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Forest Products Society

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Publication: Journal of Forest Products Business Research
Authors: 0
Reference ID: Volume 7 Article No. 2
Publish Year: 2010
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Title: Implementation Analysis of Lean Manufacturing in the Secondary Wood Industry in North Carolina
Description:
The American wood-based industries have experienced a significant reduction of their market share mainly due to overseas competition. As a result, the wood industries need to change their business model to remain competitive and have the ability to compete in a global market. An important philosophy that suits these accomplishments is lean manufacturing, which stems from the fact that far fewer resources are required to produce a given amount of products and services compared with traditional manufacturing operations, while simultaneously reducing the amount of waste in the final product. The objective of this project was to provide insight about the status of lean manufacturing implementation in the wood industry in North Carolina. To facilitate this, 947 surveys were sent to secondary manufacturers (such as furniture, cabinets, moulding and millworks, doors and windows manufacturers, etc.) in North Carolina. Results show that the majority of the companies are not currently implementing lean manufacturing. Those companies that are aware and implementing it, relate the process improvement activities from lean manufacturing with customer satisfaction and reductions in manufacturing time/cycle times. It was also found that the main triggers for a company to embark on a lean manufacturing project were corporate/group initiatives, customer pressures, or examples and/or case studies, speaking to the importance of education and training of the wood industries on this philosophy. The majority of the surveyed companies stated that lean manufacturing could help to improve in several business areas, with some of them currently implementing the tools that lean manufacturing provides for improvement.

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