- Suppliers will decrease their quality in order to meet price decreases.
- Suppliers will hold more inventory to meet delivery demands and kanban requirements and will begin to lose profitabilty.
- Suppliers will decide to stop working with their "lean" customer because they are losing money.
- Suppliers forced to deal with "lean" customers will slowly go out of business.
Just as we all know that optimizing a given process within a company (or single point within a value stream) will not necessarily lead to increased profits (though it might reduce "standard costs" on paper), optimizing one company within a supply chain will not optimize the overall profitability of the supply chain. In the short term, it will increase cash flow and profits for the one supply chain participant that has implemented lean; however, to optimize long term profitabilty for all participants and to create the most value for the customer, it behooves a company to extend lean to its entire supply chain. This is in the best interest of the company's long term survival.
Using the resources listed on our "Lean Supply Chain" website http://www.lean-supply-chain.com, you can learn more about lean and why you would want to create a lean supply chain that includes your suppliers and customers.