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Based on the statement above and by taking as an example a product or a service from an industry that you are familiar with, critically discuss the extent to which lean principles can be applied/implemented to a manufacturing/service process design of your choice.

This assignment represents of your overall module mark.  You will also need to take the following into account when completing your assignment:

  • Quality of executive summary does it give a brief complete summary of your paper for an executive to read?
  • Establishment of relevant theory what do we mean by lean manufacturing and process management?
  • Allocation of credit and sources used have I included references and citations to the material I have used?
  • Clarity of argument

Principles of Lean Manufacturing

The concept is a systematic method which is concerned with the elimination or minimization of wastage within a manufacturing system and that to without making any type of compromise with the productivity and this all together is known as the process of lean manufacturing (Lee and Nelson, 2010). It can also be considered as the activity which is related to the operational activities which are required to be executed with determination and also emphasis has been provided on the terms elimination of wastages which is caused due to manufacturing process. This concept of minimization of waste does not add value and this has been considered on the basis of consumer’s perspective. On the basis of detailed survey carried out by Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) 60% of the production and related activities are connected with the typical production operations and these functionalities are considered as waste and no value has been added from the customer point view. Lean manufacturing has been termed as an activity which involves implementation of never ending efforts and these efforts are taken for minimization of waste. ‘Muda’ is a Japanese term which is used for the determination of the activity that consumes resources without adding value, and this activity has been executed in various functions such as customer services processes, production, designing and distribution. The below carried out study has been analyzed on the lean principles and implementation of the same in the business organization ( 2017). The below mentioned report has been made focused on McDonalds which has developed and reached to one of the biggest fast food chain of restaurants with an aim of providing the best quality of food items to the consumers for attainment of the best level of satisfaction. The business entity is involved in supplying of fast food items and specializes in tasty and healthy range of burgers (Rose and et al, 2011). The further executed analysis has been determining the lean manufacturing and implementation of the same in the business organization for the betterment of the business and its growth.

Activities or the operations which are associated with minimization of elimination wastage which occurs during the production and other the associated activities and also adds no value to the manufacturing process, The below executed analysis has been focused on the principles of lean manufacturing which are if implemented in an appropriate manner in the operational activities within organizational structure of McDonald’s will definitely bring reduction and also minimize the rates of error ( 2017). This in turn will bring development and an increase in the responsiveness towards the consumers and the other duties and will also increase consumer’s satisfaction. The increasing waste and inefficiency which interfere with services are rarely obvious and these are the reasons by which the business organizations are very slow towards the implementation of the lean principles. One of the major reasons behind the broken processes and waste in the factories are the idle workers and the stack of goods and which re also considered as hidden in case of the services. This aids in the development of the link between the operations, sections or various departments and due to which the business organizations are able to look just a part or section of the issue. Also there is one another issue concerning the white-collar workforce which shows less interest or are very much reluctant regarding the thought of their work could be regulated (Anvari, Ismail and Hojjati, 2011). Deficiency in the standardization of consistency occurring in the service processes will be proven expensive. A high rate of complexity and inefficiency brings the processes to a slower speed and will also increase the rate of errors, which will also bring down the responsiveness and level of satisfaction of consumers; this will also result in an increase in risk and jeopardize compliance.

Application of Lean Principles to McDonald's

For a successful manufacturing process the term lean production has been considered as very much relevant and significant. The concept of principles of lean manufacturing has been considered very much liable for influencing the business operations within the business corporations and since when it was developed into the lean construct and the adaption or application of the process after the maturity. Most of the time the term mechanisms has been considered as very much significance for any of the business organization but however the implementation process of the lean principles in some of the organizational structure is not straightforward and also does not proves successful for every time (Bicheno and Holweg, 2016). And the reason behind this is that the implementation process was not proper executed but the principles were in-tact.. But it has been observed that still difficulties are being faced by the business corporations while removing the issues which are being linked with the change management. The difficulties faced are while making decision regarding making the choice of the tools which will be relevant or will suit best for the situation (Poppendieck, 2011). It is of very much significance as it involves various processes and procedures and all these processes are situationally specific. Hence a set of some specific decision is required for the process of implementation of lean manufacturing. After doing all these there are some sought of risks which are associated with the results: and therefore this develops a situation of certainty for the success or failure for the implementation of the concept. Besides all these plus points of the concepts of the lean principles there has been no such specific methods or tools found for the implementation of the lean principles.

The approaches and the theories for the mechanism of Lean implementation involves of making choice of the best set of tools and mechanisms from the lean depository and this has to be done for the achievement of the excellence in the processes (Taleghani, 2010). There can also be chances of risk development if the business corporations are more focused towards the benefits which are attained and are also trying for the perfection process, but the continuity of the lean tools has been ignored by some of the business corporations. A possibility of an introduction of risk for the business organization is there with the Implementation of new mechanisms for each time will develop possibility of the introduction of risk for the business entity and also there are chances of both opportunities and threat for McDonald’s.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing has been considered as the process or a plan which can be adapted by a business entity for bringing growth and success in the production process (Rajenthirakumar and Thyla, 2011). The main elements with the process are focused on the elimination of waste which is caused by any of the operations linked to the manufacturing processes. Reduction in wastages will bring an automatic change of fewer requirements of efforts, space, and finance and also the time consumption will be less as compared earlier whilst quality of the goods and services remains same or most of the time an increase in the quality has been observed and that too with reduction in the costs incurred. Also the concept of systematic productivity improvement lean manufacturing approach has becoming and setting standards (Gothelf, 2013).

As the lean manufacturing concept is a wider concept and hence it comprises of varied set of tools and mechanisms and the basic selection or making decisions for choosing the most appropriate and relevant tools which are required to be implemented. Diversity has been observed in the tools and equipment’s of the lean manufacturing (Modi and Thakkar, 2014). A proper segmentation has been conducted for the operations to be executed and also for making use of the tools. The segmentation or the classification has been carried out on the basis of the relevance of tools to some particular wastes. These go part way for determining the issues with implementation, but then also no specificity has been attained in the situation. And due to this it has been analyzed that no method found appropriate for getting the best tools for the situation.

The process of lean implementation comprises of an initial Value stream mapping (VSM) is the system or the tool which has been considered as very much relevant or significant for determining the journey of betterment and improvement (Taleghani, 2010). This system or the element is considered as very much significant initially for the process of lean manufacturing. The next step in the process can be organizing of the house and which will comprise of number of operating systems which are flexible, some of the examples of these systems are as follows, (sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining). Moreover there are many other tools and mechanisms which are every much significant in the process of implementation. The below mentioned are some of the most flexible systems which will be proven beneficial if adapted by the business organization, such as standardized working, mistake proofing (Jidoka), total productivity maintenance (TPM) and single minute exchange of dies (SMED). Apart from these the further advancement’s if brought may involve supply and demand, and for doing this  the tools such as pull systems and Heijunka, just in time (JIT) can be utilized. This process is also known as level scheduling. There should be integration of the lean and production planning and also the combining of control systems should be done, which can be termed as materials resource planning (MRP) (Womack and Jones, 2010). The concept has not been proved to be every much beneficial for the business organizations as the lean emphasizes on pull but most it has been noted that most of the producers are benefited by the adaption of the hybrid production flow control.

Tools and Mechanisms of Lean Manufacturing

The below mentioned is the five step process which can be adapted by McDonald’s for tracing the success of the implementation of the process of lean principles. The process has been considered as very much easy to remember but is always proved difficult for the attainment of the same:

  • Value: Some specification should be made by the business corporations regarding the value from the standpoint for the end consumers by the product family.
  • Value stream mapping: The process is concerned with the proper determination of all the required steps which are relevant and are to be used by the value stream for each product range (Anvari, Ismail and Hojjati, 2011). Elimination should be done of the unwanted steps which are not required for the creation of the value.
  • Flow: Value developing steps occurs in this step and by doing this in a tight sequence the marketers will assure a smooth flow of the offerings and the services to the consumers.  
  • Pull: After the business entity introduces the flow the next step is to allow the consumers to pull the value from the next up-stream operations.
  • Perfection: Identification process for the value stream is made possible only after the specification of the value given. Moreover the waste or unwanted steps are removed and introduction of the steps of flow and pull is done. And after this the mechanism is put back to the first step (Aziz and Hafez, 2013). This process continuous till the business entity reaches the state of perfection and also a perfect value is developed and most significant no waste is created.

The below analyzed are the lean strategies which can be implemented by McDonald’s, this adaption and implementation process can also be known as the process of lean manufacturing and operational excellence:

  • Enhancement of the capabilities and potential which are required in the manufacturing and other related processes and also an increase in the productivity taking consideration of the marketing plan (Leffingwell, 2010).
  • Quality risk minimized and also in the case of late delivery of products to the consumers and the retailers.
  • The lean manufacturing and the implementation of the same has brought a number of advancements and improvements and which will be  bringing continuous developments in the manufacturing process which in-turn will enable the business entity to remains competitive and sustainable.
  • Development and establishment of the capabilities For building and working in self-sustained processes development and establishment of potential is done.
  • Building strong and efficient connections and links with the retailers and the consumers can come up as a plus point for the supply chain management (Goetschc and Davis, 2014).
  • A benchmark index exercise needs to be executed and also (VCS) which is a reviewing technique for the operations which have been allowed for the current performance of the business organization and also to develop a better level of understanding for the capabilities required while distributing and quality of the products and also setting of the (KPI) key performance indicators and targets.
  • Introduction of the tools and techniques of lean manufacturing and operational excellence is required to be done by making use of the channels of tailored coaching sessions. And for implementation on-site shop floor projects are utilized and this done for the assessment of the assurance given regarding the delivery of practical improvements (Nguyen and Do, 2016)
  • Teaching the suppliers and the retailers about how to develop and create their own suppliers and this has to be done by cascading lean improvement teachings and learning further down the supply chain
  • A change brought in the managerial authorities and shop floor staff members and employees by VCS monitoring and coaching and this has to be done for bringing an development and enhancement in the potential and capabilities of management (Schmidt and Lyle, 2010).
  1. Development of the better and improved tools and mechanisms for working line balancing
  2. Floors and flows for factory units and plants
  3. 5s programmers
  4. Establishment of advanced ergonomic working places and shop floor layouts
  5. Management of the inputs given and outputs received for  Work In Progress on the shop floor
  6. Rapid changeovers
  7. Making available of study material for operating the machines and tools
  8. Improvement techniques for utilization of machinery and equipment’s
  9. Multi skilling and multi machine manning

Since the era of mid twentieth century McDonalds has been has been ranked on the top and gained the position of one of the key players in the fast food market. Intensification in the competitive environment has affected the business organization and also every aspect of its organizational structure (Cmuscm. 2014). The business entity has successfully attained and managed a top position in the market in-spite of an intense and dense by adopting the ‘lean’ focus. The below mentioned are the key ‘lean’ practices which has been followed by McDonalds:

Eliminating Waste

Instantaneously meeting the demand, and also maintaining the quality and elimination of waste is the key principle of lean philosophy (lean-production. 2017). The business entity has done implementation of the following strategies so as to deal with the following sources of waste.


In the earlier times the business corporation used to cook sandwiches in batches and keep them warm in warming bins (Naik. 2014). This process made them to save time, but this also affected their reputation negatively as wastage of food was increased. And for dealing this issue the business entity has started keeping the food items ready which are required to cook a sandwich and then combination of them into finished sandwiches is done only after the placement of the order. Also the time consumed in this process was of a few minutes, which enabled a quick response to any demand change (Leansimulations. 2012). And adaption of this strategy reduced the risk of over-production.

Waiting Time

Adaption of the modern mechanisms and technology has offered a number of advantages to the business corporation, for instance by drastically bringing a reduction in the waiting time (Crawford. 2016). A computer operated system has been installed in the brand outlets, which aids the business entity by communicating the order placed by a customer to the production staff within fraction of seconds after the order is placed. Also the kitchen has been modernized by the modern cooking equipment’s. The outlets have a well-trained and highly skilled workforce who prepares the order with a high speed and also with the best quality. Thus the entire processing of the order placed gets completed in couple of minutes.

Five-Step Process for Implementing Lean Principles in McDonald's

Processing Wastage

The concept of processing wastes occurs mainly because of excessive handling of the products which are being processed (Heymans. 2017). At the outlets of McDonalds the ‘Speedy System’ has been made in use for assembling the orders and making the food items ready for the customers. The system was initially introduced and implemented by the McDonald brothers is still in use.


On the basis of the lean manufacturing principles, the business corporation should not have a stack of goods or get rid of the inventory; as if the inventory is held for a longer time then it will incur opportunity cost. But it is of very much significance for the business organization to meet the demands at all the times. And hence for dealing with this requirement (Lopes, Freitas and  Sousa. 2015), McDonald’s have a sophisticated stock control system which aids the entity in managing the process and eliminate wastage due to overstocking.


In the limelight of the above carried out analysis it has been concluded that the concept of lean manufacturing is concerned to the operations which are related to the minimization or elimination of wastage. This is a process which should be implemented by business organization as elimination and reduction in wastage which is caused during various production processes executed within an organization by a manufacturing firm is the topic on which emphasis has been provided. Moreover in the above research report McDonald’s is a multinational corporation and it have been explained that how the lean manufacturing process and the related theories can be implemented. Furthermore the implementation of the principles of lean process within the organizational culture and structure has also been explained and the working or the operations of the process should also be done accordingly. There is lot more criteria for getting recognition in the market place and also for becoming a successful lean practicing entity. There are number of standardized principles which are on current basis practiced by some of the manufacturing units will be required to be practiced by the workforce.


Lee, Q. and Nelson, W., 2010. Ergonomics in Lean Manufacturing. Retrieved August, 14, p.2011.

Rose, A.M.N., Deros, B.M., Rahman, M.A. and Nordin, N., 2011, January. Lean manufacturing best practices in SMEs. In Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (Vol. 2, No. 5, pp. 872-877).

Taleghani, M., 2010. Key factors for implementing the lean manufacturing system. Journal of American science, 6(7), pp.287-291.

Anvari, A., Ismail, Y. and Hojjati, S.M.H., 2011. A study on total quality management and lean manufacturing: through lean thinking approach. World applied sciences journal, 12(9), pp.1585-1596.

Bicheno, J. and Holweg, M., 2016. The Lean toolbox: The essential guide to Lean transformation. Picsie Books.

Poppendieck, M., 2011. Principles of lean thinking. IT Management Select, 18, pp.1-7.

Rajenthirakumar, D. and Thyla, P.R., 2011. Transformation to lean manufacturing by an automative component manufacturing company. International Journal of Lean Thinking, 2(2), pp.1-13.

Gothelf, J., 2013. Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience. " O'Reilly Media, Inc.".

Modi, D.B. and Thakkar, H., 2014. Lean thinking: reduction of waste, lead time, cost through lean manufacturing tools and technique. International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering, 4(3), pp.339-334.

Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T., 2010. Lean thinking: banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. Simon and Schuster.

Aziz, R.F. and Hafez, S.M., 2013. Applying lean thinking in construction and performance improvement. Alexandria Engineering Journal, 52(4), pp.679-695.

Leffingwell, D., 2010. Agile software requirements: lean requirements practices for teams, programs, and the enterprise. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Nguyen, M.N. and Do, N.H., 2016. Re-engineering Assembly Line with Lean Techniques. Procedia CIRP, 40, pp.590-595.

Schmidt, J.J. and Lyle, D., 2010. Lean integration: an integration factory approach to business agility. Pearson Education.

Cmuscm, 2014, Lean production at MCDonald’s, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

lean-production, 2017, Pull & Kanban 5 learning from McDonalds, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

Naik, H, 2014, Lean and JIT at McDonald’s, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

Leansimulations, 2012, McDonalds lean food preparation system made for you, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

Crawford, M, 2016, 5 lean principles every engineer should know, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

Heymans, B, 2017, Lean manufacturing and food industry, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

Lopes, R, Freitas, F and  Sousa, I, 2015, Application of Lean Manufacturing Tools in the Food and Beverage Industries, Assessed on 11th June 2017,, 2017, Principles of lean, Assessed on 11th June 2017,, 2017, 5 steps of lean implementation, Assessed on 11th June 2017,

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