With the current global downturn, companies must develop new and innovative approaches to ensure that economic sustainability is achieved. The purpose of this paper is to propose a Fit Manufacturing Framework (FMF), the adoption of which can help manufacturing companies to become economically sustainable and operate effectively in a global competitive market. This contribution extends the previous work by the authors and provides an evolution on the initial work through enhancing the development of Fit manufacture through developing a more robust framework and a more comprehensive functional testing of the framework.
The proposed FMF provides a new manufacturing management perspective and a new manufacturing management strategy for creating economically sustainable manufacturing organisations. It builds upon the principles of existing manufacturing paradigms, along with innovative management concepts, to set up the conditions necessary for sustainability. A pilot application of the framework in three SMEs shows positive initial results when assessed against four Measures of Performance.
Manufacturing strategies such as Lean and Agility allow companies to deliver bottom‐line savings in production terms, although their effectiveness depends upon the volume and demand profile of their products. The trend towards mass customisation requires companies to provide personalised products and services at mass production prices. This now places a further burden on companies and therefore a holistic manufacturing framework must be developed in order to ensure that the factory of the future is able to meet this new demand. This paper proposes a Fit manufacturing paradigm which integrates the manufacturing efficiencies achieved through Lean and Agility with the need to break into new markets through effective marketing and product innovation strategies to achieve long term economic sustainability. The small‐scale application of the approach in a case company shows the initial results to be positive when measured against key MOPs developed within this paper.
The development of a Fit paradigm aimed at tackling directly the issues of economic sustainability is proposed and is considered by the authors as one of a kind. Fit will also provide a framework for the implementation of sustainable manufacturing operations within organisations.
Pham, D. and Thomas, A. (2012), "Fit manufacturing: a framework for sustainability", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 103-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410381211196311Download as .RIS
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