Beyond theory: an examination of lean new product introduction practices in the UK

T.S. Baines, G.M. Williams, H. Lightfoot, S. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest is growing around the application of lean techniques to new product introduction (NPI). Although a relatively emergent topic compared with the application of ‘lean’ within the factory, since 2000 there has been an exponential rise in the literature on this subject. However, much of this work focuses on describing and extolling the virtues of the ‘Toyota approach’ to design. Therefore, by way of a stock take for the UK, the present authors' research has set out to understand how well lean product design practices have been adopted by leading manufacturers. This has been achieved by carrying out in-depth case studies with three carefully selected manufacturers of complex engineered products. This paper describes these studies, the detailed results and subsequent findings, and concludes that both the awareness and adoption of practices is generally embryonic and far removed from the theory advocated in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593-1600
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • lean
  • new product introduction
  • case study


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