McKinsey Quarterly

Operational Excellence

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Agile operations for volatile times

May 2012—By improving how risk is measured—and managed—in global operations, companies can adapt to changing conditions faster than competitors.more

Mastering the supply chain

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Building the supply chain of the future

January 2011—Getting there means ditching today’s monolithic model in favor of splintered supply chains that dismantle complexity, and using manufacturing networks to hedge uncertainty.more

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Is your top team undermining your supply chain?

January 2011—Building bridges between senior managers is a critical step in constructing tomorrow’s global supply chain.more

Inventing the 21st-century purchasing organization
article | McKinsey Quarterly

Inventing the 21st-century purchasing organization

November 2007—To get the most out of the purchasing function, top-performing companies redefine its role and ensure that its goals align with corporate strategy.more

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Buying your way to the top

August 1993—Too long the “forgotten” function, purchasing can—with the right strategic approach—powerfully enhance a company’s economic performance.more

Applying lean management

article | McKinsey Quarterly

From lean to lasting: Making operational improvements stick

November 2008—By focusing on the “soft” side of lean and Six Sigma initiatives, leading global companies gain substantial, scalable, and sustainable advantages.more


Applying lean production to the public sector

June 2006—Governments at all levels must deliver more for less. The principles of lean manufacturing offer surprisingly apt solutions.more


Toward a leaner finance department

April 2006—Borrowing key principles from lean manufacturing can help the finance function to eliminate waste.more

  • includes:
article | McKinsey Quarterly

Lean cuisine

February 2005—Proven techniques from manufacturing might be the recipe for improving productivity in restaurants.more

article | McKinsey Quarterly

The hidden value in airline operations

November 2003—In other process-, labor-, and capital-intensive industries, superb operators win. Why should airlines be different?more

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Hospitals get serious about operations

May 2001—The income statements of hospitals have been ailing. The cure? Serious attention to operating efficiency.more

article | McKinsey Quarterly

First National Toyota

November 1998—Raising banks' productivity will take more than one-time cost cuts.more


Great operations are not just more efficient—they’re a source of competitive advantage. Explore how companies are creating agile supply chains and how lean-management techniques have revolutionized manufacturing and services.