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Lean Supply-chain Management



Zhaofang Mao



Course Name: Lean Supply-chain Management

Course Code: S2293013

Semester: 5

Credit: 1

Program: All

Course Module: Business & Management

Responsible: Zhaofang Mao

E-mail: maozhaofang@tju.edu.cn

Department: School of Economy and Management, Tianjin University

Time Allocation (1 credit hour = 45 minutes)







Personal Work




Course Description

From 1985 to 1990, a working team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spent around 5 years to research the operational system in Toyota Company and complete the report of International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP). Hence the "lean production" concept was first proposed based on the summary of the production management and control mode represented by the Toyota Production System (TPS). Lean Production is customers’ demand-oriented and concentrates on eliminating waste, attempting to achieve the goal of obtaining the best operation benefit with the minimum investment and improving the enterprise’ ability to quick response to the changeable market. This course aims to give a comprehensive introduction to the history of development of Toyota company and TPS Methods, as well as how the tools in the Lean Production are applied and innovated in the enterprise operation, trying to make the students fully understand and master the application methods of Lean Production by further substantive case study.

Lean Supply Chain derives from Lean Management. The basic idea is to integrate all the necessary procedures and partners during the whole process from the product design to the product consumption in quick response for the changing needs of the customers. Meanwhile, its core is to reduce and eliminate waste in enterprise and satisfies the customers’ demand with as little resource as possible. This section explains the Supply Chain Collaboration and Supply Chain Out-sourcing Activities systematically based on highlighting the concept of supply chain core competence with introducing the system structure of supply chain operation from the beginning. Then, details and improving methods of the Lean Production Management are elaborated from the perspective of Lean R&D Management, Lean Procurement Management, Lean Production Management, Lean Quality Management, Lean Marketing Management, Lean Organization & Institution Management, Lean HR Management and Lean Developing Strategy Management. In the end, it reveals the thoughts of improvement on how the make a balance between the customized demand from the consumer and the standard supply of the enterprise by case study.

This course also focused on illustrating the Lean Logistics System which runs through the Lean Production operation companies on the condition that the knowledge about Lean Production and Lean Supply Chain has been mastered. At the beginning, the course uncovered the secrets of the operation system and principles of the enterprises’ logistic system by making deep analysis of the cases in Toyota Motor Corporation. Then, not only does the course illustrate the operation process of Kanban and E-Kanban, but also explains at length the operation modes of material supply with characteristics of multi-frequency and small-lot, including Milk-run, Intermediate Warehouse Hub, Weight mixed load and Back-forth mixed load. Furthermore, the course makes an explanation of the effect of P-lane, which aims to assimilate and segment the production schedule, as well as the operation methods and principles of some other unique Lean Logistics, such as Shunyin, Shunjian and SPS (Set Parts Supply), which sheds lights on the operation of the Lean Logistics in enterprise scientifically and effectively. In the end, the course spreads more advanced management concepts on the Lean Supply Chain operation to the students by case study of world-class companies such as IKEA and UPS, etc.


Not required.

Course Objectives

To understand the origin of Lean Production and TPS and to be familiar with the practical tools for improve production line performance such as Motion Study and Production line Balance. To master the implement methods for Lean Production System. Apply the Lean thinking to the whole process of Supply Chain system operation. To learn Lean Supply Chain operational methods and principle of different industries by case study of world-class companies such as Toyota, IKEA and UPS, etc.

Course Syllabus

Lean Production and TPS

The origin of Lean Production and TPS

Motion Study and Human Factors

Balancing the Production Line

Zero Inventory and VMI

Implement Methods for Lean Production System

Level out the workload (Heijunka)

Continuous process flow

Andon system

Standardized tasks

Visual control


Just in time (JIT)

Skill training & promotion

Total productive maintenance (TPM)

Spot observation (GenchiGenbutsu).

Collaboration and continuous improvement

Lean Supply Chain Management

Lean R&D Management

Lean Procurement Management

Lean Production Management

Lean Quality Management

Lean Marketing Management

Lean Organization & Institution Management

Lean HR Management

Lean Developing Strategy Management

Lean Logistics System Operation

Origin of Lean Logistics

Operational principle of Toyota KANBAN System

Lean Procurement Logistics System

Lean Production Logistics System

Case study of Lean Logistics – UPS & IKEA

Time Distribution



Lean Production and TPS


Implement Methods for Lean Production System


Lean Supply Chain Management


Lean Logistics System Operation




Textbooks & References

  • Jeffrey K. Liker.The Toyota Way[M]. China Financial & Economic Publishing House, 2006.

  • Li Xiangyang.Toyota Changed The World[M]. Peking University Press, 2007.

  • James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones Daniel Roos.The Machine That Changedthe World [M]. Citic Publishing House, 2008.

  • Jeffery K. Liker, Michael Hoseus. Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way [M]. China Machine Press, 2010.

  • Liu Shuhua, Lu Jianxia, Wang Jiayao.Lean Production [M]. China Machine Press, 2010.

  • Liu Shengjun.Lean Production-Spot IE[M]. Haitian Press, 2002.

  • Yang Shenzhong.Lean Production Practices[M]. China Machine Press, 2010.

  • Yasuhiro Monden.Toyota Production System [M].Hebei University Press, 2006.

  • Wang Qingsheng.Lean production Toolkit [M]. Haitian Press, 2009.

  • Lu Junwei.Lean Production Implementation Flow and Refinement Tools [M]. Posts and Telecom Press, 2009.

  • Yang Jianhong, Yin Weimin, Huanghua.The Actual Combat of Lean Production [M]. Economy and Management Publishing House, 2010.

  • JinYingxi.Toyota Production System Management of Actual Combat [M]. Posts and Telecom Press, 2011.

Grade Distribution

Presentation: 50% Final Assignment: 50%.

Capability Tasks

CT3: To grasp methodologies and engineering tools: identifying, utilizing and solving problems. Even if the students are not familiar with the content, they can turn to computer tools for systematic analysis.

CT5: To have the basic concept about how the company functions and the capability to understand economic problems such as quality management, competitiveness and productivity and commercial demands.

CT9: To be competent for a job position in a company and have a good career path; To have sense of responsibility, teamwork spirit, cooperation and leadership capacity, project management capacity, and capacity of communicating and working with experts and non-experts, and carry out innovation management.


  • To understand the principles of Lean management. –Level: N

  • To understand the methods for Lean Production System. –Level: N

  • To learn how Lean system runs in real business cases. –Level: N

Students: Computer science, Year 3