In an attempt to promote the implementation of lean in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the purpose of this paper is to determine and to evaluate success factors critical to the implementation of lean in SMEs. This will help SMEs to redirect and stepwise strategies for implementing lean and overcome the financial and technical limitations that are hindering smaller companies to address a large set of factors at the same time.
This research proposes the use of a two-phase research methodology. First, 28 critical success factors (CSFs) were identified and grouped into five categories: policy, leadership and management, funding, technic and process, culture, humans and competencies, market, customers and suppliers and understanding, methodology and implementation. Second, a structural model based on the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was proposed to prioritize the identified CSFs. A practical case study is conducted in a small automotive supplier to validate the proposed model, take inputs and solve the problem under study.
The results show that CSFs related to “Policy, leadership and management” are found to be the most significant for SMEs to successfully implement lean production. This is followed closely by CSFs from the category of “Understanding, methodology and implementation”. CSFs of “Culture, humans and competencies” and “Funding, technique and process” are the third and fourth prominent categories. At the end of the priority list come CSFs of “Market, customers and suppliers”.
The present study has a twofold contribution that complete the existing literature. First, the study is focused on small companies which have not received sufficient attention. Second, it provides a more accurate, effective and systematic decision support tool for selecting the most prominent CSFs to redirect lean efforts in SMEs in a stepwise manner.
Belhadi, A., Touriki, F.E. and Elfezazi, S. (2019), "Evaluation of critical success factors (CSFs) to lean implementation in SMEs using AHP: A case study", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 803-829. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-12-2016-0078
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