Essay Sample Describing Nike's Lean Techniques

Published: 2022-10-24
Essay Sample Describing Nike's Lean Techniques
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Management Nike
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 912 words
8 min read

The lean technique is a systematic approach that maximizes customer value and reduces waste. Businesses incorporate lean techniques to become sustainable. Nike manufacturing company, for example, which deals in footwear, equipment, accessories, apparel, and services, uses lean strategies to streamline their business and improve their efficiency. The report evaluates the lean techniques that have made Nike company to be efficient and the ways in which the company can improve on using lean techniques.

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Nike's Lean Management

Nike uses lean by employing a culture of empowerment model. How does Nike Lean (2016) puts forward that the empowerment model strives for lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. The company works with manufacturers to promote lean manufacturing, self-management, manufacturing capacity, and improve the lives of workers (How does Nike Lean, 2016). According to the website, Nike makes use of their human resource management team to ensure that their workers put in efforts in lean manufacturing practices. Another way Nike uses lean is through their scoring card. The website indicates that the company has a scoring system for their contract factories. According to the website, the manufacturing index that Nike uses utilizes scores for each factory in matters that concern lean, labor, health, safety, energy, and sustainability. The website notes that Nike uses their scoring card to find out where the need to put more resources and time and attention to ensure the company operates autonomously.

Nike has utilized most of the lean manufacturing principles in its processes. In the principle of respect for humanity, as Porteous and Rammohan (2013) assert, Nike believes that respecting their workers improves labor conditions in its supply chain. Besides, concerning Just-in-time production, the authors indicate that Nike has always used the approach of managing supplier responsibility by developing an incentive scheme that changes supplier behavior. The authors indicate that Nike has a pull model that gives suppliers incentives to push them to perform better, which benefits the company and other factories. More so, concerning continuous improvement, the authors indicate that Nike trains its workforce and encourage them to implement lean practices by empowering them to create innovative solutions that improve productivity. Also, regarding levelized production, the authors indicate that Nike has set business unit goals that employee's multidisciplinary responsibilities and ensures that they achieve those goals.

Nike has had success since it implemented lean manufacturing practices. According to their report in 2012, Nike indicated that it has reduced material waste and production time, which has enabled the company's supply chain to operate efficiently compared to before (ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Nike Reports Lean Production Success, 2012). Also, the report indicates that contracted factories that adopted Nike's lean approach experienced defect rates 50 percent lower than facilities that did not adopt the lean practice. Moreover, the report indicates that delivery from lean factories became 40 percent shorter, 20% increase in lean factory productivity from 10%, 30% reduction in the time to introduce a new product to a factory. The report goes on to indicate that in some areas, including the decrease of excessive overtime at contract factories, progress was slower than anticipated.

Ways Nike can make Improvements using Lean Techniques

Since we are entering the manufacturing revolution era, Nike can make their improvements on their lean techniques. Today, there is a rise in the labor market, increased logistics costs, and an increase in the speed of innovation in the manufacturing industry. Due to those advancements, Nike has to work more effectively to reduce waste and generate growth at the same time. For instance, the company can incorporate the use of water more efficiently in conjunction with its waste reduction measures. Besides, due to the advancements in technology, Nike can come up with an innovation in their manufacturing processes such as the use of robots to add value to their processes. Furthermore, they can work towards making their products to have 3D logos, which would improve customer value and take into account the environmental approach at the same time.


It is evident that Nike uses strategic methods in developing their lean manufacturing techniques. It is notable that the company has revolutionized the way they interact and work with their global partners. In my case, I have a clothing line business that has not yet begun incorporating lean practices. Based on the evaluations from Nike's lean management practices, it is notable that the incorporation generates more growth. In my business, there is the issue of an unstructured human resource team, untrustworthy suppliers, and unmotivated employees. Needless to say, if I incorporate lean practices in my business, there is no doubt that I will maintain a competitive edge, increase value, raise employee morale, enhance an environmental approach, and improve my business's reputation. It is believable that if I employ lean practices at my place of work, I would maximize value for my customers and reduce waste. Just as Nike, my business requires a commitment to lean as part of a progression to positive ratings in the manufacturing industry. Overall, the lean approach takes a business through all the parts of the supply chain through analyzing performance, eliminating waste, and eventually achieving an organizational change.


How Nike does Lean. (2016). Retrieved from

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Nike Reports Lean Production Success. (2012). Retrieved from

Porteous, A., and Rammohan, S. (2013). Integration, Incentives and Innovation Nike's Strategy to Improve Social and Environmental Conditions in its Global Supply Chain. Retrieved from

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