Retail and convenience stores exist in every country in the world. Lean and Six Sigma are used throughout the retail industry. We’ll look at three applications. First, a discussion of the retail industry challenges and the benefits of applying Lean Six Sigma. Then we’ll look at applications from Mexico and Portugal. We’ll finish with a fun video of the foods you would find in a Japanese convenience store.


Lean Six Sigma Deployment in the Retail Industry


In a paper titled “Lean Six Sigma Deployment in Retail Industry: Enhancing Competitive Advantages,” author Pankaj M. Madhand discusses the Lean Six Sigma Efficiency-Effectiveness Framework and lists several case studies of Lean deployment in the retail industry.

The paper covers the major challenges facing the retail industry and the benefits of Lean Six Sigma deployment.

The following case studies of Lean deployment in retail are listed. The problems, solutions, and outcomes are mentioned.

  • Ineffective Coupon Redemption
  • Controlling Mis-delivery Errors
  • Reducing Freight Expenses
  • Reducing Damaged Inventory
  • Controlling Excessive Inventory
  • Assembly and Display Issue

You can read the paper here.


Using Lean to Reduce Inventory in Convenience Stores: Mexico


In an article titled “A Lean Approach for Reducing Inventory for a Mexican Convenience Store Network,” authors Mariana Villarreal and others discuss the use of Lean manufacturing methodology for the reduction of inventory in the network of convenience stores of a leading Mexican company.

The article includes:

  • Scheme to Determine Delivery Frequencies
  • Transportation Value Stream Map for Routing Operations
  • Delivery Frequency Values for Initial and Optimal Results
  • Changes on Monthly Supply Indicators

You can read the article here.


Lean Applied to Reduce Out-of-Stock Events and Increase Order Fulfillment Rate: Portugal


In a case study titled “Using Lean to Improve Operational Performance in a Retail Store and E-Commerce Service: A Portuguese Case Study,” authors Pedro Alexandre Marques, Diana Jorge, and João Reis present a case study regarding two Lean initiatives: one for reducing out-of-stock events and another for increasing the order fulfillment rate.


The case study includes:

  • KPIs for Order Fulfillment Project
  • Case Study Methodology
  • Output Requirements for Fruit and Vegetable Value Stream
  • Current Value Stream State Map for In-store Retail Processes
  • Opportunities for Improvement based on Value Stream Map
  • Designed Future State Map for Value Stream
  • KPI Base Line and Objectives for Fruit and Vegetable Replenishment
  • Kanban Card Used for eCommerce Warehouse
  • KPI Values Before and After Improvements

Click on the following link to download a copy of the case study.


Japanese Convenience Store Foods – 7-Eleven


Taku from Tokyo shows the foods that are available in a Japanese 7-Eleven.

NOTE: as of 2020 there were 20,988 7-Elevens in Japan, making it the country with the most 7-Eleven stores globally.

You can watch the video here.




Want to progress further with your Six Sigma career? Join ISSSP today and access the hundreds of interviews, webinars, whitepapers, case studies, and other resources available in our online library.

Learn More Here