Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Technology Leadership and Innovation

First Advisor

Edie K. Schmidt

Committee Member 1

Kathy Newton

Committee Member 2

Chad Laux


This study developed an assessment tool to rate the maturity of the current and desired states of lean logistics operations in small and medium enterprises. The tool consists of 48 best practices classified into 8 critical factors: Inventory, Transportation, Administration, Information Systems, Warehouse, Forecasting, Packaging and Supplier Network. Each of the best practices and critical factors were identified throughout a thorough literature review and comparative analysis between authors to define commonalities among them. Using gap analysis; this tool results in a SWOT matrix providing a roadmap for lean implementation. The resulting model was evaluated by subject matter experts in different criteria, including: clarity, content accuracy, relevance, content validity, avoidance of bias, appropriateness of language, and clarity of instructions. The evaluations resulted in some minor corrections but not important changes to the content were incorporated as result of these evaluations. This research project represents the initial steps to developing a self-assessment tool; additional work is required before the tool could actually be used for managers in SMEs.