Nearly 70 percent of all U.S. manufacturing plants have adopted lean manufacturing as an improvement methodology, according to the 2007 IW/MPI Census of Manufacturers. Lean is more than twice as popular as the next closest improvement method, Total Quality Management (34.2 percent).
Cost reduction strategies are on the rise, with the number of companies focusing on “low cost” up 1.9 percent from last year.
Environmental management practices saw the biggest percentage increase, up 11.2 percent from 2006. Energy management also saw a sizable increase in usage, being up 9.4 percent. A new option this year, recycling and reuse programs, finished comfortably in second place, at 56.1 percent.