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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Narpat Ram Sangwa and Kuldip Singh Sangwan

The purpose of this paper is to review various themes of leanness, leanness assessment approaches, leanness assessment areas, and their evolution by a systematic…

1784

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review various themes of leanness, leanness assessment approaches, leanness assessment areas, and their evolution by a systematic literature review (SLR).

Design/methodology/approach

The eight types of literature review methodologies are identified and compared. The SLR is selected after critically analyzing the eight types of literature reviews. A four-phased SLR (i.e. plan, do, analyze/synthesize, and propose) has been carried out based on the peer-reviewed journal and conference articles on leanness assessment.

Findings

The existing literature on leanness assessment shows the lack of review-based papers on lean assessment. This study attempts to build a two-fold contribution to the field of leanness assessment: first, various types of themes, approaches, and assessment areas are identified; second, a framework for leanness assessment is proposed. The study shows that the research on leanness assessment is mainly empirical using qualitative judgment. The paper traces the changes in scope, areas, and approaches to leanness assessment. The scope of leanness assessment broadened from manufacturing process assessment to whole supply chain assessment including manufacturing process. The focus of earlier assessment was manufacturing and financial areas which now includes human resource, administration, new product development, suppliers, and customers also. Tool and technique based assessment has given way to outcome-based assessment using non-financial and qualitative parameters.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of the study is that literature search was mainly focused on peer-reviewed articles published in English language only; therefore, some papers in others languages may have been missed. Apart from this, the SLR has been conducted for the manufacturing sector only.

Practical implications

The study is expected to be useful for the lean practitioners to identify the causes of reported lean failures. Moreover, the authors also expect that the conducted SLR will provide the passage to the practitioners for not only fostering the concepts on leanness assessment but also provide the vital and significant knowledge about the leanness assessment to the managers for enhancing organizational performance.

Originality/value

As per the authors’ knowledge, this is the first SLR on leanness assessment. It is expected that this paper will help the researchers working in the area of lean manufacturing to identify new areas of research.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy and Anand Gurumurthy

Assessing the outcome of lean transformation journey has been of interest to both researchers and practitioners. Various qualitative and quantitative assessment

5829

Abstract

Purpose

Assessing the outcome of lean transformation journey has been of interest to both researchers and practitioners. Various qualitative and quantitative assessment methodologies have been proposed in literature to track and measure the degree of leanness attained. The purpose of this paper is to understand the evolution of this leanness assessment literature over different attributes and identify gaps for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

A detailed literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers addressing leanness assessment was performed. Content analysis methodology involving a four-step process suggested by Mayring (2004) was adopted for this study.

Findings

The number of studies in literature on leanness assessment is low when compared to that in the area of lean implementation. Assessment methodologies developed are of wide range, varying from simple qualitative checklist to complex quantitative mathematical models. Following the trend of lean implementation literature, lean thinking assessment literature is also getting transformed from process-level monitoring to enterprise-level monitoring. Finally, based on this review, a simplified leanness assessment framework is proposed for future validation.

Research limitations/implications

Only peer-reviewed journals and conference papers were analyzed, while excluding the manuals, reports, and white papers from practice. Clustering of leanness assessment literature revealed that future studies in this domain would fall into two major categories, namely manufacturing leanness assessment and service leanness assessment.

Practical implications

Practitioners can use this review study to choose a suitable methodology for assessing the leanness attained in their organization by controlling for the structural attributes identified.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to review the topic “leanness assessment.” The review analyzes the entire literature available on leanness assessment to summarize its current status and identify potential future directions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 November 2022

Jennifer Cross, Madina Joshi and Paula Jensen

This study aims to develop and implement an initial framework for assessing progress in lean implementation within an higher education institution (HEI). It includes…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop and implement an initial framework for assessing progress in lean implementation within an higher education institution (HEI). It includes developing preliminary findings regarding the impacts of lean implementation in the HEI case organization and comparing outcomes from this assessment to outcomes from other published sources.

Design/methodology/approach

Existing literature on lean, particularly in an HEI context, was used to develop a preliminary lean assessment framework for HEIs. Quality and continuous improvement literature were also compared to the proposed assessment framework to further validate the approach. This assessment framework was then utilized to evaluate lean implementation at a large public university (LPU) in the U.S.

Findings

The paper presents the framework as well as the major findings from the Large Public University (LPU)’s assessment. The assessment findings are further compared to other HEI quality measures and lean assessments done in other industries. Overall, the findings suggest that the assessment framework provides valuable insight to HEI organizations implementing lean.

Originality/value

The research intends to support lean assessment standardization efforts by proposing a preliminary lean assessment framework for the HEI, grounded in research trends, research findings, identified gaps in the research, and case study outcomes. To the research team's knowledge, this is the first lean assessment framework proposed for HEIs and also contributes to research gaps related to service industry frameworks and those containing both practices and outcomes. The framework can be used by other researchers as a foundation for additional conceptual and empirical developments on the topic and by researchers and practitioners seeking to understand and assess lean implementation progress in the HEI.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 September 2021

Moustafa Elnadi and Essam Shehab

Numerous leanness assessment models were developed for both manufacturing and service sectors. However, little research effort was made to provide an instrument that can…

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous leanness assessment models were developed for both manufacturing and service sectors. However, little research effort was made to provide an instrument that can be used to measure the leanness level of the product-service system (PSS). This paper aims to propose an index to assess the leanness of PSS in a UK manufacturing company.

Design/methodology/approach

The development of the assessment model was carried out through an iterative process. Commencing from existing literature on lean manufacturing assessment and lean service assessment, the initial model for assessing PSS leanness was developed. This initial model was refined via two consecutive phases. The first one includes semi-structured interviews with academic researchers involved in lean projects where their comments were considered. In the second phase, semi-structured interviews with several experts working in different UK manufacturing industries and involved in lean and continuous improvement projects were conducted to reach the final assessment model. After developing the model, the next step was identifying a suitable company for applying the model. The case company was selected because of its commitment to implement lean practices and its ability to participate in this study. After that, data was collected from the case company and the PSS leanness index was calculated using a multi-grade fuzzy approach. Finally, areas for further improvement were identified and the results obtained were validated.

Findings

The PSS leanness index computed for the case company indicates that the service offering process provided by the company is generally lean. Areas for further improvement were identified.

Research limitations/implications

This study focussed on a single case company and is based on the experts’ opinions; this may tend to be biased. However, future studies will be performed to multiple-case studies to enhance findings and more empirical research will be conducted to catch more insights into PSS leanness.

Practical implications

This paper provides guidelines to manufacturing companies’ managers for measuring the PSS leanness index and planning for the future. This index gives information regarding the degree of lean adoption in the service offering process and identifying the gap between the current PSS leanness level and the desired state.

Originality/value

The proposed model has been developed by the opinion of academicians and industry experts. The proposed model can provide guidelines and directions for managers for PSS leanness assessment.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Saleeshya P.G. and Binu M.

Lean implementation is a strategic decision. The capacity of organisation to be “Lean” can be identified before lean implementation by assessing leanness of an…

Abstract

Purpose

Lean implementation is a strategic decision. The capacity of organisation to be “Lean” can be identified before lean implementation by assessing leanness of an organisation. This study aims to attempt developing a holistic leanness assessment tool for assessing organisational leanness.

Design/methodology/approach

A neuro-fuzzy leanness assessment model for assessing the leanness of a manufacturing system is presented. The model is validated academically and industrially by conducting a case study.

Findings

Neuro-fuzzy hybridisation helped assess the leanness accurately. Fuzzy logic helped to perform the leanness assessment more realistically by accounting ambiguity and vagueness in organisational functioning and decision-making processes. Neural network increased the learning capacity of assessment model and increased the accuracy of leanness index.

Research limitations/implications

The industrial case study in the paper shows the results in telecom equipment manufacturing industry. This may not represent entire manufacturing sector. The generic nature of the model developed in this research ensures its wide applicability.

Practical implications

The neuro-fuzzy hybrid model for assessing leanness helps to identify the potential of an organisation to become “Lean”. The organisational leanness index developed by the study helps to monitor the effectiveness and impact of lean implementation programmes.

Originality/value

The leanness assessment models available in literature lack depth and coverage of leanness parameters. The model developed in this research assesses leanness of an organisation by accounting for leanness aspects of inventory management, industrial scheduling, organisational flexibility, ergonomics, product, process, management, workforce, supplier relationship and customer relationship with the help of neuro-fuzzy hybrid modelling.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Sanjay Sharma and Bhavin Shah

The purpose of this paper is to represent a unique combined Real time Delphi (RTD) – analytic network process (ANP) approach considering efficient decision making with…

2370

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to represent a unique combined Real time Delphi (RTD) – analytic network process (ANP) approach considering efficient decision making with practical validation.

Design/methodology/approach

An ANP model encounters invisible relationship and interdependency among qualitative and quantitative criteria for assessment. RTD supports continuous assessment and improvement in team building, modeling, developing, implementing and validating the procedure. To illustrate practical validation of the model, the authors apply it in a manufacturing firm. A case illustrating the model, finds improved results and judgments followed by conclusion.

Findings

A case illustrating the model, finds improved results and judgments. This model improves warehouse performance by integrating lean and people issues. The outcome results in an efficient decision making and consensus judgments. It also fosters high trust and coordination level among people in warehouse.

Originality/value

Previous studies have assessed leanness either at enterprise or manufacturing level. As lean transformation and assessment both are continuous and long-term procedure, first the concept should apply to single function and should lead toward enterprise level. A web-based approach and multi criteria decision-making techniques like analytic hierarchy process, and ANP had been applied individually to measure leanness at enterprise level. Because of the warehouse contributing significantly to the total wastes and costs for an organization, such operations are considered presently.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 65 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

X.K. Li, X.M. Wang and L. Lei

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method for assessing the lean construction management performance (LCMP) of engineering projects using the analytic network…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method for assessing the lean construction management performance (LCMP) of engineering projects using the analytic network process-fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (ANP-FCE) model.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and questionnaire surveys were used to achieve an evaluation index system for LCMP. The data needed to calculate the weights of the indices were derived from questionnaire surveys. The ANP and the Super Decisions (SD) software were used to calculate the weights of the indices and verify the validity of the weights. The FCE was adopted to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of LCMP, and the validity of the evaluation results was verified by applying the validity degree of maximum membership principle. The applicability of the method for evaluating LCMP was validated by empirical research.

Findings

The proposed method for assessing the LCMP using the ANP-FCE model is validated to be feasible. Decision makers can easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of lean construction (LC) management of the evaluated project from the evaluation results.

Research limitations/implications

Some subjectivity may exist in the assessment process due to questionnaire surveys, and only one case has been studied to validate the applicability of the method. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to increase the number of LC experts and cases over the world to make the proposed method more standard.

Practical implications

The research is expected to propose an assessment method of LCMP for construction enterprises, provide a reference to develop assessment standards for LCMP for building associations or governments and help decision makers know the improving path of LC management.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature by summarizing the commonly used lean management tools for quality, cost, time, safety and organization in practice, and proposing a novel approach for assessing the LCMP of engineering projects. The study is useful for researchers, project managers and decision makers engaged in LC.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Samah Elrhanimi and Laila EL Abbadi

The purpose of this paper is to present the “Assessment Model of Lean Effect” (AMLE), a theoretical model that measures Lean manufacturing implementation effect over the…

290

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the “Assessment Model of Lean Effect” (AMLE), a theoretical model that measures Lean manufacturing implementation effect over the global performance of a company.

Design/methodology/approach

AMLE model is divided in two criteria types: the “Facilitators criteria” and the “Results criteria”. “Results criteria” are inspired from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and ISO 26000. The “Facilitators criteria” are based on the main philosophy of the Lean manufacturing, which is the total elimination of all types of waste. The development of the scoring scale was based on the results, approach, deployment, assessment and review (RADAR) philosophy and the experience of nine consultants from the automotive field; the choice of the consultants was based on three conditions. Furthermore, each consultant has his\her own weight according to its expertise. Lastly, the AMLE was validated via a case study set in an automotive industry company called FEBA. The validation process is divided in two different steps: the first step is related to Facilitators assessment and scoring; via the evaluation of the different projects implemented by FEBA to eliminate the different types of waste. The second step concerns Results assessment and scoring, via the evaluation of the performance measurements used by FEBA to assess the effect of the Facilitators' implementation.

Findings

The developed model (AMLE) enabled the Lean manufacturing effect assessment on the global performance of a firm from the automotive field. The case study results reveal that the aforementioned firm does not give priority to social measurements. Consequently, the performance of the firm was negatively impacted.

Research limitations/implications

The criteria of AMLE are inspired from the definition of the Lean manufacturing given by Taiichi Ohno, from ISO 26000 and from GRI; meaning that these criteria could be adjusted if other references existed or developed. In addition, the scoring rules are established according to the experience of a limited number of consultants from the automotive field. The scoring rules establishment would lead to meaningful outcomes, if the number of participants was increased. During the assessment of the global performance, the perception of the auditor plays an important role in terms of scoring because the scoring rules allow the possibility to the auditor to give from the minimum to the maximum of the score, according to his perception and experience. For the case study, the validation of the developed model requires starting with the “Facilitators” implementation process and then measure the generated global performance. However, due to time constraints and limited opportunities for new projects, the validation was based only on existing projects managed by the firm. To address the study limitations, it is envisaged to detail and explain the scoring rules while extending the number of consultants. Furthermore, the assessment of Lean manufacturing global performance through the AMLE model may be subjective and requires a mathematical modeling. In fact, the Lean manufacturing performance assessment via the developed model could have a degree of subjectivity; that is why the design of a mathematical model seems required.

Practical implications

The research findings may direct practitioners and decision makers to the importance of assessing the global effect of the Lean manufacturing on the overall performance of the firm. The AMLE model is a tool allowing the assessment of Lean manufacturing effect over economic, environmental and social performances.

Originality/value

The developed model is the first one assessing the global performance generated by the elimination of waste via the application of the Lean manufacturing.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Marlene Ferreira Brito, Ana Luísa Ramos, Paula Carneiro and Maria Antónia Gonçalves

The purpose of this paper is to present an attempt to develop an instrument containing operational measures of lean combined with safety and ergonomic conditions in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an attempt to develop an instrument containing operational measures of lean combined with safety and ergonomic conditions in a workstation or production line. This operational tool aims to help researchers and practitioners to prioritize and evaluate the lean implementations, as well as the ergonomic and safety conditions, in an integrated way.

Design/methodology/approach

Lean manufacturing methods and principles, as well as safety and ergonomics aspects, were exhaustively researched with the ultimate goal of finding a way to improve the workplace by taking into account the efficiency and well-being of workers. The instrument was validated in an interactive process between theory and practical insights. At the end, it was tested in several workstations/production areas.

Findings

The study reveals that high scores are derived from a good interaction between lean, ergonomics and safety.

Research limitations/implications

It would be important to validate it in different companies and different types of industries because each one has its own characteristics.

Practical implications

This tool helps practitioners (technicians and ergonomic practitioners from manufacturing companies) assess the implementation of lean principles and the safety issues in their processes. It also allows managers to evaluate their business and identify the priority areas to improve according to the previously defined company’s aims.

Originality/value

As Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” For a successful implementation, managers should start the lean journey with a lean assessment and make it in a regular basis. To the authors’ knowledge, there are various lean assessment tools, but this work is innovative because it provides an assessment instrument to evaluate organizations’ workstations/production areas simultaneously in three dimensions: lean, safety and ergonomic aspects.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Shahram Taj

To evaluate the current state of manufacturing in some selected plants in electronics, telecommunication/wireless, and computer industries in the Republic of China.

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the current state of manufacturing in some selected plants in electronics, telecommunication/wireless, and computer industries in the Republic of China.

Design/methodology/approach

A spreadsheet‐based assessment tool is used to evaluate nine key areas of manufacturing. Participants are asked to answer questions for each area, namely inventory; team approach; processes; maintenance; layout/handling; suppliers; setups; quality; and scheduling/control. A score is given for each response in the assessment. Scores are then totaled for each of the nine areas. The results are then displayed in the score worksheet and finally a lean profile chart is created to display the current status of the plant and the gap from their specific lean targets.

Findings

Results of the lean assessment tool have revealed a somewhat significant gap from the lean manufacturing target, but have also identified opportunities for improvement.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are from some selected manufacturing plants in Chinese hi‐tech industries and they should not be interpreted as an indicator of that particular sector in China.

Practical implications

A very useful lean assessment tool that is easy to use by plants' management to help them identify their current state of manufacturing and the gaps from ideal lean targets.

Originality/value

This paper offers a practical and easy to use assessment tool to help manufacturing managers to make their manufacturing operations more productive.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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