Koncepcja „szczupłego wytwarzania" (ang. Lean Manufacturing) staje się obecnie jednym z wiodących podejść do zarządzania przedsiębiorstwami produkcyjnymi i ma duży wpływ na procesy logistyczne. Referat opisuje najważniejsze metody Lean Manufacturing stosowane w procesie logistycznym począwszy od wysyłki materiału od dostawcy, a skończywszy na dostarczeniu materiału do linii produkcyjnej producenta.
Lean Manufacturing approach concentrates on eliminating of all waste in production system. Lean Manufacturing is considered as an efficient way of radically improving productivity, decreasing waste and shortening lead time. The paper describes „lean" methods used to improve logistics processes in supply chain beginning from shipment from supplier to the moment of providing components to the production line of producer. The supply chain, based on the Lean Manufacturing concept, involves frequent deliveries with small transportation lots directly from the previous production phase to the next one. Such approach results in more frequent delivery cycles and in the elimination of the intermediate warehouses and cross-docks. The information flow is based on the simple signals exchanged among the production departments of the cooperating enterprises. In mass-production transport is realised in big transportation lots to the intermediate warehouses. The deliveries to the customer enterprise are collected and shipped together. Such approach has several disadvantages: long lead time for the supply chain, big inventories, grater work effort for supply chain management and worse flexibility. In opposite, in the lean supply chain the deliveries are realised directly to the customer enterprise and in the single transport the variety of different components and materials is carried. The single delivery contains only the materials and components, which are currently, e.g. within the next day, required by the customer. The exchanged information is much simpler (for example in the form of electronic kanban) and supply chain management is easier as well. Such approach leads to the much lower inventories, elimination of the intermediate warehouse costs, lower costs of supply management and improved flexibility. The costs of frequent transports could be reduced by exploitation of the milk runs. Within the single milk run the given truck visits several different suppliers and collects the different components for the customer. Similar ideas are used inside the factory to provide components frequently (e.g. every hour) in small batches from component warehouse to the production line. The benefits of using lean concept in supply chain, observed in the industry, were 80% lead time reduction within the supply chain and 70% inventory reduction in final product distribution centers with better customer service level.