How Lean and Green Management Improve Denim Manufacturing Performances

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV8IS040429

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How Lean and Green Management Improve Denim Manufacturing Performances

Mohamed Jouhri

Ph. D Student Laboratory LASTIMI, CEDOC EMI

Rabat, Morocco

Aziz Soulhi


National Higher School of Mines, Rabat, Morocco

Abstract Denim has been and still is an important item of clothing for many decades, but the process to produce is still an extremely wasteful.

Leaders on this industry are out to change that by employing new processes that reduce water drastically and consumes less energy and chemicals in order to improve customers satisfaction.

Applying lean principles in a manufacturing facility can help improving product and practices. This lean thinking must be green in order to reduce wastes and to be eco-friendly

In this paper, I focus on strategy and tools used on the lean green management, on why and how we should combine lean and green in denim manufacturing process based on some researches realized in one of the biggest laundries in morocco NEW WASH.

From Measuring Visualizing and through other statistical results, I was able to conclude that sustainability/quality/supply chain/cost Performances can be improved by applying lean and green tools in this important industry.

KeywordsGreen; Lean; Management; Quality; Cost; Process; Productivity; Environment; Sustainability; Impact; KPI


    The global Denim Industry is undergoing a very challenging period since 2004 where the traditional Quota systems for textile and clothing phased out.

    Several structural changes have led to a new business environment based on high efficiency that all factories should adapt to.

    Business efficiency is how much output a business produces for a unit of input. It is the opposite of waste. Efficiency measures how well a business converts inputs such as capital, labor and materials into outputs like revenue, products and services. The following are common types of business efficiency.

    When we have the ideal business in our mind then we can look at our reality and see where the gaps are so we can work towards making the reality matching with our dream and our vision.

    The future of denim is secure, and its popularity is ever growing throughout the world. Denim factories are facing the challenge of being ideal for their customers, they are looking towards management and strategies that can achieve these goals.

    The areas of growth in this direction include: -Customized fashionable and trendy garment production on time with lower prices and best quality

    -Environmental impact reduced taking all possible measures.

    Because ecology and fast fashion will continue to be the driving factors for jeans production and marketing, the Ideal denim company should be customer-oriented and eco- friendly. Denim factories can improve their global performances by adopting Lean and Green Management.

    Overview of sustainability and Lean Management

    1. Sustainability

      Ecological engagement consists of a series of continuous evaluations and energy consumption measures used in the process in order to eliminate the environmental wastes.

      Environmental waste is any unnecessary use of resources or a substance released into the air, water, or land that could harm human health or the environment. These wastes are often a sign of inefficient production, and they frequently indicate opportunities for saving cost and time.

      Reducing the use of energy, water, chemicals and other noisome materials in the apparel industry, reducing the environment impact of industries all over the world become now possible by building sustainable management and sustainable values with all company leaders.

    2. Lean Management

      The lean management is a conceptual framework based on a few established principles and techniques and a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement of operational efficiency in such a way that the production activities will continuously meet customer expectations at the lowest possible cost through the interaction of the workers with the process.

      Lean manufacturing tool mainly work to eliminate three types of waste:

      • Muda: valueless work

      • Mura: unevenness

      • Muri: overburden

    Muda or the seven wastes consist of:

    1. Transport: The movement of product between operations andlocations.

    2. Inventory: The work in progress (WIP) and stocks of finished goods and raw materials that a company holds.

    3. Motion: The physical movement of a person or machine while conducting an operation.

    4. Waiting: The act of waiting of a machine or a person for something.

    5. Over production: Over producing product beyond customers order.

    6. Over processing: Conducting operations beyond customer requirements.

    7. Defects: Product rejection and rework.


    The major inputs in the denim process production are water and chemical products. But since the process relays mainly on machinery we must also consider energy and time as two major parameters to interpret how can these consumptions impact the productivity. These parameters are often considered as significant manufacturing wastes in denim world.

    The idea of combining Lean management with green goals can help reducing these wastes saving time energy for a good economic and environment impact

    The paper provides evidence:

    • That lean is beneficial for green practices and the implementation of green practices in turn also has a positive influence on existing business practices.

    • That the lean practices are synergistic for green and how green practices are synergistic for lean.

    • There are opportunities for companies to use their lean framework as a catalyst to make their processes green.

      Our strategy and tools

      Through this step and tools, we can finally guarantee a better financial outcome that will focus more on making the least damage of the environment without grinding our production quality.




      Mapping the supply chain


      Picking up the right KPIs

      Brainstorming, Ishikawa

      Evaluating the KPIs

      Timing, Platform EIM (Environment impact measurement) , data reports..

      Analyzing the results & choosing the upper and lower specification limits of the KPIs

      Benchmarking and measurement

      Developing a plan

      SMED, Kaizen , 5S

      Controlling the KPIs evaluations ( measures )

      Timing , Platform EIM , data reports ..


      Standardized work , Procedure, Meeting, Training

      Standardized work1: this is a documented description of every process (with responsibility, how to do and estimated time). This procedure of manufacturing captures best practices.

      5S2: It eliminates waste that results from a poorly

      Lean management

      Eliminating wastes

      Green management

      organized work area. See 5s below:

      • Sort: Remove unnecessary items.

      • Set in Order: Organize remaining items.

      • Shine: Clean and inspect work area.

      • Standardize: Write standards for above.

      • Sustain: Regularly apply thestandards.

    Economic profits Better Environmental impact


    Fig. 1. Combination of Lean and Green Management

    The green management in denim world is made to eliminate as much as possible the waste of water consumption, of chemicals and time, while the lean concept is a systematic process for eliminating all kind of waste and improving operational efficiency such that the production activities will continuously meet customer expectations at the lowest possible cost through the interaction of the worker with the process. Merging those concepts is what we call the green lean management.

    Kaizen (continuous Improvement)2: the Japanese word Kaizen simply means change for better. Kaizen aims to eliminate wastes & continuous improvement.

    Many useful tools and techniques can be used to combine and apply the lean and green management.

    The Value Stream Mapping was used in New Wash (Denim laundry) for illustrating and analyzing the logic of the washing process. Determining the value stream to be improved, understanding how things currently operate is the foundation for the future New Wash redesigning process according to lean and green management.

    VSM of NEW WASH in June 2018:

    Fig. 2. New Wash VSM

    The Single Minute Exchange of Die is an organization method that seeks to systematically reduce the time series change with a quantified goal. This system is based on changing over the operations as much as possible and to simplify and streamline the remaining operation in order to perform the productivity while the equipment is running.

    Taking into considerations the environmental impact in the SMED method can be practically done with the EIM scoring of Jeanologias platform (known machines supplier) before and after eliminating wastes of water, energy, time, chemicals.

    Fig. 3. Green SMED steps


    With no measurement theres no improvement is the slogan of the company.

    How can we choose the right KPIs?

    We choose the KPIs that are aligned with our goals We dont attempt to measure everything

    We use qualitative and quantitative KPIs We follow the trend as its updated.

    1. Is the factory Lean enough ?

      Having that tactical picture that will provide us how to start our LEAN improvement is the most important step in

      lean management. The following table shows the main Lean KPIs used in NEW WASH.


      LEAN KPIs


      Production downtime


      good count / total count X 100

      (Total count reject count = good count)

      run time / planned production time X 100 (Planned production time stop time = run time).

      (Shift time break time

      = planned production time)


      Quality pourcentage

      Avaibility pourcentage

      Improvements tools

      In this process, each operator checks his / her own work before the part or product is sent to the next step in the process.



      LEAN KPIs

      Production capacity


      Delayed delivery


      Daily production

      (ideal cycle time X total count) / run time X 100

      Total deliveries Total delayed deliveries/ Total deliveries X 100


      Number of garments / day

      Performance pourcentage

      Pourcentage of delayed deliveries per semester

      Improvements tools

      Benchmarking Reports



    2. Is the factory Green enough ?

      As environmental impact relies on natural sources consumption, reducing the environmental impact begin with consumption measures used in every process.

      As shown down, we present the KPIs in denim world developed with some partners to measure the environmental impact.


      GREEN KPIs

      Water impact

      Energy impact

      Chemicals impact


      Water consumption l/garment

      Energy consumption KWh/garment



      Jeanologia platform

      Jeanologia platform

      Jeanologia platform


      Recipe developpement

      + Water treatment

      Recipe developpement

      Recipe developpement




      Worker health




      Min/garm ent

      Number or kg/ garment


      Environmen tal impact of product

      Measurem ent

      Jeanologi a platform

      Jeanologia platform

      Jeanologia platform

      Jeanologia platform

      Improvem ent


      Recipe developpem ent

      Recipe developpe ment

      Recipe developpem ent

    3. Visualising

      Evaluating a countermeasure or a KPI for industry, is a provision taken to oppose an action, an effect, an event, or to prevent them.

      A lazy analyst can then conclude that the countermeasure with the best overall average is the preferred solution. This intellectual laziness may be the best choice on many occasions, but it can happen that this type of thinking can lead to a disaster. Why? If the average result is good this doesnt mean that the global result is also good.

      In this section, we are going to calculate the capability of water quantity that NEW WASH consumed and the percentage of 2nd choice changed from Mars 2018 to October 2018.

      Fig. 5. Water Consumption Capability of October

      The capability of a production process can be defined as the suitability of a machine or process to achieve a requested performance. It can be used to measure the capacity of a machine or a process to make parts within the tolerance range (defined by its lower and upper limits) mentioned in the specifications sheet.

      Cp = (1)

      Cpk = Min ( ). (2)

      Water Consumption Capabilities of NEW WASH

      Fig. 4. Water Consumption Capability of March

      Fig. 6. Probability Plot of Water Consumption

      2nd choice Capabilities of NEW WASH

      Fig. 7. 2nd Choice Percentage Capability of March

      Fig. 8. 2nd Choice Percentage Capability of October

      Fig. 9. Probability Plot of 2nd Choice Percentage


    By implementing the above noted operational improvements, this facility have achieved the following results with providing an annual cost saving of 8% of our past yearly income.

      • Reduction water consumption by over 32,8 % using new technologies as the Ozone and the E-flow development of our the verticals partners of the facility.

      • Reduction of energy consumption by 24,5 % with the new recipe development.

      • Increasing efficiency by 17,3 %.

    Based on the 6 months of data provided in Mars, June and October, the full year water and energy consumption for this year could be almost half the consumption of the last year.

    Fig. 10. Water consumption improvements

    The following grape is a general smmary of some lean manufacturing improvements. The notation was calculated through the KPIs as seen previously.

    Fig. 11. Combination of Lean and Green Management


Eliminating waste, reducing costs, making production processes more reactive and sustainable makes all companies efficient and more attractive for their customers.

The global performances of the denim factories can be easily improved by applying lean and green management.

Through this paper we can understand that combining Kaizen attitude and sustainability will lead to quick wins and direct impact on KPIS improvements.

Kaizen attitude and eco-friendly atmosphere can push all workers to do their jobs with quality and efficiency taking into account company profitability and customer satisfaction.


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