The effects of purchased parts commonality on manufacturing lead time

Chwen Sheu (College of Business Administration, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)
John G. Wacker (College of Business Administration, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Publication date: 1 August 1997


Manufacturing managers as well as researchers suggest that reducing manufacturing lead time is essential for competing in world‐class manufacturing environments. To achieve world‐class manufacturing status, organizations implement a variety of programmes to decrease manufacturing lead time. Uses simulation to analyse the effect of purchased parts standardization on manufacturing lead time under the assumption of limited vendor delivery uncertainty. Creates a wide range of degrees of commonality based on three sets of multilevel product structures with the variations of end‐item demand and quantity usage. The statistical results indicate that: increased commonality lowers manufacturing lead time; a more informative commonality measure other than the well‐known degree of commonality index (DCI) is necessary to represent the actual commonality; and the distribution of purchased parts usage across different end items affects manufacturing lead time performance. The results provide important implications for both manufacturing and product design management.



Sheu, C. and Wacker, J. (1997), "The effects of purchased parts commonality on manufacturing lead time", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 17 No. 8, pp. 725-745.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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