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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Boyd A. Nicholds and John P.T. Mo

The research indicates there is a positive link between the improvement capability of an organisation and the intensity of effort applied to a business process improvement

Abstract

Purpose

The research indicates there is a positive link between the improvement capability of an organisation and the intensity of effort applied to a business process improvement (BPI) project or initiative. While a degree of stochastic variation in applied effort to any particular improvement project may be expected there is a clear need to quantify the causal relationship, to assist management decision, and to enhance the chance of achieving and sustaining the expected improvement targets. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a method to obtain the function that estimates the range of applicable effort an organisation can expect to be able to apply based on their current improvement capability. The method used analysed published data as well as regression analysis of new data points obtained from completed process improvement projects.

Findings

The level of effort available to be applied to a process improvement project can be expressed as a regression function expressing the possible range of achievable BPI performance within 90 per cent confidence limits.

Research limitations/implications

The data set applied by this research is limited due to constraints during the research project. A more accurate function can be obtained with more industry data.

Practical implications

When the described function is combined with a separate non-linear function of performance gain vs effort a model of performance gain for a process improvement project as a function of organisational improvement capability is obtained. The probability of success in achieving performance targets may be estimated for a process improvement project.

Originality/value

The method developed in this research is novel and unique and has the potential to be applied to assessing an organisation’s capability to manage change.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Guven Gurkan Inan, Zahit Ergun Gungor, Umit Sezer Bititci and Sarina Abdul Halim-Lim

Micro-enterprises have a vital role in the development of a nation by creating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, balancing social income and educating the…

Abstract

Purpose

Micro-enterprises have a vital role in the development of a nation by creating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, balancing social income and educating the workforce. Yet, micro-enterprises face significant operational challenges such as low productivity, high production costs and long changeover times. These challenges are often overlooked by researchers and practitioners but have a drastic impact on micro-enterprises' operational performance. With over 95% of the economy consisting of micro-enterprises, it is vital to improve operational performance and competitiveness of the micro-enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the data availability and practical challenges of gathering data from micro-enterprises, an action research methodology was selected as a suitable research method. Following the initial diagnostic visits, planned interventions were prepared and results were observed to gather data and draw conclusions.

Findings

Findings suggest that commonly adapted performance improvement initiatives by large enterprises cannot be directly applied in micro-enterprises to enhance operational performance. Micro-enterprises lack the critical resources and company culture to easily adapt these initiatives. On the other hand, when these performance improvement initiatives are filtered according to specific needs of micro-enterprises, continuous improvement initiatives were often found to be effective in improving operational performance. Specifically, 5S, single-minute exchange of dies (SMED), suggestion schemes, layout improvements, management coaching, visual management, empowerment were found to be useful and suitable to address command and control culture, low productivity, unorganised workspace, undelegated authority, low skilled employees and unwillingness to take responsibility problems.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required to investigate the specific factors that affect the adaptation of continuous improvement initiatives such as culture and industry type.

Originality/value

This research extends and contributes the current literature on continuous improvement initiatives by revealing how performance improvement initiatives need to be filtered according to the specific needs of micro-enterprises, and how these initiatives can be used to address specific problems to improve operational efficiency. It provides a conceptual framework to guide the decision-making process on operational performance improvement in micro-enterprises.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Thomas Grünberg

Many methodologies and techniques for improving operational performance have been developed over the years – these provide structured ways of improving company performance

Abstract

Many methodologies and techniques for improving operational performance have been developed over the years – these provide structured ways of improving company performance, but they do not explicitly tell us where to start. To be able to improve performance effectively, it is important to identify the particular factors of performance to work with. Furthermore, it is important to find those factors that have a high impact on performance. The paper presents a definition of performance, productivity and profitability and two main views of the relationships between the terms – a hierarchical view and a subset view. Each has its merits. Offers brief descriptions of some improvement techniques to show where the ideas for the suggested improvement method are taken from, i.e. a part of the analysis and synthesis process. Most of the techniques described are analysis tools, as the focus here is on identifying areas to improve – when it comes to the actual improvement, the actual solution is often quite easy. Finally, proposes a methodology for improvement work – this is to be evaluated in later research.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 53 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1999

José F.B. Gieskes, Harry Boer, Frank C.M. Baudet and KostasSeferis

Describes a methodology, called CUTE, after the ESPRIT‐project CUTE (Continuous Improvement using Information Technology towards Excellence) which was aimed at the…

Abstract

Describes a methodology, called CUTE, after the ESPRIT‐project CUTE (Continuous Improvement using Information Technology towards Excellence) which was aimed at the development of a software‐aided tool to support companies, in particular small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) with the development of a sustained CI process. CUTE is based on a variety of hitherto mostly separate disciplines, in particular organisation design, operations management, innovation management and information technology. The methodology guides the user through a number of steps in which causes of poor performance are revealed, ways to develop improvement suggestions are generated, and the company’s capabilities to further develop and implement those suggestions are assessed. Through the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of improvements both the company’s performance and its CI capabilities are improved continuously. A first test of the methodology has shown that CUTE helps users to increase their understanding of their operations and performance, and that the methodology provides a stimulus for starting focused improvement activities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Ann Vereecke and Steve Muylle

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the relationship between supply chain (SC) collaboration and performance improvement.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the relationship between supply chain (SC) collaboration and performance improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

In keeping with the extant literature, hypotheses were developed incorporating dimensions of supplier and customer collaboration and performance improvement. Factor analysis and linear statistical models for correlation and analysis of variance were used to test the hypotheses with IMSS 2001 data on 374 firms from the engineering/assembly industry across 11 European countries.

Findings

Only weak empirical support was found for the hypothesized positive relationships between supplier (or customer) collaboration and performance improvement. There was partial empirical support for the impact of collaboration, both with suppliers and customers, on rates of improvement. For information exchange, performance improvement in respect of cost, flexibility, quality, and procurement was supported, whereas for structural collaboration, only improvement in respect of flexibility and procurement was supported. There was strong empirical support for the hypothesized higher levels of collaboration among companies showing higher performance improvement.

Research limitations/implications

Using cross‐sectional (versus longitudinal), perceptual (rather than absolute) data, coming from a principal firm (rather than from each collaborative entity).

Practical implications

This study indicates that firms need to adopt a concerted approach to collaboration both with suppliers and customers in order to reap maximum performance improvement benefits in the area of cost, flexibility, quality, delivery, procurement, and time‐to‐market.

Originality/value

This study goes beyond analytical modeling and case‐study research on the relationship between SC collaboration and performance improvement and offers industry‐based empirical results on consolidated practical and theoretical insights.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Alan Blankley

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature concerning supply chain management technology (SCMT) and financial performance, and to present a model for evaluating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature concerning supply chain management technology (SCMT) and financial performance, and to present a model for evaluating the financial performance benefits of investments in supply chain management technologies. The literature review and the associated model also lead to a discussion of opportunities for future research in the area.

Design/methodology/approach

To develop the model, a comprehensive review of the literature investigating the financial performance benefits of SCMT and other closely‐related information technologies, such as inter‐organizational systems, was performed. Findings from the reviewed studies were assimilated and used as the basis for the proposed model and for recommended avenues of future research.

Findings

The literature reviewed suggested that financial performance improvements from SCMT investments are derived from improvements in knowledge‐intensive capabilities, which lead to improvements in operational capabilities, leading, in turn, to first‐ and second‐order benefits. The ability to realize benefits is also influenced by a firm's position within the supply chain and exogenous economic forces.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the knowledge of how financial gains are realized as the result of investments in SCMT, and provides context within which future research efforts can be placed. Future research opportunities are also discussed.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Shye-Nee Low, Shahrul Kamaruddin and Ishak Abdul Azid

The purpose of this paper is to investigate multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) processes within a flow-line production-improvement activity. Investigation can lead…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) processes within a flow-line production-improvement activity. Investigation can lead to understanding of how a process improvement framework influences the decision and fulfillment of the potential to successfully change the operation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The improvement process selection (IPS) framework is built systematically by incorporating all related decision criteria with suitable tools required to select improvement alternatives. The process consists of three phases: identification, prediction, and selection. The IPS framework is validated through a case study of a company that was carrying out a flow-line production-improvement project.

Findings

The developed framework is used to prioritize the problem scope and select the solutions from various options. The case study illustrates the process through which the developed framework provided a systematic approach in identifying the solutions and achieving the desired performance improvement. Prediction result analysis shows the framework achieved sustainable process improvement changes and prevents management levels from higher risks in failure improvement. The feedback of the case study has verified the robustness of the framework.

Practical implications

Quantitative improvement tools, such as MCDM employed in the IPS framework are vital for better understanding of the improvement impact of changes. Thus, the improvement solution alternatives can be analyzed in more comprehensive ways by considering numerous performance metrics in order to select the best improvement alternatives.

Originality/value

The IPS framework can assist the company in determining optimal decisions in relation to selection of improvement alternatives. As a result, production performance can be affected positively.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2008

I.P.S. Ahuja and J.S. Khamba

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the contributions of total productive maintenance (TPM) initiatives towards improving manufacturing performance in Indian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the contributions of total productive maintenance (TPM) initiatives towards improving manufacturing performance in Indian Manufacturing Industry.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a large number of manufacturing organizations have been extensively surveyed, to ascertain contributions made by TPM initiatives in the Indian manufacturing industries towards realizing manufacturing performance improvements. The correlations between various TPM implementation dimensions and manufacturing performance improvements have been evaluated and validated by employing various statistical tools.

Findings

The research focuses upon the significant contributions of TPM implementation success factors like top management leadership and involvement, traditional maintenance practices and holistic TPM implementation initiatives, towards affecting improvements in manufacturing performance in the Indian industry. The inter‐relationships between various TPM implementation success factors with the manufacturing performance improvement parameters have been evaluated, to efficiently manage the TPM implementation program to realize organizational objectives of growth and sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The study establishes that focused TPM implementation over a reasonable time period can strategically contribute towards realization of significant manufacturing performance enhancements.

Practical implications

The study stresses upon the need for improving the synergy between maintenance function and other organizational quality improvement initiatives in the organizations, to establish maintenance as a competitive strategy for meeting the challenges of highly competitive environments.

Originality/value

The study highlights the strong potential of TPM implementation initiatives in affecting organizational performance improvements. The achievements of Indian manufacturing organizations through proactive TPM initiatives have been evaluated and critical TPM success factors identified for enhancing the effectiveness of TPM implementation programs in the Indian context.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Mark D. Hanna, W. Rocky Newman and Pamela Johnson

This paper uses data from 349 employee involvement (EI) team projects to explore the relationships between process type, operational performance, employee involvement, and…

Abstract

This paper uses data from 349 employee involvement (EI) team projects to explore the relationships between process type, operational performance, employee involvement, and environmental performance. We investigate the stated goals and outcomes of EI team projects and relationships among these. For repetitive manufacturing processes in particular, we find strong relationships between the operational goals and outcomes of teams and the positive environmental impact outcome. To the extent that environmental performance results from operational systems, this paper suggests that the continuous improvement efforts of operations managers, including EI team projects, can be a key source of environmental improvements. Managers who understand this will take overt steps to leverage their operational improvement systems for environmental gains. From a theory development standpoint, questions are raised regarding the areas of potential synergy between operational and environmental improvement.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Mattias Elg, Klara Palmberg Broryd and Beata Kollberg

– The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge base on how performance measurement drives improvements in healthcare practice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge base on how performance measurement drives improvements in healthcare practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a single in-depth case study. The critical incident technique (CIT) has been applied in order to identify significant occurrences of performance measurement in terms of events, incidents, processes, and issues identified by respondents from the case organization. These critical incidents have been analysed and interpreted using a theoretical framework suggesting that performance measurement may be applied for exploratory or regulatory purposes as well as ad hoc or continuously in healthcare practice.

Findings

The study suggests that performance measurement may be a versatile method for driving improvement in healthcare organizations. Six types of activities directly or indirectly drive improvement in the clinical department: continuous follow-up in formal arenas and meetings; improvement work; professional efforts; goal deployment; reporting based on external demands; and creating awareness in everyday clinical work. Healthcare organizations that strive to practice performance measurement as a driver for improvement need to find infrastructures in which it is being integrated into the daily life of organizational healthcare practice.

Originality/value

The study provides an original account of the prerequisites and actions for driving improvement through performance measurement in a healthcare setting. Since the operations management perspective in healthcare is significantly lacking, the study offers a unique perspective which may be the basis for both practice development and further scholarly inquiry and theory development.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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