Application of Lean Supply Chain Concepts to a Vertically-Integrated Company: A Case Study

Nadia G. Akel1, Iris D. Tommelein2 & J.C. Boyers3

1Ph.D. Student, P.E., Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215 McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, TEL/FAX 925/465-4655, nadia@astound.net
2Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, 510/643-8678, FAX 510/643-8919, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu
3Corporate Alliance Team Operations Manager, Butler Manufacturing Company, 700 Karnes Blvd. (64108) P.O. Box 419917, Kansas City, MO, 64141-0917, 816/968-3914, FAX: 816/968-4385, jcboyers@butlermfg.com

Abstract

This study applies lean supply chain concepts to a vertically-integrated pre-engineered metal building manufacturer, Butler Manufacturing. The paper shows how a flow perspective can be used to highlight non-value adding activities in business processes. Specifically, the study illustrates the application of value stream mapping tools to identify opportunities for reducing cycle time in the Butler order process. While value stream mapping tools have been used before in construction cases, this paper presents an analysis for a different context (that of a project order) as well as a different industry sector. In addition to the value stream analysis, the paper discusses specific supply chain metrics that are used in this case study to analyze order data that cover Butler’s in-house supply chain from order taking to shipment. The overall aim of this research is to assist in determining to what extent vertical integration is appropriate for Butler to entrench itself in the pre-engineered metal building market.

Keywords

Supply chain management, lean production, vertical integration, value stream mapping, pre-engineered metal building systems, change order

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Reference

Akel, N.G. , Tommelein, I.D. & Boyers, J. 2004, 'Application of Lean Supply Chain Concepts to a Vertically-Integrated Company: A Case Study' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.

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