The manufacturing industry struggles to balance production with demand while maintaining cost efficiency. Globalisation and customer demand heightened competition for cheaper, customised products. Japan’s automotive revolution prompted the development of Lean manufacturing for efficiency and competitiveness against American giants. Yet, implementing Lean manufacturing poses challenges related to information, waste, change management, stakeholder buy-in, and alignment with business strategy. Integrating core processes and support functions is vital for a balanced production environment. Demonstrating the value of a Manufacturing Excellence (ME) programme can be challenging. And although manufacturing leads in digital transformation, a gap remains between factory physics and commercial aspects.