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Article

Robert Minovski, Bojan Jovanoski and Petar Galevski

This paper aims to explore the level of implementation of Lean tools in companies of metalworking and automotive industry in R. Macedonia compared with the global…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the level of implementation of Lean tools in companies of metalworking and automotive industry in R. Macedonia compared with the global experiences and to explore the relationship between certain dimensions that determine the leanness and the company’s success.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the analysis and synthesis of the literature, the theoretical research model was developed. Structured interview was used to collect data. The analysis of the first goal was performed using benchmarking with some prior global research and the analysis of the second goal was undertaken with multiple linear regression.

Findings

The distribution of the lean tools through ISO 9001 requirements in this sample generally follows the global experiences. However, most used tools in the companies with solely domestic capital are the basic Lean tools which show certain lack of understanding of the importance of Lean management and strategic commitment to Lean management, in such companies. Dimensions like customer satisfaction, teamwork and motivation, condition and maintenance of equipment and tools, supply chain integration and commitment to quality have significant positive correlation with the company’s success.

Practical/implications

The foreign investments can foster implementation of contemporary management approaches in developing countries. These countries have to find mechanisms to foster acceptance and implementation of Lean management.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the rare attempts to explore the implementation of Lean tools through ISO 9001 requirements and relationship of particular Lean dimensions and the company’s success, in metalworking companies in small developing countries, additionally exploring the differences in the Lean management acceptance considering the ownership of the companies.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Raed EL-Khalil, Zachary Moran Leffakis and Paul C. Hong

This paper empirically examines the implementation pattern of different types of lean management (LM) techniques on the shop-floor. Based on the socio-technical systems…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper empirically examines the implementation pattern of different types of lean management (LM) techniques on the shop-floor. Based on the socio-technical systems framework, LM techniques are classified as social improvement tools and technical process standardization and stability practices. This categorization facilitates investigating their implementation relationship in a complex production system.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the survey data from managers of the three major US auto-manufacturers and their suppliers (n = 137), measurement scales are developed using confirmatory factor analysis for the LM process improvement, stability, and standardization constructs. Hypotheses are tested by applying the Sobel test technique for mediating regression.

Findings

Statistical results confirm the mediation role of LM improvement tools between standardization and stability goal practices, indicating that technical process-oriented practices are not directly related and that their association is impacted by the corresponding implementation of social tools on the shop-floor.

Practical implications

The results indicate that LM practices should not be randomly implemented on the shop-floor but rather adopted and executed based on a systematic pattern. In LM systems, the implementation of process stability, standardization, and improvement practices on the shop-floor are more tightly integrated than traditionally assumed.

Originality/value

This study establishes a new categorization of specific LM tools based on social and technical characteristics. The conclusions highlight the importance of adopting a social emphasize of continuous improvement to establish a technical focus of process standardization and stability for LM implementation success.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

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

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Article

Ashish Thomas

Most successful companies have adopted some type of improvement methodology to achieve optimum performance, high quality, lower costs and productivity. Some of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Most successful companies have adopted some type of improvement methodology to achieve optimum performance, high quality, lower costs and productivity. Some of the structured methodologies employed indiscriminately are total quality management, quality control, agile, lean and Six Sigma which yield varied results. The purpose of this paper is to explore how to harness the power of an integrated system of quality tools and techniques to create operational excellence. An integrated framework involves matching quality tools and techniques to the multi-phases (input, transformation and output) of lean manufacturing or service ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

Current research of lean quality systems provides a conceptual understanding of core tools employed by manufacturing and service organizations. Interviewing domain experts from a series of manufacturing and service organizations highlighted a common challenge. The challenge was lean tools and methodologies were selected and employed arbitrarily for the different operational phases, which resulted in selective synergies of tools between operational phases. This limitation resulted in rework and duplication of quality efforts through the diverse phases of the transformation system. This study is based on the hypothesis that all phases of an operational system must be linked by common tools and methodologies which enables harnessing quality benefits and synergies throughout the entire operational system. The study methodology trailed through cooperative inquiry using a case study approach to design an integrated framework of tools that facilitates a common platform for manufacturing or service ecosystems.

Findings

This study suggests that quality systems in a complex competitive environment must consider an integrated iterative approach. An iterative development of lean quality tools for multiple phases produces an integrated quality system. Such systems employ blending and extending of lean quality tools to multiple phases of the transformation system to synthesize agile and versatile quality system.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the research of integrated framework is based on repertory grid technique only; it should be supplemented by other methods. Second, the proposed framework does not consider the complexity added by the internal and external stakeholders as they interface with the integrated system at different points with reference to phases of the system.

Practical implications

One of the advantages of this method is its generality, instead of delivering a monolithic system at the culmination of long transformation process we rely on smaller quality sprints which are implemented sequentially at each stage or phase of the transformation system. The phenomena of incremental clustering of time-series of quality sprints for different phases results in true integration from end to end for a transformation system.

Social implications

This study helps investigate the personal constructs that users and managers employ to interpret and select quality tools or methodologies for the different phases of lean transformational system.

Originality/value

This study aims to understand the impact of blending quality and business process improvement tools and methodologies to enhance outcomes. The basis of this study is “the power of multiplicity” through which a diverse collection of improvement paths is pooled into an integrated framework of quality tools for lean and efficient operations.

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Article

Eduardo Guilherme Satolo, Caroline Leite, Robisom Damasceno Calado, Gustavo Antiqueira Goes and Douglas D’Alessandro Salgado

The lean production system and world class manufacturing (WCM) have been prominent in recent studies due to their conceptual synergy. However, although the number of…

Abstract

Purpose

The lean production system and world class manufacturing (WCM) have been prominent in recent studies due to their conceptual synergy. However, although the number of studies is increasing, the research is immature, especially regarding the interaction between topics. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to rank the tools of the lean production system, indicating how they help organizations achieve WCM, using the theory of grey systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Therefore, the authors conducted an initial survey to collect data to determine how the lean production tools are related to the WCM pillars. These data were analyzed by the grey relational analysis statistical method, which passes through the construction of four stages.

Findings

The results show that of the lean production tools, stream mapping, kaizen, total productive maintenance, Six Sigma, standardized work and 5S stand out for their use and implementation in the organizational environment and facilitate organizations’ transitions to world-class performance through the WCM pillars.

Practical implications

The results achieved guide organizations to use the tools of the lean production system to help them reach world class status.

Originality/value

This paper stands out in the field of operations management, specifically in the research on lean production, by making use of the theory of grey correlation system in an innovative and original way. In addition, it promotes the consolidation of information on two of the main administrative strategies currently employed in the organizational environment.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

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Article

Zoe Radnor

This paper evaluates the transfer of a Lean approach developed by a global manufacturing and logistics company into a large UK Government department. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper evaluates the transfer of a Lean approach developed by a global manufacturing and logistics company into a large UK Government department. The purpose of this paper is to examine which tools and techniques are transferred and implemented into the government department together with their impact as viewed by the staff within the department in order to bring about both technical and culture change.

Design/methodology/approach

The research takes a case study approach based visiting ten sites within one organisation interviewing over 250 people throughout the organisation.

Findings

This paper reflects on the introduction or transfer of a Lean approach into a large government department in order to understand which tools are relevant and have had an impact. The findings indicate that the tools mostly focused on the principle of Lean related to reduction of waste and that some of the concepts such as standard work may not be appropriate for public services. On reflecting on the findings, the paper presents two frameworks – one for clarifying the purpose of the tools in terms of assessment, improvement and monitoring and another, the House of Lean, as a framework for not only for the tools but also the factors to support the implementation of the tools.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to one organisation one approach to Lean. However, the size of the organisation and the establishment of the approach mean that the limitations are small with the findings – particularly the development of the frameworks relevant to the majority of public service organisations.

Originality/value

To date the development and implementation of business improvement methodologies such as Lean are still under researched within public services. The majority of papers to date focus on presenting case studies of what happened. This paper attempts to go beyond that in order to present framework to help in understanding, developing and challenging the concept of Lean in public services.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Aline Dresch, Douglas Rafael Veit, Pedro Nascimento de Lima, Daniel Pacheco Lacerda and Dalila Cisco Collatto

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for assisting micro and small companies of the industrial sector with the adoption of Lean practices.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for assisting micro and small companies of the industrial sector with the adoption of Lean practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the method construction steps, which used a design science research approach.

Findings

This research led to the structuring of a method for implementing Lean Manufacturing tools in micro and small companies of the industrial sector. The developed method contributed to the knowledge in Lean Manufacturing by systematizing its tools in a heuristic approach that can be applied to an operation using overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as a guiding indicator.

Practical implications

This method can be used to guide the implementation of Lean tools in SMEs industries.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the adoption of an operation-focused approach only (rather than an approach that begins with the mapping of an entire process) and the use of OEE as the basis for prioritization of improvements to be performed and operational control.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 68 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article

Osama Alaskari, Mohammad Munir Ahmad and Ruben Pinedo-Cuenca

The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology that can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in the manufacturing sector, to select an appropriate lean tool

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology that can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in the manufacturing sector, to select an appropriate lean tool for the company which will maximum benefits from adopting the tool.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focuses on the selection of an appropriate lean tool for manufacturing SMEs. The methodology contains a quantitative approach that can assist SMEs in identifying the appropriate lean tool. A literature review, collation of experts’ opinions via a questionnaire and a case study (to provide a guideline as to how the developed methodology may work) are presented in this research.

Findings

The findings revealed that the proposed methodology was effective in identifying the appropriate lean tools for companies, according to the key performance indicators in the manufacturing SME sector.

Practical implications

The developed methodology can be used by manufacturing SMEs as a decision support system to enable the representatives of the company to make an informed decision regarding the selection of the most appropriate lean tool (i.e. that will address the most important issue that the company is experiencing). The strength of using this methodology is that appropriate lean tool can be ascertained relatively easily and inexpensively. There is the prospect of this methodology being applicable to most types of SMEs.

Originality/value

This methodology has proven to be useful for recommending the application of lean tools in a company’s attempt to become lean, bridging the gap identified in the literature review.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article

Vikram Sharma, Amit Rai Dixit and Mohammad Asim Qadri

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of lean production practices on performance measures in machine tool industry and determines the lean criteria that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of lean production practices on performance measures in machine tool industry and determines the lean criteria that can have significant positive impact on performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research paper presents a blend of theoretical framework and practical applications. Extant literature was reviewed and to achieve the research objectives, an exploratory survey was carried out in machine tool supply chains located in the national capital region of India. Reliability test, factor analysis and stepwise multiple regression analysis bring out several lean criteria that can affect key performance measures.

Findings

It was found that two lean criteria, namely, strategic partnership with suppliers and cross-functional cross-organizational design and development teams significantly influenced most of the key performance measures. Some lean criteria were found to negatively affect the overall competitive potential of machine tool firms.

Originality/value

The findings can encourage the management of non-adopter firms to adopt lean thinking and to select the lean production criteria that can be implemented to have significant positive impact on key performance indicators in machine tool value chains. This study is perhaps among the first few that focus on machine tool industry in India. The paper provides useful insights to the lean production implementers, consultants and researchers.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Raed El-Khalil

The purpose of this paper is to investigate lean tools correlation, interactions and implementation in manufacturing industry at multinational corporation and its impact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate lean tools correlation, interactions and implementation in manufacturing industry at multinational corporation and its impact on operational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used a survey questionnaire based on previous work done in the US industry. The questionnaire was distributed to 340 firms in 11 countries in the MENA region. These firms are multinational companies operating in this region post-2001, i.e. Greenfield manufacturing facilities. Total usable responses were 139 from 340 contacted by emails and phone, whereas 15 were face-to-face. The survey included 139 companies of which 66 companies were from North America, 40 from Europe and the rest were from South-East Asia (mainly Japan and South Korea).

Findings

Multinational manufacturing companies in MENA region are at an advanced level of lean implementation. Results present a detailed analysis of the top 16 lean practices and their impact on 15 operational performance metrics. In addition, the results also reveal a correlation and grouping/bundling of the 16 lean tools and their direct influence on the top 8 operational metrics.

Research limitations/implications

Because the sample size only includes multinational companies operating in MENA region, the countries’ social, economic and political issues will directly influence them. For example, some of the countries have no or very weak unions, whereas other countries give the power to the organizations to force restrictions and guidelines that cannot be followed by other organizations. Therefore, the results need to be considered with caution.

Originality/value

Research about lean implementation in MENA region is rare, although few companies implemented lean since day one of their establishment. This research paper provides operations managers and practitioners with a guide that links lean tools implementation to operational performance metrics objectives with more depth and breadth in comparison with previous empirical studies on the topic.

Details

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

Keywords

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