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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

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Article

Nazanin Eftekhari and Peyman Akhavan

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive IT tools based methodology (CITM) for BPR projects in order to facilitate implementing BPR project by considering…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive IT tools based methodology (CITM) for BPR projects in order to facilitate implementing BPR project by considering relevant IT tools in each phase of the methodology, both approaches (clean slate and analysis of existing processes on details), and failure analysis for diminishing the risk of the BPR project.

Design/methodology/approach

In today's world, corporations need to adjust with the environment changes in order to stay stable in facing market changes. This paper presents a comprehensive methodology in which by considering different aspects for implementing BPR project including IT tools, both BPR approaches, and failure analysis can facilitate BPR project. The proposed methodology's validation was tested by getting the 50 experts' ideas in each phase of the methodology and in a case study at organization and planning department in an IT company.

Findings

The structured methodology developed in this paper contain the two debatable approaches of BPR (clean slate approach as well as analysis of existing processes on details approach). This methodology enables the organization to derive a proper way to implement BPR project in order to its situation. In every phase of this methodology, based on their applications in each specific phase, required softwares and IT tools are proposed. The applicability of methodology was analyzed and confirmed thoroughly by the 50 BPR experts and in a case study at an IT company.

Originality/value

This study provides a comprehensive methodology to consider the gap of the BPR methodologies in their comprehensiveness, use IT tools and softwares and lower the risk of the BPR implementation. In developing the CITM the challenging approaches are considered, the related softwares and IT tools are proposed and failure analysis is done and considered in each phase of the CITM in order to decrease the risk of its implementation.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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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

Nadia Bhuiyan, Amit Baghel and Jim Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to present a continuous improvement methodology developed in an aerospace company that is successfully being used by other companies in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a continuous improvement methodology developed in an aerospace company that is successfully being used by other companies in various industries.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was undertaken at a medium‐sized aerospace company for over a span of one year. Data was collected through in‐depth interviews, attendance at formal and informal meetings, observation, and company documentation.

Findings

The paper provides an overview of a continuous improvement methodology known as Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE™), which aims to achieve world‐class quality in products and processes. The paper describes in detail the tools and techniques needed to implement and maintain the methodology. It was found that the company is very successful in addressing a wide range of aspects in the organization, always with the viewpoint that the customer is number one. This methodology is successful to the point that it is being used by other companies in various industries.

Practical implications

The approach of the ACE™ methodology can be applied to a variety of companies.

Originality/value

This paper presents for the first time the comprehensive Continuous Improvement methodology ACE™. The paper should be of value to practitioners of continuous improvement programs who are interested in a comprehensive approach to achieving excellence.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 55 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article

Lucas D. Introna and Edgar A. Whitley

Provides a critique of method‐ism ‐ the view that methodology is necessary and sufficient for information systems’ development success; method‐ism presupposes also that…

Abstract

Provides a critique of method‐ism ‐ the view that methodology is necessary and sufficient for information systems’ development success; method‐ism presupposes also that systems developers understand the value of methodology and will prefer to work with it rather than without it. Argues, against method‐ism, that method flows from understanding, and not the reverse. Hence method cannot be a substitute for understanding. Discusses the way in which humans tend to interact with the world by means of ready‐to‐hand tools, using the ideas of Heidegger and Ihde. Shows that tools are used only if available (ready‐to‐hand) in the world of doing. If a methodology is not ready‐to‐hand, it will break down and be ignored in the pragmatics of getting the job done. Presents a number of arguments why methodologies by design will tend to break down (not be ready‐to‐hand) and hence be discarded.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article

Necdet Geren, Çağdaş Sarıgül and Melih Bayramoğlu

The generic design environment for a flexible printed‐circuit board assemblies (PCBA) remanufacturing cell contains four interrelated complex design domains. Mechanical…

Abstract

Purpose

The generic design environment for a flexible printed‐circuit board assemblies (PCBA) remanufacturing cell contains four interrelated complex design domains. Mechanical design domains are really complex and the use of well‐proven mechanical product design methodologies does not help the designer. Hence, this paper aims to develop a generic systematic design methodology for a flexible PCBA remanufacturing cell.

Design/methodology/approach

The study investigates the use of conventional mechanical product design techniques for the design of a flexible PCBA rework (remanufacturing) cell. It indicates problems and the weaknesses when conventional product design techniques are used for the development of flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). It then provides a new systematic mechanical design methodology for designing a flexible PCBA rework (remanufacturing) cell. The design methodology is intended to be generic in order to apply successfully to any FMS design.

Findings

Conventional product design methodology cannot be used directly for the design of a flexible PCBA remanufacturing cell. Hence, two design methodologies were developed: the generic FMS mechanical design methodology and a specific FMS design methodology for a PCBA rework cell. The first one was developed based on the tasks of the conventional product design process integrated with new design tools. The generic design methodology was then extended to obtain the second methodology for a PCBA rework cell design. Both of the methodologies were applied to a flexible PCBA rework cell design problem. Both design methodologies eliminated unusable design solutions at the early design stages of the conceptual design process and made the design process easier.

Practical implications

The generic and specific design methodologies provide a better design environment, even for less specialized FMS designers.

Originality/value

The design methodologies may help for the commercialization of a flexible PCBA remanufacturing cell that may be used for SM rework and assembly.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

Keywords

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Article

Karin Hansson and Love Ekenberg

In this paper, the authors address the lack of methodologies and tools that support community and consensus processes in online settings while also acknowledging agonistic…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors address the lack of methodologies and tools that support community and consensus processes in online settings while also acknowledging agonistic conflicts and a diversity of interest communities. The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology and tool support for analysing discursive processes, as well as for creating structural support for better informed deliberative processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This participatory design is based on two case studies of urban planning projects in Swedish municipalities. An ethnographic study of information practises among municipality officials and residents exposed a need for supporting the direct communication with citizens and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as democratic processes within groups.

Findings

The authors show how a general participatory methodology on different levels of governance can be supported using a standard type of interface and analytical tools for structured discussions and statistics.

Research limitations/implications

The tool design has not been tested in any larger scale. The tool is at present foremost useful for communicating in participatory contexts. The actor perspective in the methodology used means that the actors, rather than organisations, are highlighted as the owners of specific questions. It also means that a survey or discussion initiated by a government can have competition from other actors using the same instruments or data.

Practical implications

Except for being an analytical tool for analysing participatory attributes and for better understanding of how decisions are formed, the platform also includes tools for more elaborated decision support, as well as support for voting and pro/con argumentation integrated with discussion forum for providing reasonable conditions for a broader more well-structured participation.

Social implications

The actor perspective in the suggested methodology and tool support means that the actors, rather than organisations, are highlighted as the owners of specific questions. It also means that a survey or discussion initiated by a government can have competition from other actors using the same instruments or data.

Originality/value

This platform provides integrated analytical tools and elaborated decision support for individual users, to support democracy from a micro-perspective rather than from a government perspective, and reaches significantly beyond the capacities of similar tools and methods presently available. The traditional dichotomy between the government and the citizens in e-government research is, thus, avoided by developing a tool that takes the individual actor as the starting point rather than an abstract collective.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article

Seonmin Kim, Victoria Jane Mabin and John Davies

This paper seeks to provide a timely review of developments to the theory of constraints (TOC) body of knowledge, particularly the TOC thinking processes as reported in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide a timely review of developments to the theory of constraints (TOC) body of knowledge, particularly the TOC thinking processes as reported in the public domain peer‐reviewed literature, and to present an analysis of the nature of the thinking processes (TPs), and their methodological and applicatory evolution.

Design/methodology/approach

Research reported in the public domain from 1994 to early 2006, as peer‐reviewed journal articles or as papers published in refereed conference proceedings, was reviewed to summarize key research issues that have been studied and to suggest future research. The literature is categorized along several dimensions and according to several emergent and self‐defined clusters that relate to application area, methodology and epistemology.

Findings

This paper presents a comprehensive review of the TP literature, identifies specific publication and research gaps as they relate to the defined classification and also provides some future research topics.

Research limitations/implications

The review addresses only the peer‐reviewed literature spanning a limited period from 1994 to the time of the current work in early 2006 – that is the period since the publication of Goldratt's It's Not Luck. In doing so, the review complements the work of others for the period to 2000, extends previous reviews beyond 2000, whilst providing an additional focus on the TPs.

Practical implications

This paper provides useful insights about the development of the TOC body of knowledge, especially as it relates to the development and reported use of the TPs as stand‐alone tools or in tandem with other tools or methods. It provides a valuable summary, for academics and practitioners, of the developing TOC body of knowledge that has been reported in the peer‐reviewed literature.

Originality/value

The development of the TOC body of knowledge has been largely practice‐led, manifested not only in the diverse nature of application areas and in the diverse use of TOC tools, but also in the broader evolution of TOC methodology, methods and tools. Earlier reviews of the literature in this journal preceded many of the developments documented here. This paper will help position the many TOC methods and tools in relation to one another, as well as capturing developments in multi‐methodological usage across several domains.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article

T.F. Burgess, N.E. Shaw and C. de Mattos

This paper investigates manager's use of self‐assessment in diagnostic routines to assist organisations embarking on major organisational change involving the adoption of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates manager's use of self‐assessment in diagnostic routines to assist organisations embarking on major organisational change involving the adoption of a managerial innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The illustrative case focuses on the comparative adoption of two assessment tools set within a methodology developed via action research to improve the performance of new process development in the specialty chemical industry.

Findings

Features of the case context, such as prior commitment to the methodology, contribute to explaining managerial preferences for the non‐financial diagnostic tool over the financial one.

Practical implications

For practitioners the case illustrates how prior commitment can obscure rational considerations when faced with planning and implementing major change, particularly so when introducing managerial innovations. For academics the case study highlights the potential for fruitful research into the design and use of self‐assessment routines that precede or coincide with the adoption and implementation of such managerial innovations.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on self‐assessment routines constructed to aid chemical firms contemplating the adoption of a major managerial innovation; a methodology that entails a radical approach to designing and developing new manufacturing processes for chemical production.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article

Anoop Kumar Sahu, Nitin Kumar Sahu and Atul Kumar Sahu

The primitive purpose of this manuscript is to develop an effective and efficient computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool evaluation index from the perspective of…

Abstract

Purpose

The primitive purpose of this manuscript is to develop an effective and efficient computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool evaluation index from the perspective of appraisal and benchmarking of preferred candidate machine tool in subjective information scenario. In this reporting, manager has been facilitated from the decision making tool and methodology in order to evaluate the best one and benchmarking the preferred candidate alternative machine tool under the subjective criterion circumstances.

Design/methodology/approach

A MULTI-MOORA (multi-objective optimization by ratio analysis) methodology conjunction with grey number has fruitfully applied in evaluated subjective information against criterion module plate form from the prospectus of handling the vagueness, inconsistency, impreciseness and in order to appraisal and benchmarking of the candidate CNC machine tool alternatives.

Findings

In today scenario, the subjective evaluation criterion has even ran over the CNC machine tool evaluation module (index) except other valuable area on account of an abatement of consistent data. The authors found out the subjective information is even necessary/mandatory to handling and tackle such an inconsistent, vagueness, impreciseness which associated uncertain criterion. So, the authors found out that the application of grey number conjunction with MULTI-MOORA decision methodology from the prospectus of appraisal and benchmarking of preferred candidate alternatives machine tool.

Originality/value

The major contribution of this manuscript to exploration of grey number set conjunction with MULTI-MOORA methodology toward appraisal and benchmarking of preferred CNC candidate machine tool alternative, handled and tackled the evaluated subjective information from expert panel against subjective criterion environment, facilitates the multi-criterion decision making (MCDM) module from the prospectus of best one and ranking order the candidate machine tool alternative under the similar subjective criterion circumstances.

Details

Grey Systems: Theory and Application, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-9377

Keywords

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