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Lean Six Sigma applications in the textile industry: a case study

Ruth Dede Adikorley (Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Lori Rothenberg (Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Aaron Guillory (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore Lean Six Sigma (LSS) project and program success in the textile and apparel industry. This paper presents depictions of LSS implementations and the resulting economic impact for a textile company.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach consisting of a single descriptive case study and project document reviews was used. This method provided an in-depth view into what LSS means for one medium-sized global textile company and how it has proven important to the company’s success.

Findings

Three successful projects, two on changeover time reduction and one on metal contamination, were completed. Additional findings from this study suggest that strategic partnerships with other high-performing companies and storytelling are two critical success factors. Also, it is critical for management to convey a clear vision for LSS that can be operationalized within a company for successful deployment of LSS textile projects.

Research limitations/implications

The findings from this case study cannot be generalized.

Originality/value

The literature on LSS in small- and medium-sized businesses is limited. The literature on the use of LSS in the textile and apparel industry is even more limited. This paper shows various processes within the textile complex where LSS has been deployed successfully, yielding economic impacts. By using qualitative methods, the value of strategic partnerships, storytelling and a vision was seen.

Keywords

Citation

Adikorley, R.D., Rothenberg, L. and Guillory, A. (2017), "Lean Six Sigma applications in the textile industry: a case study", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 210-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-03-2016-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited