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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2021

Ali Jaber Naeemah and Kuan Yew Wong

The purpose of this paper is (1) to review, analyze and assess the existing literature on lean tools selection studies published from 2005 to 2021; (2) to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is (1) to review, analyze and assess the existing literature on lean tools selection studies published from 2005 to 2021; (2) to identify the limitations faced by previous studies; and (3) to suggest future works that are necessary to facilitate the selection of lean tools.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic approach was used in order to identify, collect and select the articles. Several keywords related to the selection of lean tools were used to collect articles from different Scopus indexed journals. Next, the study systematically reviewed and analyzed the selected papers to identify the lean tools' selection method and discussed its features and limitations.

Findings

An analysis of the results showed that previous studies have adopted two types of methods for selecting lean tools. First, there are various traditional methods being used. Second, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods were commonly used in previous studies, such as the multi-objective decision-making method (MODM), single multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) methods and hybrid (MCDM). Moreover, the study revealed that the lean tools' selection methods in previous studies were based on evaluating the relationship between either lean tools and performance metrics or lean tools and waste, or both.

Research limitations/implications

In terms of its theoretical value, the study is considered as an extension of the previous researches performed on this topic by determining and analyzing the features of the most selection methods of lean tools. Unlike previous review papers, this review had considered discussing and analyzing the characteristics and limitations of these methods. Section 2.2 of this paper reviewed some of the categories of MCDM methods as well as some of the traditional methods used in the selected previous studies. Section 2.1 of this paper explained the concept of lean management and its application benefits. Further, only three sectors were covered by the previous studies in this review paper. This study also provided recommendations for future research. Therefore, it provided researchers with a good conception of how to conduct the studies on lean tools selection. Besides, knowing the methods used in previous studies can help researchers develop new methods to select the best set of lean tools. That is, this study provided and advanced the existing knowledge base for researchers concerning lean tools selection, especially there is limited availability of review papers on this topic. Moreover, the study showed researchers the importance of the relationship between lean tools and indicators or/and performance indicators to determine the appropriate set of lean tools so that the results of future studies will be more realistic and acceptable.

Practical implications

Practically, manufacturers face a significant challenge when selecting proper lean tools. This study may enhance managers, manufacturers and company's knowledge to identify most of the methods used to choose the best set of lean tools and what are the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of these methods as well as the latest studies that have been adopted in this topic. That means this study can direct companies to prioritize the application of lean tools depending on either the manufacturing performance metrics or/and manufacturing wastes so that they avoid incorrect application of lean tools, which will add more non-value added activities to operations. Therefore companies can decrease the time and cost losses and enhancing the quality and efficiency of the performance. Correctly implementing the best set of lean tools in companies will lead in general to correctly applying lean management in corporations. Therefore, these lean tools can boost the economic aspect of companies and society through reducing waste, improving performance indicators, preserving time and cost, achieving quality, efficiency, competitiveness, boosting employee income and improving the gross domestic product. The correct lean tool selection reduces customer complaints and employee stress and improves work conditions, health, safety and labor wellbeing. Besides, the correct lean tools selection improves materials usage, energy usage, water usage and decreases liquid wastes, solid wastes and air emissions. As a result, the right selection of lean tools will have positive effects on both the environment and society. The study may also encourage manufacturers and researchers to adopt studies on lean tools selection in small- and medium-sized companies because the study referred to the importance and participation of these kinds of companies in a large proportion of the economy of developing countries. Further, the study may encourage some countries that have not previously adopted this type of study, academically and industrially to conduct lean tools selection studies.

Social implications

As mentioned previously, the correct lean tool selection reduces customer complaints and employee stress and improves work conditions, health, safety and labor wellbeing. The proper lean tools selection improves materials usage, energy usage, water usage and decreases liquid wastes, solid wastes and air emissions. As a result, the right choice of lean tools will positively affect both the environment and society.

Originality/value

The study expanded the efforts of previous studies concerning lean management features. It provided an accurate review of most lean tools selection studies published from 2005 to 2021 and was not limited to the manufacturing sector. It further identified and briefly described the selection methods concerning lean tools adopted in each paper.

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: 29 April 2021

Chaochao Liu, Zhanwen Niu and Qinglin Li

Existing studies suggested that there is a nonlinear relationship between lean production adoption and organizational performance. Lean production adoption is a gradual…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing studies suggested that there is a nonlinear relationship between lean production adoption and organizational performance. Lean production adoption is a gradual process, and the application status of lean tools will affect enterprise performance. The existing literature has insufficiently explored the nonlinear relationship of the lean tools application status on operational performance and environmental performance using the same theoretical framework. A combination approach of interpretative structural modeling (ISM) and Bayesian networks was proposed in this paper, which was used to analyze the complex relationship between lean tools application status with operational and environmental performance.

Design/methodology/approach

ISM was used to analyze the inter-relationship of 17 lean tools identified from the lean literature and construct the lean tools structure model providing reference for building Bayesian network. By calculating the prior and conditional probabilities within the lean tools and between the lean tools with the operational and environmental performance, a Bayesian simulation model was constructed and used to analyze the performance outcomes under different lean tools application status.

Findings

The performance simulation result – representing by the probability of three performance levels as good, average and poor – shows inconsistent changes with the changing of lean tools application status. By comparing the changes of operational performance and environmental performance, it can be found that environmental performance is less sensitive to the change of lean tools application status than operational performance.

Originality/value

Using the integrated ISM–Bayesian network approach, the results indicated a nonlinear relationship between lean tools with operational and environmental performance and provided a reference for the exploration of the nonlinear relationship between lean tools and performance. This research further calls for exploring the S-curve relationship between lean tools and environmental performance.

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2018

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

Article
Publication date: 21 April 2022

Juan Sebastián Bravo-Paliz and Sonia Valeria Avilés-Sacoto

Worldwide, companies are interested in improving processes and reaching high levels of quality through the adoption of various systems. For example, they implement quality…

Abstract

Purpose

Worldwide, companies are interested in improving processes and reaching high levels of quality through the adoption of various systems. For example, they implement quality management methodologies, such as Lean, with the aim of reducing waste and cost. In the food sector, however, companies also adopt food safety management systems, such as BRC (British Retail Consortium), destined to comply with the standards of hygiene, food safety and quality systems. Interestingly, both Lean and BRC seek to boost quality. Thus, both should be able to work as a single system and cooperate to add value to a company without duplicating efforts. By solving the problems in the bag sealing process of an Ecuadorian company through the implementation of Lean tools incorporated in the steps of the DMAIC methodology (define-measure-analyze-improve-control), and then framing a cooperation matrix of Lean tools and BRC clauses, this paper seeks to demonstrate their feasible cooperation.

Design/methodology/approach

One of the most well-known methodologies for process improvement is the DMAIC methodology. Through the sequence of the DMAIC steps, the main problem of an Ecuadorian company that produces flexible packaging for food was identified. With the voice of the customer (VOC) from historical customer surveys of the company, the common issues were found. Similarly, historical data of non-conformities required by ISO-9001: 2015 provided insightful information for this phase. In order to measure the current quantitative state of the processes, a VSM (value stream map) was jointly employed with an operator balance chart. Data was collected during the whole operational month. Having this quantitative data, and with the ideas generated from the Kaizen events, improvement initiatives were analyzed and proposed. The proposed solutions involve production and maintenance teams. After some tests, it was verified that all these improvements had had a positive impact on the company. Finally, it was analyzed that Lean tools can collaborate and also be used as proof for BRC requirements. Thus, a correlation matrix between them was built, which demonstrates cooperation between both systems.

Findings

The results of this study indicate that Lean can cooperate in the pursuit of the BRC Standard for food packaging companies. This is shown through the case study of the Ecuadorian company, which implemented Lean tools and reduced its costs by shortening lost time and reducing set up time in the machines employed to cut and seal bags. Additionally, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from machines 1 and 2 rose their values considerably. Since BRC is a certifiable standard, it contains clauses that must be achieved in order to get the certification. By using Lean tools, it was possible to comply with some of the clauses of the BRC standard. A matrix was built so that it could be identified that Lean tools can work together with BRC, and thus, reduce costs and waste, while simultaneously complying with the safety and quality standards that the standard guarantees.

Research limitations/implications

This research had two limitations. The first limitation is related to time. The data was collected in a month due to the project's deadline. For further research, it is recommended to increase this period of time to at least three months of production. The second limitation is related to the processes studied, which are associated with the time period. This study encompasses two major processes, which present major problems. For further investigations, longer periods of time can allow to include more processes from the company.

Practical implications

The implications of this project rely on the fact that the company achieved a better level of efficiency. The application of Lean tools reduces waste in the company. Basically, the waste was associated with lost time in machines 1 and 2 from the cutting and sealing processes, which was mainly produced by mechanical malfunction and inefficient maintenance. These problems had a direct relationship with the bad quality of the bags since the machines operate almost fully automatically. Additionally, mechanical problems caused by inefficient maintenance have a direct impact on quality aspects of the bag, like correct dimensions or a proper seal. Moreover, these problems generate a loss of time since the operator must stop the machine during production time in order to fix it. Machines 1 and 2 reduced their lost time drastically. Furthermore, by using Lean tools alongside the BRC methodology, the company can now reduce the resources that are destined for Lean projects and the BRC certification. Specifically, as a result, Lean tools and their documents can serve as proof of compliance with certain BRC clauses.

Social implications

These improvements impact the company's profits, and therefore the workers. Since there is a significant reduction in the company's costs, and also an increment in the company's production, the company will probably require hiring new employees. In this way, more job opportunities will be generated.

Originality/value

The originality of this work relies on the nature of the research and the type of production facility. Previous studies have examined Lean tool applications in many settings. There are a few studies regarding the adoption of BRC standards. However, and definitely, the merge between Lean tools and a food safety management system is novel, since there are few to almost no articles that have been published using such a merge. The positive outcomes that were obtained not only prove that both methodologies are compatible, but they can also encourage further research on the applicability and functionality of merging two methodologies similar to the ones used during this research. Regarding the production facility, very few articles have been published about flexible packaging companies, and this article will help further research in this field.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Phuoc Luong Le and Nguyen Thi Duc Nguyen

To deal with the present situation and recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, construction firms are required to recognise the trends in construction supply chain management…

Abstract

Purpose

To deal with the present situation and recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, construction firms are required to recognise the trends in construction supply chain management (CSCM) for the upcoming years and determine the appropriate practices towards the trends for the improvement of construction activities in terms of strategy, tactic and operations. This paper aims to recognise key trends in CSCM and uses these trends as strategic criteria for the evaluation and prioritisation of lean construction (LC) tools at different project phases including design and architectural engineering, planning and control, on-site construction and safety management.

Design/methodology/approach

The integrated analytic hierarchy process–Delphi method is used to collect and analyse the data from construction experts to evaluate the importance levels of the CSCM trends and recommend the appropriate tools for LC practices to improve project performances.

Findings

Seven key CSCM trends are identified: lean supply chain management (SCM), supply chain (SC) integration, SC standardisation, SC problem-solving, SC information-sharing, SC flexibility and SC sustainability. Based on these trends, a set of prioritised lean tools are suggested for LC practices, in which “virtual design construction” (VDC) and “last planner system” are considered as the central tools. These two LC practices can be integrated with other effective tools to support the strategic, tactical and operational targets in construction supply chain (CSC) projects.

Research limitations/implications

This study gives the managerial implications by developing an application framework of LC practices for CSC projects. The framework promotes “VDC” as a strategic tool for the phase of design and architectural engineering and considers “last planner system” as the central LC practice for the phase of project planning and control. The framework also focuses on the improvement of efficiency in construction operations by taking into account the aspects of on-site collaboration, problem-solving, improvement and safety.

Originality/value

Up to date, there is still a lack of researches in classifying and prioritising the significant LC tools for each project phase to deal with CSC issues in both breadth and depth. Thus, this study is performed to provide construction managers with the awareness of CSCM trends on which they can focus to have strategic criteria for selecting LC practices to improve CSC performances.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2020

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

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2018

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…

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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.

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2018

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2010

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…

4837

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

Article
Publication date: 20 December 2018

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.

1043

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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