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Getting Lean: Assessing the Benefits of Lean Production in Factory Built Housing

Release Date: 
December 2005 (85 pages)
Posted Date:   
December 1, 2005

This document, Getting Lean: Assessing the Benefits of Lean Production in Factory Built Housing, is the final report of the first phase of a planned multi-year research effort to develop and implement lean production techniques for the factory built housing industry.

This research effort consisted of two parts. First, a benchmarking survey was conducted of home manufacturers across the country. Benchmarking current performance is a necessary first step in implementing lean production improvements as it provides a series of metrics to gauge future progress. The results of the benchmarking study also help guide future implementation efforts.

Second, an in-depth assessment was conducted at one case study plant. This case study was used to test the process of developing lean techniques for a homebuilding plant.

Lean production has been successful in transforming other industries, notably automotive manufacturing. With a focused research program and the commitment of leading manufacturers, similar results may be achievable in the factory homebuilding industry. The successful transformation of factory homebuilding into a lean industry will provide substantial benefits to consumers of affordable housing, as well as improve the health of the industry for years to come.

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