big portions of the traditional market share for U.S based wood industries, it has become important that companies start to take actions in order to regain competitiveness. In this sense, Lean Manufacturing could provide a competitive advantage. Main findings of this project includes high percentages of Lean Manufacturing implementation among companies from the Wood Component Manufacturing Association, substantial differences in the tools implemented by companies on an early vs. extensive Lean Manufacturing implementation stage, as well as identification of main reasons and advantages derived from its implementation, and how Lean Manufacturing is rated among these companies. Findings lead to the conclusions that many companies are pursuing cost savings strategies without implementing Lean Manufacturing. Training and education on Lean Manufacturing, and well implemented Lean Manufacturing programs would help members of the Wood Component Manufacturing Association to regain competitiveness and achieve substantial cost reductions.