Interdependency analysis of lean manufacturing practices in case of Bulgarian SMEs: interpretive structural modelling and interpretive ranking modelling approach
International Journal of Lean Six Sigma
Article publication date: 27 November 2020
Issue publication date: 16 July 2021
The paper aims to analyse the contextual relationship and dependency amongst enablers for lean manufacturing implementation in Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In this study, the interpretive structural modelling (ISM) technique was used to develop a hierarchical structural model for enablers. Also, the interpretive ranking process (IRP) was used to analyse and rank enablers with reference to performance variables. For the ISM approach, a structural self- integration matrix was developed with the help of experts’ suggestions and opinions. Cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification (MICMAC) analysis was used to analyse the relationship amongst enablers. A total of nine experts were chosen for collecting the primary data in which seven experts belong to the industry and two experts were academicians. The dominant relationship amongst the enablers was analysed through IRP modelling.
A total of 11 enablers were identified for the purpose of this study. The model shows that “leadership and commitment by management”, “human resource management”, “customer relation management”, “supplier relation management” and “information technology system” are the most significant enablers for lean implementation in Bulgarian SMEs as these are positioned at the bottom levels in ISM model. MICMAC analysis shows that five enablers fall in the independent factor, two enablers in linkage factor and four enablers in the dependant factor while there is no enabler in the autonomous factor. ISM and IRP models show that “continuous improvement” is an essential enabler for the successful implementation of lean in Bulgarian SMEs. This study also helps to explain the comparative analysis of ISM and IRP, which indicates that IRP is a more robust modelling approach than ISM, as it incorporates the relationship of enablers with performance variables.
ISM and IRP modelling approaches are based solely on expert opinions and responses. This limitation can be overcome with the help of empirical study.
This study supports the professionals/experts to prioritise and manage enablers at strategic and tactical levels while implementing lean manufacturing practices in Bulgarian SMEs. The models developed in the study will be helpful for practitioners to understand and analyse the interdependence of enablers for lean manufacturing implementation.
This study helps to identify and prioritise enablers that affect lean manufacturing adoption using ISM and IRP approaches. Literature shows that numerous authors have used the ISM approach but the use of IRP approach is limited. The models were developed in the study, totally dependent on data collected from the experts to ensure their real-life validity.
Prasad, S., Baltov, M., A., N.R. and Lanka, K. (2021), "Interdependency analysis of lean manufacturing practices in case of Bulgarian SMEs: interpretive structural modelling and interpretive ranking modelling approach", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 503-535. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-09-2019-0100
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