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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

Can Lean Manufacturing principles, that are suitable for capital‐intensive manufacturing in the U.S., be applied to a labor‐intensive textile firm in China? Data were…

Abstract

Can Lean Manufacturing principles, that are suitable for capital‐intensive manufacturing in the U.S., be applied to a labor‐intensive textile firm in China? Data were collected from a family‐owned manufacturing plant, Orient Hand bag Ltd., in Fujian, China, and an Arena™ simulation model was developed to answer this question. The results indicate that, by applying Lean principles, Orient’s production efficiency for one of its most troublesome textile products could be im proved. Similarly, are these Lean principles suitable for other labor‐intensive industries in developing countries?

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

The “lean manufacturing” paradigm, which is a philosophy intended to reduce cost and cycle time significantly throughout the entire value chain while continuing to improve…

Abstract

The “lean manufacturing” paradigm, which is a philosophy intended to reduce cost and cycle time significantly throughout the entire value chain while continuing to improve product performance, was first identified by researchers associated with the international motor vehicle industry. In much the same way, the application of lean thinking and cost reduction strategies is becoming evident on college and university campuses. For example, the design of coursework is becoming more standardized and contracted out to part‐time instructors. The implementation of complex lean initiatives is critical for quality improvement and the sustainability of colleges and universities. However, the strategy for achieving sustainability is not clear to many decision‐makers. The intent of this paper is to provide a paradigm of how a lean sustainability initiative could be developed and implemented by colleges and universities. The research for this paper is based on a review of lean principles and practices and site visits to firms in the USA possessing best practices for long‐term sustainment.

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

The job satisfaction of employees is just as important as customer satisfaction in terms of organizational performance. In this paper, employee satisfaction is evaluated…

Abstract

The job satisfaction of employees is just as important as customer satisfaction in terms of organizational performance. In this paper, employee satisfaction is evaluated in a unique service environment: higher education. This case study specifically focuses on how information regarding faculty workload, salary, and benefits can be used to improve academic quality. The preliminary research was conducted via a questionnaire distributed to 182 faculty members at a small private college. The response rate was 67 per cent. One major finding is that most of the faculty surveyed do not believe they are fairly compensated, nor do they feel they are getting institutional recognition for their contributions. As a result, half of the faculty in this survey sought professional income outside the college. Hence, the issue of their commitment to the university, and academic quality, arises.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

The costs in higher education are increasing and need to be controlled. This paper aims to demonstrate what lessons higher education could learn from Wal‐Mart's reasons…

Abstract

Purpose

The costs in higher education are increasing and need to be controlled. This paper aims to demonstrate what lessons higher education could learn from Wal‐Mart's reasons for its financial success with its focus on efficient and effective supply chain management (SCM) best practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Wal‐Mart's best practices in SCM were investigated through a secondary data literature review.

Findings

Wal‐Mart's best practices in SCM can be categorized into four segments: strategic concepts, logistics and distribution, information technology, and supplier collaboration. The company's technology, outsourcing, and collaboration practices are particularly useful in higher education.

Research limitations/implications

The adoption of Wal‐Mart's best practices was investigated for only one service industry (higher education). Future research could apply these practices to other service industries, such as hotels and transportation.

Practical implications

Higher education is looking for best practices to help control costs and can learn from Wal‐Mart's best practices.

Originality/value

Past research has focused on applying the best practices of other colleges and universities to higher education. Benchmarking Wal‐Mart's best practices can add further value to the sustainability of higher education.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

Because of the ever‐expanding commercialization and marketing of higher education, a need now exists to apply the concepts of business process improvement to colleges and…

Abstract

Purpose

Because of the ever‐expanding commercialization and marketing of higher education, a need now exists to apply the concepts of business process improvement to colleges and universities. Aims to explore this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

An open‐ended qualitative questionnaire was developed, administered to 18 public and private university representatives and analyzed.

Findings

The participants at these surveyed universities shared with the interviewers the institutional lean “best practices” that they feel will contribute to the sustainability of their universities.

Research limitations/implications

This is a preliminary study with a sample size of 18 universities in the Northeastern USA. Future research should include more universities in the USA, as well as in other countries.

Practical implications

Other institutions of higher education may learn from the successful implementation of the lean sustainability efforts at the institutions in this study.

Originality/value

Very little past research, except in the area of green marketing, has focused on lean sustainability concepts in higher education. In a recent article by the same authors, a quantitative approach was taken in assessing lean sustainability practices in higher education. This current study explores the application of lean sustainability practices using a more in‐depth qualitative approach.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

Increasing global competition, free trade agreements, low cost foreign labor, and customer expectations are causing manufacturing enterprises to implement aggressive…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing global competition, free trade agreements, low cost foreign labor, and customer expectations are causing manufacturing enterprises to implement aggressive transformation plans. Should these transformations be incremental or enterprise‐wide? This paper aims to address the question by developing a Lean Enterprise Architecture (LEA) concept for an enterprise‐wide transformation.

Design/methodology/approach

The LEA is an architectural framework for enterprise reengineering in the design, construction, integration, and implementation of a lean enterprise using systems engineering methods. The architecture uses a multiphase approach structured on the transformation life cycle phases.

Findings

Viewing lean implementation across the entire enterprise minimizes the possibility of overlooking opportunities for further performance improvement. A silo view of lean implementation may allow gaps in performance to persist, with no one assuming responsibility for the entire enterprise. Employing the principles of the LEA will help improve enterprise‐wide quality, on‐time delivery, and customer satisfaction by eliminating waste in the entire organization and supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

Applications and benefits are cited in the paper, but additional case studies are needed to benchmark the performance of the LEA against incremental lean implementations.

Practical implications

The LEA was created for the US military aerospace industry, but it is now being adopted in other commercial sectors for major transformation designs.

Originality/value

The LEA is the first known integration of lean thinking, enterprise architectures, and systems engineering principles in a design framework for the transformation of an enterprise.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 54 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Dennis F.X. Mathaisel and Clare L. Comm

Japanese companies, particularly Toyota, first began building quality into their products and becoming lean. Consequently, researchers associated with the international…

Abstract

Japanese companies, particularly Toyota, first began building quality into their products and becoming lean. Consequently, researchers associated with the international motor vehicle industry initially identified the “lean” manufacturing paradigm in the US automobile industry. Building upon their successes, the US aerospace industry initiated a study to ascertain whether a similar initiative focused on launch vehicles and spacecraft would bring value to military and commercial aerospace stakeholders in their ongoing efforts to be lean. This paper presents the findings of this investigation. It explores the relevance and value of the lean concepts to the US defense launch vehicle, spacecraft, and space operations industries, and it ascertains if there is interest within space industry firms in establishing a lean initiative similar to that of the automotive industry. Further, the relevance of lean manufacturing to other industries is considered.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2000

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

The implementation of more complex lean initiatives in the public sector of the economy is critical for quality improvement and survival. Describes the development of an…

Abstract

The implementation of more complex lean initiatives in the public sector of the economy is critical for quality improvement and survival. Describes the development of an eight‐step paradigm that is being used to assess and benchmark lean practices in the production and operation of military aerospace products. Traditionally, such efforts have been employed only in the private commercial sector of the economy and have focused on a five‐step managerial process that is based on traditional planning, implementation, and control phases. This research expands the traditional process to provide an indication of how lean initiatives could be developed and implemented by other industries.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

To apply the concepts of lean and sustainability to higher education.

Abstract

Purpose

To apply the concepts of lean and sustainability to higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed, administered to 18 public and private universities and analyzed.

Findings

The focus in higher education is now on cost reduction or budget containment initiatives. Although these initiatives were not implemented with the knowledge that they were implementing “lean” practices, their application has often reduced waste, improved operational efficiency, and contributed to sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

This is a preliminary study with a sample size of 18 universities in the northeastern United States. Future research should include more universities in the United States as well as in other countries.

Practical implications

The participating universities in this study shared their beliefs about how “lean” thinking can contribute to the sustainability of higher education. Other universities can “learn from their lessons”.

Originality/value

Very little past research, except in the area of green marketing, has focused on lean sustainability concepts in higher education.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Cherie Blanchard, Clare L. Comm and Dennis F.X. Mathaisel

Wal‐Mart is the largest retailer in the world, and one of its drivers of financial success is its focus on efficient and effective supply chain management (SCM). The…

Abstract

Purpose

Wal‐Mart is the largest retailer in the world, and one of its drivers of financial success is its focus on efficient and effective supply chain management (SCM). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate what service providers could learn from these SCM best practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Wal‐Mart's best practices in SCM were investigated through a literature review of secondary data.

Findings

Wal‐Mart's best practices in SCM were categorized into four segments: strategic concepts, logistics and distribution, information technology, and supplier collaboration. These practices were then applied to the healthcare industry.

Research limitations/implications

Wal‐Mart's best practices were only applied to one service industry (the healthcare industry). Future research could apply these practices to other service industries such as higher education and the airline industry.

Practical implications

Most service providers can add value to their services by learning from some, if not all, of Wal‐Mart's best practices in SCM.

Originality/value

Very little past research has focused on applying the best practices in SCM of a traditional retailer or product provider to service providers. Insight into Wal‐Mart's best practices can add value to many service providers.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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