Creating a lean supplier network: A distribution industry case

Peter Hines, Nick Rich, Ann Esain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the application of a lean logistics approach to the development of a supplier network around a prominent distributor of electronic, electrical and mechanical components. This involved mapping the activities of the firm, identifying opportunities for improvement and then undertaking an improvement programme with the firm. The resulting Supplier Association programme involved around 50 key suppliers across eight product category areas. The paper explores the different methods employed together with the support structure that was created. It concludes with evidence of the early results of the programmes as well as a number of key learning points for other organisations wishing to follow a similar path.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Lean
  • Supplier association
  • Value stream mapping


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