J&M combines Lean Thinking with SCM

On the basis of our many years of SCM experience encompassing more than 50 SCM projects which have been successfully carried out in Europe, J&M has designed a consulting approach which combines the successful lean approach with the SCM philosophy. The J&M Lean SCM Approach introduces companies to J&M's integrated Lean Thinking and SCM philosophy. We are there to help you all the way during the transformation to a lean supply chain – from organization to processes to IT.

What is the difference between SCM and Lean Thinking?

Both approaches share the common principle of regarding the value chain in its entirety and gearing the chain to ensure that customer needs are met as well and as efficiently as possible. SCM places a major focus on determining all boundary conditions (capacity, availability of material, throughput times) and on deterministic planning for meeting requirements via the supply chain. The structure of the supply chain and the boundary conditions for the value creation processes are essentially taken as they stand. So-called advanced planning systems such as, e.g. SAP APO, create viable plans as to how the existing supply chain may be operated as effectively as possible. In industrial practice, SCM is restricted to the optimal operating of existing structures and concentrates less on optimizing the structure itself. Lean Thinking, however, questions and optimizes existing structures.

When the lean approach is applied, the value chain is reorganized in such a manner that only those process steps which actually generate value for the customer are left. The focus is on the product and its needs, rather than the organization or the equipment, so that all the activities needed to design, order, and provide a product occur in continuous flow. The third stage of a lean transformation involves the consistent application of the pull principle: the customer puts in a request for products before they are produced and conversely only the exact quantity required by the customer is then produced. This leads to the creation of self-controlling, optimized feedback loops which produce more value for the customers with less muda.

Benefits of Lean SCM

  • Competitive advantages thanks to flexibilization of the supply chain.
  • Reduced costs thanks to a physical adaptation of the supply chain within the framework of the alteration processes.
  • Increased efficiency thanks to consistent coordination of the organisation and the changing processes and the introduction of teamwork and improvement programs (Kaizen).
  • Development of a Lean SCM concept
    J&M works for and with their clients to develop company-specific Lean SCM concepts combining the advantages of Lean Thinking and Supply Chain Management. J&M calculates a customer-specific business case and demonstrates the benefits entailed by change projects.
  • Implementation of an integrated planning and production system
    Based on the concepts behind advanced planning and the Toyota production system, the optimal number of planning levels is determined and the processes reengineered. A tailored training programme helps the staff keep up to speed with this process.
  • Value stream mapping
    J&M supports their clients during continual improvement processes, among others in identifying and redefining the value flows within the company based on the supply chain strategy.
  • Visual management
    On a strategic level, J&M supports their clients when introducing a supply chain balanced scorecard for operationalizing the strategy. Visual management is introduced in order to break down targets and key performance indicators to the level of the production processes.
  • Implementation of continuous improvement processes
    Using the Enable-KPI-Value® Network method developed by J&M, the effects of the measures which have been implemented can be determined and support can be provided for further measures and the implementation of continuous improvement processes.


  • IT & process design
    Based on the results of the value stream mapping, the IT architecture is revised and adjusted to coordinate optimally with the requirements of the Lean SCM environment.
  • Implementation
    Lean SCM requires a dynamic link between planning and transaction systems. J&M can assist you with the implementation of an appropriate advanced planning system and integration into the existing transaction systems.
  • Go live & rollout
    J&M takes the KPI's determined using the business case and the Enabler-KPI-Value®-Network method to keep a check on the benefits of the implemented processes and systems during the rollout.

Contact SCM

Dieter Bölzing Dr.-Ing. Dieter Bölzing