Production responsiveness refers to the ability of a production system to achieve its operational goals in the presence of supplier, internal and customer disturbances, where disturbances are those sources of change which occur independently of the system's intentions. A set of audit tools for assessing the responsiveness of production operations is being prepared as part of an EPSRC funded investigation. These tools are based on the idea that the ability to respond is linked to: the nature of the disturbances or changes requiring a response; their impact on production goals; and the inherent response capabilities of the operation. These response capabilities include information gathering and processing (to detect disturbances and production conditions), decision processes (which initiate system responses to disturbances) and various types of process flexibilities and buffers (which provide the physical means of dealing with disturbances). The paper discusses concepts and issues associated with production responsiveness, describes the audit tools that have been developed and illustrates their use in the context of a steel manufacturing plant.
The ability to effect rapid changeover on a manufacturing line, from one product to another, is a key pre-requisite for increased flexibility, lead time reduction and responsive manufacture. However it is a rarity for changeover times to be part of the design specification of a new machine tool or tooling system and even when it is, there are few design guidelines for translating the required changeover time into reality. This paper describes a set of "design for changeover" rules that have been derived from action research, carried out within a variety of companies. The rules address the design of machines, tooling, ancillary equipment and the products themselves and their use has been shown, through case studies, to lead to a significant reduction in changeover time and a leaner, more responsive manufacturing environment.
As we are approaching the 21st century, manufacturing success and survival are becoming more and more difficult to ensure. This fact is rooted in the emergence of a new business era that has “change” as one of its major characteristics. This critical situation has led to a major revision in the business priorities, strategic vision, and viability of conventional and even relatively contemporary models and methods developed so far. The emphasis is now on adaptability to change in the business environment and a proactive way of approaching to market and customer needs through newly evolved cooperation methods such as virtual organisation. The emerging paradigm is agile manufacturing, which in concept is a step forward in generation of new means for better performance and success of business, and in practice is a strategic approach to manufacturing, considering the new conditions of the business environment. Responding to changes, and taking advantage of them through strategic utilisation of managerial and manufacturing methods and tools, are the pivotal concepts of agile manufacturing. This paper discusses the concepts and the development of a methodology to achieve agility based on them. An introduction to the subject is given followed by a detailed discussion of the proposed methodology. In addition an empirical study is carried out to support and validate the proposed methodology. Some preliminary results of this study are reported as well.
(WP 12/03 Clave pdf) Our investigation drew upon the deployment of the balanced scorecard in Swedish Law Enforcement, an organization that long ago implemented the new paradigm of policing, which consisted in enhancing the quality of urban life on the mere making of arrests. Results from this investigation concur with other studies indicating that public sector organizations tend to assume a stakeholder perspective on performance measurement. In particular, Swedish Law Enforcement developed a set of measures of external success and internal performance that addressed present, past, and future time dimensions.
The authors thankfully acknowledge Patricia Friedrich and seminar participants at Arizona State University for suggestions on earlier versions. They are also thankful to Fabio Wrobel Zausner, Fernanda Taís Nagamatsu, Guilherme de Moraes Attuy, Luciana Shawyuin Liu, Marcelo de Biazi Goldberg, Michel Tridico Tortelli, Pedro Alberto Puhler and Vanessa Lima Gonsalez for their research assistance on data collection and analysis, as well as William Mufarej, Flávio Del Soldato and Vanderlei Bueno from Sindipeças for helping us contacting members. This research received funds from the CIBER at the Thunderbird‐Garvin International School of Management and institutional support from Sindipeças, Brazil's auto‐parts firms association, and the Center for Research in Business Strategy at Ibmec São Paulo.
The paper analyses the organization of the new product development process at FIAT from a resource-based perspective. The focus is on organizational resources for integrating dispersed specialist knowledge required in the development of complex products. The analysis shows how the application of a resource-based perspective is able to uncover negative long-term effects of outsourcing on the knowledge base (hollowing out), despite beneficial short-term effects on cost.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify different information flow strategies to enhance integration in strategic alliances and studies these strategies with respect to contextual factors and the impact on performance. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines empirical data gathered from 56 manufacturing companies, describing 112 supply chain relationships. An empirical taxonomy is created based on cluster analysis.
Findings - Based on a parsimonious description of inter-firm information flows in the literature and this paper's empirical findings, three types of alliances are identified: Silent; Communicative; and IT intensive. While Silent alliances have the poorest overall performance, substantial similarities are found between Communicative and IT intensive alliances. In particular, the analysis suggests that IT intensive alliances, albeit performing better on operational capabilities, are not performing better on relationship satisfaction compared to Communicative alliances. Additional analyses indicate that partners of an IT intensive alliance are substantially more interdependent and larger in size. Research limitations/implications - This research presents a taxonomy of information flow strategies in a supply chain context. This research is not describing causality, since the data are not longitudinal in nature. Practical implications - Managers need to selectively invest in IT according to an overall supply chain integration strategy, which also takes softer, less technological forms of integration into consideration. Originality/value - This research provides insight into inter-firm information flows from a contingency perspective, recognizing heterogeneity of firms and supply chain practices.
The purpose of this paper is to show that necessary condition hypotheses are important in operations management (OM), and to present a consistent methodology for building and testing them. Necessary condition hypotheses (“X is necessary for Y”) express conditions that must be present in order to have a desired outcome (e.g. “success”), and to prevent guaranteed failure. These hypotheses differ fundamentally from the common co‐variational hypotheses (“more X results in more Y”) and require another methodology for building and testing them.
The paper reviews OM literature for versions of necessary condition hypotheses and combines previous theoretical and methodological work into a comprehensive and consistent methodology for building and testing such hypotheses.
Necessary condition statements are common in OM, but current formulations are not precise, and methods used for building and testing them are not always adequate. The paper outlines the methodology of necessary condition analysis consisting of two stepwise methodological approaches, one for building and one for testing necessary conditions.
Because necessary condition statements are common in OM, using methodologies that can build and test such hypotheses contributes to the advancement of OM research and theory.
Many researchers have studied manufacturing flexibility, but supply chain flexibility is still an under‐investigated area. This paper aims to focus on supply flexibility, the aspects of flexibility related to the upstream supply chain. Its purpose is to investigate why and how firms increase supply flexibility.
An exploratory multiple case study was conducted. Seven Spanish manufacturers from various sectors (automotive, apparel, electronics and electrical equipment) were analysed.
The results show that firms need supply flexibility for a number of important reasons (manufacturing schedule fluctuations, JIT purchasing, manufacturer slack capacity, low level of parts commonality, demand volatility, demand seasonality and forecast accuracy), and that companies increase this type of flexibility by implementing two main strategies: “improved supplier responsiveness” and “flexible sourcing”. The results also suggest that the supply flexibility strategy selected depends on the type of uncertainty (mix, volume or delivery).
This paper has the limitations common to all case studies, such as the subjectivity of the analysis, and the questionable generality of the results. Moreover, there may be some sort of country bias because only Spanish firms have been analysed.
The study contributes to the existing literature by empirically investigating the main reasons for companies needing to increase supply flexibility and how they increase this flexibility, and suggesting some factors that could influence the selection of a particular supply flexibility strategy.
This paper examines the logistics‐production and logistics‐marketing interfaces and their relation with the external integration. The study also investigates the causal impact of these internal and external relationships on the company's logistical performance.
An empirical study was conducted in the Spanish FMCG sector and the theoretical model was subjected to analysis using SEM.
The generic results derived from this study are: Internal and external integration influence each other. Integration in the logistics‐marketing interface does not lead to reductions in costs, stock‐outs and lead‐times, while the integration achieved in the logistics‐production interface does improve these performance measures, if there is no external integration. The external collaboration among supply chain members does always contribute to improving firms’ logistical performance.
The study has some limitations: other important members of the grocery supply chain (such as retailers, TPL, etc.) have not been considered and the effect of inter‐firm co‐ordination has only been analyzed from the perspective of the provider (as most studies do). Further research on the logistics‐marketing impact on performance should be carried out and other important supply chain members should be considered.
The study contributes to the existing literature by showing that the impact on performance of internal integration depends on the functional areas that are being integrated and the level of external integration.
It is believed that this paper will be insightful to researchers and managers in the SCM field. For researchers, this paper has provided new lines of research. And, for managers, this paper has shown that there is a positive relationship between firms’ logistical performance and SCM.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the claim that the application of human factors (HF) knowledge can improve both human well‐being and operations system (OS) performance.
A systematic review was conducted using a general and two specialist databases to identify empirical studies addressing both human and OS effects in examining manufacturing OS design aspects.
A total of 45 empirical studies were found, addressing both the human and system effects of OS (re)design. Of those studies providing clear directional effects, 95 percent showed a convergence between human effects and system effects (+, + or −,−), 5 percent showed a divergence of human and system effects (+,− or −,+). System effects included quality, productivity, implementation performance of new technologies, and also more “intangible” effects in terms of improved communication and co‐operation. Human effects included employee health, attitudes, physical workload, and “quality of working life”.
Future research should attend to both human and system outcomes in trying to determine optimal configurations for OSs as this appears to be a complex relationship with potential long‐term impact on operational performance.
The application of HF in OS design can support improvement in both employee well‐being and system performance in a number of manufacturing domains.
The paper outlines and documents a research and practice gap between the fields of HF and operations management research that has not been previously discussed in the management literature. This gap may be inhibiting the design of OSs with superior long‐term performance.
JIT purchasing, as many other trends in supply management, is not applicable to any circumstances, rather its implementation responds to particular factors. Focusing on the characteristics of the purchased products, this paper contributes to identifying some of these factors. Seven variables, volume, specificity, technological complexity, essentiality, fragility, variability and economic value of procured products, have been analysed and their effects on JIT purchasing implementation have been tested over a sample of 152 Spanish auto component manufacturers. In order to precise such effects, four dimensions of JIT purchasing have been distinguished: operational, relational, involvement and quality practices. Results show that companies do not pursue the minimisation of inventory maintenance costs, but they seem to be motivated by objectives such as quality, responsiveness, innovation or minimisation of circulating capital. Thus, operational JIT purchasing practices are mainly applied to fragile and expensive products whereas the other complementary practices are applied to specific, technologically complex and essential purchases.
The large majority of modern production companies have at their disposal a multitude of computer systems. The immediate challenge for these companies consists of integrating these computer systems and databases. How will one arrive at this integration? On the basis of a questionnaire administered among a group of 174 large European manufacturers, one comes to the conclusion that this integration is one of the immediate priorities for this group of companies. They do not intend to implement turnkey systems, but instead will integrate the different databases and computer systems gradually. One can see emerging islands of integration, which will be connected later on through the materials requirements planning function. This has of course important consequences for the management of the company's information function and the market position of software suppliers.
This article describes the major barriers across the design-manufacturing interface and examines ways to overcome them to achieve a smooth production start-up. An integration model reveals that formalization facilitates a smooth production start-up. Independent of the degree of formalization during the early development stages, a formal approach is preferred when the new product is introduced into production. Another facilitating factor is the empathy from design towards manufacturing, which can be stimulated by managerial actions. Although the complexity and newness of product and technology hinder a smooth production start-up, their effect seems to vanish by introducing formalization and by striving for a design team that has empathy towards manufacturing.
A bay configuration arranged along a central spine and served by an automated monorail material handling system are common designs for the layout and material handling system in new semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities. This paper investigates the facility design problem in semiconductor fabrication facilities and proposes a procedure to determine the optimal spine layout design given a design of the material handling system. The procedure is explained and tested to demonstrate the use of the model for solving semiconductor facility design problems. The procedure is applicable for the important semiconductor industry as well as in other facilities that use a central spine layout configuration. KEYWORDS: Layout, material handling, semiconductor fabrication facilities 1 A Spine Layout Design Method For Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities Containing Automated Material Handling Systems
Modelling by means of specification languages is increasingly being recognised as an important phase in system development. It encourages one to think about problems using models organised around real-world situations. The system to be developed should then be consistent, correct and unambiguous with respect to the models produced. The JustIn -Time kanban system is an example of a real-world problem with a multiple-supplier and multiple-client architecture. The purpose of this paper is to use two specification languages proposed in the literature to model the kanban system. The languages used are LOOPN (Lakos 1991) and Object-Z (Duke, King, Rose, and Smith 1991a). The case study focuses on describing the kanban system in the different notations, and thus investigating how well they can express the JustIn -Time system. The kanban system consists of many replicated components, each having the same state space and exhibiting the same behaviour. To describe each and every component in the ...
Examines the success factors critical to the adoption and implementation of advanced manufacturing technology. Empirically tests the hypothesis that the management variables most associated with the human factor in automation projects alone can differentiate firms who are successful in adopting the technologies from those who are not so successful. Analyzes the differences between the two groups of firms across 27 management variables and six demographic variables.
A special issue on performance measurement interfaces between operations and management control. Therefore, this paper brings together these fields in a specific study. In this paper the role of horizontal control mechanisms, performance measurement in particular, in the development of supply chain operations is assessed. Findings indicate that development of measurement systems contributes significantly to the expansion of third party logistics alliances in the supply chain. Leveraging the supply chain thus requires innovation in measurement and control. A survey of logistics service suppliers is used to validate the general hypothesis. Cases of companies active in this field are then used to further generate in-depth insights into how horizontal control can be developed and which performance measurement mechanisms to consider.
– This paper aims to report a survey carried out among European distribution centres (EDCs) in The Netherlands. EDCs are forerunners in implementing advanced logistics systems, since they are responsible for the distribution of a manufacturer's products to customers in a larger part of Europe, Middle East and Africa, often with strict service level agreements.
– Warehouses with different outsourcing relations (own‐account, dedicated outsourced and public outsourced) are compared on operational aspects, performance, and future developments. Moreover, within the group of own‐account warehouses, especially Asian and American operations are tested for differences.
– Outsourced warehouse operations appear to have a higher percentage of error‐free deliveries and to be more flexible than own‐account operations. Based on the literature it was expected that a difference in productivity and quality between American and Asian EDCs would be found. Some differences in operations are found. For example, Asian EDCs put more effort in quality methods and involve more native managers. However, significant differences in productivity and quality levels were not found. Apparently, the differences in operations do not have a substantial effect on the warehouse performance.
– This paper is a first attempt to compare advanced warehouse operations from different origins, either operated by service providers or not.
The world of manufacturing has recently undergone many major changes leading to guidelines on what is "best practice" or world class manufacturing (WCM) in terms of both methods of operation and of performance. These guidelines are based on the companies that have been most successful, mainly the mass production industry, that has been transformed into the mass customisation sector. This paper argues that such guidelines cannot be entirely appropriate to other industry sectors, in particular to the traditional "make-to-order" (MTO) sector. The highly variable customer demand in this sector often means that it is strategically desirable to retain a job shop layout for at least part of the business, rather than converting the business to a series of focused cells. This paper seeks to propose a set of alternative guidelines on how MTO companies that choose to retain a job shop layout should attempt to attain WCM status. To justify the proposals, it presents some case study evidence giving two examples of companies that have remained job shops and explaining how one of them has nonetheless made substantial improvements in performance and practice.
The traditional strategic model of industrial organization is criticized by the upholders of the theories that regard the resources and competencies of a firm as the source of its competitive advantage. This article presents these new strategic dictates in a critical form, examining the reasons that justify the striking interest being taken by researchers and managers, but also the limits of those principles, some intrinsic others that can be overcome by an integration with tradition. As a consequence, the article presents a framework which attempts to relate the constituent elements that distinguish the two main strategic theories and shows that both must be considered for strategic planning and performance management.
The aim of this paper is to investigate how the distinction between contact and non‐contact activities influences the design of service delivery systems and to identify key design decisions for structuring front office and back office work.
Building on current literature, the paper identifies three design decisions and associated performance trade‐offs. The design decisions regard the degree of customer contact in the process, the decoupling of activities and the grouping of employees. The design decisions and the trade‐offs are empirically validated in five case studies of 15 service delivery systems in the financial services sector.
Distinguishing between the three design decisions is more suitable for describing today's practices than traditional front office – back office thinking. For each design decision a trade‐off was observed consisting of several design considerations. However, the trade‐offs do not involve the weighing of one set of performance objectives against another, as the design choices contribute to the same objectives, yet in different ways.
This study concentrated on a limited number of cases in the financial services sector. The contents of the trade‐offs should be tested on a larger scale and in different industries. In order to develop design guidelines, future research should also examine the impact of contingency factors, such as the service being delivered and strategic priorities.
The three design decisions and the trade‐offs improve understanding of the impact of customer contact on a service organisation and provide support for designing service delivery systems in practice.
Process mapping is an essential tool for business process re-engineering. During the initial steps of business process re-engineering process mapping is used to evaluate the existing processes and to identify their non-value added activities. Presents a method for determining the most economical way to determine the levels of process mapping for the purpose of re-designing. Using this approach, the process designer can determine how many levels of process mapping are required for a given process and how much it is likely to cost. Accordingly, this approach is a more realistic tool for budgeting for process mapping costs and for determining the cost-effective level of mapping. This approach is based on balancing the usefulness against the cost of collecting the information through process mapping. The main benefit from this approach is an overall reduction in the cost of business process re-engineering. Therefore this approach may be referred to as the least cost process mapping. This is because this method can be used to determine the optimum level of process mapping and the least cost of process mapping.
Examines, through an empirical survey, the nature of the relationships between buyer and subcontractor firms in the clothing industry in Italy. Starting from the identification of three classes of buyer firms (characterized by the different ways in which they relate to the market), develops an interpretive framework of firms' strategies in managing subcontractor relationships. Shows that the buyer-subcontractor relationship is undergoing a drastic evolution with the strategic importance of an "extended integrated production system" being recognized. Discusses how this ongoing evolutionary process is involving firms in different ways: the shift to an evolved buyer-supplier relationship (characterized by a logic of integration/co-operation), seems to concern only one of three classes of firm defined.
As supply chains continue to replace individual firms as the economic engine for creating value during the twenty-first century, understanding the relationship between supply-chain management practices and supply chain performance becomes increasingly important. The Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model developed by the Supply Chain Council provides a framework for characterizing supply-chain management practices and processes that result in best-in-class performance. However, which of these practices have the most influence on supply chain performance? This exploratory study investigates the relationship between supply-chain management planning practices and supply chain performance based on the four decision areas provided in SCOR Model Version 4.0 (PLAN, SOURCE, MAKE, DELIVER) and nine key supply-chain management planning practices derived from supply-chain management experts and practitioners. The results show that planning processes are important in all SCOR supply chain planning decision areas. Collaboration was found to be most important in the Plan, Source and Make planning decision areas, while teaming was most important in supporting the Plan and Source planning decision areas. Process measures, process credibility, process integration, and information technology were found to be most critical in supporting the Deliver planning decision area. Using these results, the study discusses the implications of the findings and suggests several avenues for future research.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for analyzing stakeholder-management strategies in supply chain collaboration. The authors aim to show how prior dyadic relations with a stakeholder and perception of situational demands on the relationship determine the choice of aggressive vs cooperative strategies in managing stakeholder relationships. Design/methodology/approach - To develop a blueprint for predicting collaboration strategies, literature on stakeholder theory, stakeholder management strategies, field theory, and organizational mental models was surveyed. From the literature, 31 predictors of eight stakeholder management strategies were identified. To operationalize the study's constructs, results of a national survey were analyzed to determine the significant predictors of stakeholder management strategies. Findings - Factor analysis identified two groups of stakeholder strategies: aggressive strategies and cooperative strategies. Aggressive strategies feature some form of forceful attitude or behavior toward stakeholders in an attempt to alter other stakeholders' behavior. Cooperative strategies feature supportive attitudes or behaviors towards its stakeholders. Models were developed for these two types of stakeholder management strategies. When the level of trust among stakeholders is low, a firm that presses to complete the collaboration activity may choose aggressive strategies in dealing with its trading partners. On the other hand, a sense of interdependence, a perception that its trading partners share the urgency to collaborate, plus awareness that the collaboration activity benefits all will lead the organization to adopt cooperative strategies. Practical implications - By examining the factors contributing to an organization's decision to pursue aggressive (e.g. the radio frequency identification - RFID Mandate), rather than cooperative stakeholder management strategies, this study has important implications to advocates of change (e.g. firms mandating RFID compliance), and firms at the receiving end of aggressive stakeholder strategies. Originality/value - The findings have important implications for advocates of change (e.g. firms mandating RFID compliance). For trading partners to cooperate, the trading partners must be convinced of the urgency of change, that it is appropriate and right to comply with the call for change, and that they have the ability to do it correctly. To firms at the receiving end of aggressive stakeholder strategies, the approach taken by their trading partners may seem like "bullying tactics" exercised by firms in a position of power. Instead, this research suggests that firms use aggressive stakeholder management strategies because of a heightened sense of urgency, difficulty in conveying legitimacy in carrying out the collaborative undertaking to the trading partners, and lack of faith that all stakeholders will do their share to make the collaborative undertaking work.
Volvo's car assembly plant in Ghent, Belgium, is currently experiencing turbulent times. The plant is implementing the biggest expansion in its history, with plans to almost double its production capacity in 2004. Moreover, Ford is increasingly consolidating its position as the new owner of Volvo. Both developments are challenging the distinctive model of teamwork that Volvo-Ghent has established over the last decade. This paper assesses the challenges presented by these two developments and the possible outcomes in terms of teamwork at Volvo-Ghent. This assessment relies on a combination of theories of team structure and team processes.
Based on empirical research, presents an interpretative model of the dynamics occurring in the subcontracting relationships between large purchasers and small subcontractors. Shows that the small units often supply a product that is not sufficiently differentiated and technologically advanced; are for the most part dependent on a few large purchasers; find it increasingly difficult to follow the contractor's quality and reliability requirements; have an adequate amount of machinery but neglect other forms of investment (i.e. in data processing equipment, education and training); and have problems with the introduction of innovations especially due to the lack of a skilled workforce. Illustrates the subcontracting behaviour of small businesses by means of a model which considers two aspects: the "strategic positioning", evaluated in terms of kind and object of subcontracting; and the "operational positioning", regarding the introduction of innovations into the operations. The different areas of strategic and operational positioning are discussed in terms of competitive and earning success. Indicates a possible strategic-operational development pathway leading towards more qualified subcontractors/large purchaser relationships.
The resource-based view of the firm has recently emerged as a new paradigm in strategic analysis. According to this view, firms are heterogeneous collections of resources that lead them to distinct market performance. This paper uses this approach not to analyse an individual firm but a cluster of firms, whose competitiveness depends not only on their individual resources and capabilities but also on those shared by the cluster as a whole. The analysis was developed for a wine cluster located in southern Brazil. The main objective was the identification of the resources and capabilities shared by the cluster in its effort to formulate sustainable competitive strategies. The research method employed combined the techniques of cognitive mapping analysis with the theoretical basis of the resource-based view approach. The results of the study produced a significant improvement in managers' and strategists' perceptions about the competitive potential of the cluster.
This paper reports a study that was carried out to obtain comprehensive performance ratings to gauge the productive and service quality performance of a public transit company using a recent performance measurement method called operational competitiveness rating (OCRA) analysis. The computed ratings incorporate the cost and revenue efficiency of operations, quality of service experience as perceived by commuters, and the quality of service delivery in specific areas measured internally. The ratings reflect the strategic priorities the company assigns to the financial and customer service implications of its operations. We demonstrate OCRA's use as a diagnostic tool to examine a series of scenarios to construct performance profiles corresponding to different managerial priorities.
This paper reports the results of a survey conducted to explore issues surrounding mass customization and in particular its implications for operations management. The findings cover the market changes driving customization, the methods used to provide customized goods, the positive and negative effects of customization, and the difficulties of implementation. There are shown to be important implications for operations management in a strategy of mass customization, and thus substantial scope for further research by operations management academics.
This paper describes research that has sought to create a formal and rational process that guides manufacturers through the strategic positioning decision.
The methodology is based on a series of case studies to develop and test the decision process.
A decision process that leads the practitioner through an analytical process to decide which manufacturing activities they should carryout themselves.
Strategic positioning is concerned with choosing those production related activities that an organisations should carry out internally, and those that should be external and under the ownership and control of suppliers, partners, distributors and customers.
This concept extends traditional decision paradigms, such as those associated with “make versus buy” and “outsourcing”, by looking at the interactions between manufacturing operations and the wider supply chain networks associated with the organisation.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is rapidly becoming integrated in a wide range of businesses. EDI usage is expected to increase in the immediate future. This high growth in a potentially paperless environment presents a variety of security risks, such as disclosure of messages, tampering with messages, etc. Current legal and contract‐related literature dealing with paper documents is not equipped to deal with such problems. Identifies different types of security risks and EDI agreements, and examines potential security risks under these agreements. Discusses future research directions. This synthesis should be useful to EDI users and researchers.
Thus far, no study collects evidence from practitioners directly to investigate the characteristics of operations management (OM) research that appears to have impacts on OM practice, nor do we know how practitioners evaluate the managerial relevance of OM research. This paper aims to answer two interesting and important questions: how do practitioners judge the managerial relevance of OM research; and whether practitioners' criteria on managerial relevance can help OM researchers improve the relevance?
A panel of senior executives was asked to read the top 10 most downloaded papers from the Journal of Operations Management and fill the designed questionnaire. Following Cronbach's cumulative theory‐building process through which progress is made by successively testing the efficacy of the measures, this research examined the diverse disciplines, consolidated relevant findings, and integrated them into a tractable, meaningful research framework.
This paper reveals that practitioners evaluate our OM research by three criteria: whether academic research is applicable or implementable (solution oriented), whether academic research provides novel insights or new perspectives to management (eye opening), and whether academic research helps practitioners recognize their situations (accessibility).
While the awareness of managerial relevance in OM research has been growing, few systematic, quantitative‐oriented empirical studies of practitioners' attitude toward academic OM research exist in current literature. This paper directly explores practitioners' opinions on managerial relevance through quantitative analysis and identified several possible dimensions to pursue managerial relevance in OM research.
The future trends with respect to globalisation, customer orientation, process orientation, and high productivity have led to increased focus on productivity and enterprise competitiveness. In order to improve competitiveness, it is necessary to measure performance. The classical approach to this is to apply the Sink and Tuttle model describing seven performance criteria. A more modern approach has been advised by the TOPP program. TOPP measures performance along three dimensions: efficiency, effectiveness and adaptability. TOPP uses questionnaires to collect data. Another approach is applied in the EU ENAPS project where the goal is to build a European benchmarking database. ENAPS provides a set of tools to a number of agents actually doing the benchmarks. Performance measurement requires an enterprise model. The EU FOF project developed such a model. This was further developed by TOPP and then further refined in ENAPS.
This paper considers the links between quality management systems and environmental management systems. In particular, how firms use their experience with the former to develop the latter. Case studies of seven plastic manufacturers in New Zealand found a high degree of applicability of TQM experiences. Areas most likely to be transferred were people practices, involvement of customers and suppliers, adopting a preventative approach or culture, and strict waste management control. At the current stage of development of environmental management systems in New Zealand, there is still much action just to ensure regulatory compliance. The paper also reviews briefly some of the environmental drivers impacting on operations management and the parallels between the development of quality management and environmental management systems.
TQM is a philosophy mainly dominated by large companies. Small businesses are lagging behind larger ones when it comes to introducing and adopting new managerial philosophies and advanced technology. Many small companies have stopped at quality system certification, such as ISO 9000, in their quality journey rather than pursuing further continuous improvement efforts through TQM. Small businesses must understand the need to go beyond the quality system stage and work towards a total approach for quality. Only through this total approach will their quality effort be a success. Discusses the various issues confronting small businesses when embarking on TQM. First, reviews the subject of TQM and the quality initiatives undertaken by small businesses (which are treated as small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) such as ISO 9000 and TQM. The small business characteristics are also examined. Second, presents a case study conducted in a small manufacturing company. Culminates with conclusions and discussions drawn from both the review and the case study with suggestions for future research directions.
Details the Intelligent Corporate Strategy model which attempts to
bring pragmatism into the many and varied strategic management models,
which are often too sophisticated or too theoretical for the real world.
It bridges the corporate level and business level, links the marketing
strategy to the manufacturing strategy, to achieve
lead-marketing-manufacturing advantage. It is a breakaway from the
traditional piecemeal approach by introducing holistic systems thinking.
It integrates the interests of the stakeholders (customers, workers,
suppliers, distributors, competitors) with the strategic needs of the
business. It provides guidelines on the steps or levels to reach in
order to exceed world-class status. Nevertheless, these levels are not
necessarily in rigid sequence, as different companies may choose to
focus on different levels, given the different nature and life cycles of
the businesses. Finally, it emphasizes the need to build sincerity,
trust, and integrity in corporate relationships (the ultimate for
long-term sustainable competitive advantage).
This article examines the careers and changing roles of British production and operations managers through three surveys covering the last quarter of the twentieth century. Careers are examined in terms of both their organisational context and the subjective experiences of those who have chosen this field, during a period of great turbulence for manufacturing due to growing global competition. The persistent features of such roles and responsibilities are contrasted with the changes in focus and demands. The managers' sources of satisfaction and frustration are outlined as are their perceptions of their situation in relation to managers in other areas. The article concludes by considering what has changed and what needs to change, in order for manufacturing to gain maximum benefit from the contribution of these managers.
This paper presents the results of an empirical study on the contribution of ISO 9000 standards towards total quality management (TQM). The paper is a continuation of the authors’ research on the ISO 9000 standards effectiveness and capability as an entry key to TQM. The literature review of the above issue revealed the need for a formal empirical study to resolve the existing debate about the standards’ long-term contribution and true value to ISO 9000-certified companies. For the purposes of this study, a TQM measurement instrument was developed and tested for its reliability and validity to measure TQM performance improvement in certified companies in Greek industry. This performance improvement was then used to test the basic research hypothesis: “Can ISO 9000 standards provide a good first step towards TQM?”. The results of the study are presented in eight basic TQM categories, showing the certified companies’ performance improvement in the basic elements of each category, and revealing their strengths and weaknesses on their way to TQM.
The work described in this paper is part of a large study of the barriers to acceptance of production management techniques in UK manufacturing industry. The first part of this study is described, it:(i) establishes the use being made of proven traditional techniques of production management and operational research/statistical techiques by British production managers; and (ii) begins to investigate the barriers to acceptance of the techniques. The results reveal that in industry in the UK there is low usage of many of the techniques, particularly the highly quantitative techniques. The major barrier preventing usage of the techniques is lack of knowledge; training in production management has been found to be an extremely important factor in the usage of all the techniques examined.
Takes a fresh look at the nature of the problem of allocating costs
and control processes for a variable product mix. Adopts a novel
approach called the “Unit of Production Effort” method. The
method creates a common measure throughout the production process which
can then be used in all costing, planning and comparison activities.
Describes the initial stages of a practical implementation of the method
to a small manufacturing company to illustrate the way in which it can
be applied in a real situation. The results suggest that the method
provides a radical simplification of the multi-product environment which
will be of interest to a broad cross-section of professionals ranging
from theorists to practising financial and production managers.
Here productivity is discussed with special reference to its
measurement, especially partial as opposed to total. Partial
productivity measurement in turn involves productivity accounting and
the use of grids to evaluate operations without overly detailed
quantification. Its use as a strategic tool and its merits in relation
to other well established, more conceptual approaches to strategy and
marketing are examined.
The effects of trading day adjustment techniques to improve
forecasting accuracy are investigated. The results of forecasting from
directly generated monthly data are compared with those of transformed
(trading day adjusted) data. Conclusions are offered towards the
development of a trading day adjustment model.
In the operations management field, where data are always second best to reality, the whole success of a computing scheme will depend on the motivation of the users. A scheme is presented, based on the idea of simplifying the task of supplying relevant information to operations managers with the microcomputer, so that the flexibility and simplicity of manual systems can be preserved. The idea is based on three contentions; that the data structure itself must represent the business operations; that the operations on the computer system must initiate basic manual practices to gain user access and rapid implementation; that most (if not all) features usually present in larger computing schemes can be evolved through this data structuring approach, the end user remaining entirely in control of the system. The whole scheme hinges on the concept of a structured list as a lattice of data which forms an idealised model of operations for managing interdepartmental priorities. It is only when there is a model behind the data that the use of computers will be effective.
The value of technology and the appropriate form of transfer arrangement are important questions to be resolved when transferring technology between Western manufacturing firms and partners in industrialising and developing countries. This article reports on surveys carried out in the machine tool industries in the UK and China to establish the differences and similarities between owners and acquirers of technology regarding the relative importance of the factors they evaluate, and the assessments they make, when considering a technology transfer. It also outlines the development of a framework for technology valuation. The survey results indicate that the value of product technology is related to superior technical performance, especially on reliability and functionality, and the prospects of premium prices and increased sales of the technology transfer based machine tools. Access to markets is the main objective of UK companies, while Chinese companies are concerned about improving their technological capability. There are significant risks, especially related to performance in the market, and while owners and acquirers have benefited in the short term, the long term collaboration required for strategic benefits has been difficult to achieve because of the different priorities of the owners and the acquirers.
Supply chain management is examined and why supplier quality
improvement is sometimes more apparent in speech than in action. The
concern is that to obtain the required higher quality the suppliers are
simply “running faster” on the traditional treadmill. A
guide to managing the supply chain is provided and recommendations made
for future “best practice” in the light of existing
To overcome the weaknesses of individual approaches to productivity management several viewpoints have to be integrated. Such an approach is appropriate for different organisations or for different stages of one organisation within its life cycle according to variables in and around the problem area. It is then feasible to evolve appropriate productivity measures for the people and circumstances involved. Hence a systems view is much more desirable. Different people have different perceptions of the process of productivity management due to expectational, definitional, temporal, valuational and spatial incongruencies. Productivity measures can be classed broadly as quantitative (e.g. Input-Output Indices) or qualitative (Appraisal Method). A critical review of these models and their limitations is presented. The need for an Action Research Model, which aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in a problematic situation and to the goals of the organisation by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable framework, and its potential, is discussed and an example given.
The manufacturing strategy literature suggests a number of areas in which decisions are of strategic importance. This study uses a survey of manufacturing executives from 213 business units in the United States to explore empirically the concept of strategic decision categories and improvement programmes that are related to each category. The concerns expressed by the 213 manufacturing executives are categorised and are shown to correspond fairly well with the strategic decision categories from the literature. The survey responses to questions about plans for programmes and activities to improve manufacturing over the next 2 years are also categorised. The relationships between planned programme categories and the strategic concerns that underlie them are explored and summarised.
A small and simple questionnaire survey of UK production managers was undertaken in 1983. The objective was to collect information to help in curriculum design. The summary results presented may be of interest to those who teach this subject. Data were collected from 45 production managers (and those with a similar title) employed in manufacturing organisations. All respondents were engaged in the management of production in large, often multi-plant, companies.