Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to define a guideline for integrating ISO 9001 and lean thinking. It seeks to cross‐reference the guideline presented with ISO 9001 requirements and to integrate parts of the standard text with lean principles and tools. Design/methodology/approach – Over the past nine years, a group of consultants has been collecting data and information from 107 manufacturing companies around Europe. The companies have been chosen from different European countries and they are of different sizes. All the companies are ISO 9001 certified and at a “mature” stage of lean implementation. Findings – It is found that in general, lean thinking implementation affects documentation such as quality manual, procedures and work instructions. Furthermore, tools and principles such as value stream mapping, lean metrics, 5S and takt time are the most used inside the 107 companies. Jidoka and total productive maintenance are those that have been more formalised into ISO 9001 documents. Practical implications – Practitioners and consultants could use the guideline for future lean thinking application within a quality management system, especially analysing the impact on documentation (e.g. quality manual, procedures and work instructions). Furthermore, practitioners and academics could use parts of the presented guideline in order to discuss and propose new ways for integrating lean thinking and ISO 9001. Originality/value – This is one of the first attempts to understand the impacts of lean thinking on ISO 9001 and propose a guideline for their integration. The results of the paper propose many aspects to investigate.
International Journal of Lean Six Sigma – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 31, 2011
Keywords: ISO 9000 series; Lean series production; Thinking styles; Europe
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