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Reducing the delivery lead time in a food distribution SME through the implementation of six sigma methodology

Farhad Nabhani (School of Science and Technology, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK)
Alireza Shokri (School of Science and Technology, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 4 September 2009

Abstract

Purpose

Six sigma is a systematic data driven approach to reduce the defect and improve the quality in any type of business. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from the application of six sigma in a food service “small to medium sized enterprise” (SME) in a lean environment to reduce the waste in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

A simplified version of six sigma is adopted through the application of appropriate statistical tools in order to focus on customer's requirements to identify the defect, the cause of the defect and improve the delivery process by implementing the optimum solution.

Findings

The result suggests that modification in layout utilization reduced the number of causes of defect by 40 percent resulting in jumping from 1.44 sigma level to 2.09 Sigma level which is substantial improvement in SME.

Research limitations/implications

Simplicity of six sigma is important to enabling any SME to identify the problem and minimize its cause through a systematic approach.

Practical implications

Integrating of supply chain objectives with any quality initiatives such as lean and six sigma has a substantial effect on achieving to the targets.

Originality/value

This paper represents a potential area in which six sigma methodology along side the lean management can promote supply chain management objectives for a food distribution SME.

Keywords

Citation

Nabhani, F. and Shokri, A. (2009), "Reducing the delivery lead time in a food distribution SME through the implementation of six sigma methodology", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 20 No. 7, pp. 957-974. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380910984221

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited