Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 1741-038X
Publications
Chronology of Decision-events 
Succession of products 
Reconstitution of Product Design history, from product concept WPM to product concept KR 
Domain-knowledge explored by the firm 
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine how firms deal with a situation of true uncertainty about their potential markets and technologies. Specifically, it asks how firms can create products when the corresponding market does not exist. Design/methodology/approach This paper is based on a longitudinal study of a high‐tech firm, combined with analysis of existing theory in product design and entrepreneurship. Findings Markets and products are usually a defining choice made early on by firms in their strategic process. Such a choice guides their development by providing a “stable concept” to which decisions can be related. When markets do not exist yet, however, this approach is not effective. Early choice of products and markets limits firms' flexibility by constraining their ability and willingness to adapt, while fundamental new technical and market information is likely to emerge during the project that will prove the initial assumptions wrong. The paper shows an alternative approach where products and markets actually result from a generic process of products and markets exploration driven by the firm. It is suggested that this approach forms a robust design in that it allows the firm to deal with the uncertainty by simultaneously developing its products and exploring markets, while preserving the flexibility to adapt to the changing environment. Practical implications The practical implication of this paper is to suggest an alternative approach to deliberate planning in high‐tech ventures. With this approach, rather than markets and products, strategy defines a market and technology exploration process. Originality/value The paper is original in three ways. It links the product design and market exploration processes in high‐tech firm development; it is based on an in‐depth longitudinal study; and it results from an academic‐practitioner collaborative work.
 
Article
Received: 27 June 2003 Accepted: 26 February 2004 Part of this work is related to the EU Growth V‐CHAIN Project on the design and management of supply chain in the discrete parts manufacturing industry.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare two distinct network structures to determine and show which structure is more profitable. Specifically, it aims to show which factors render the lead factory concept advantageous. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a simple, two-stage model for prototype and serial production, the authors highlight factors that determine the relative advantages and disadvantages of the lead factory concept in comparison to an archetype network. The archetype network mirrors those networks that have not implemented special strategic plant roles. Findings – The analysis shows that the lead factory concept benefits from an efficient knowledge transfer. Particularly, it is more profitable than the archetype network under the following conditions: there are a high number of production plants; the adaptation costs for implementing the transferred prototype from the lead factory to the plant are low; the manufacturing costs for the prototype are high; and the manufacturing processes are not highly specific or knowledge intensive. Originality/value – The paper enables better understanding of the conditions under which the lead factory concept is advantageous for transferring knowledge within an intra-firm network.
 
Chapter
In this chapter, we show that reducing supply chain uncertainty increases responsiveness and thereby benefits bottom line performance as assessed via total cycle time reduction. This positive effect we term the uncertainty reduction principle. As the key enabler, we use the uncertainty circle to focus on the sources to be eliminated. We also show that these sources of uncertainty can react and magnify in a flywheel effect caused by poor value stream management. A supply chain audit methodology is described for identifying and codifying uncertainty. Our proposition is that smooth material flow leads to and statistically correlates with uncertainty reduction. Examples are given of good real-world supply chain practices thereby identified. Transferability of the uncertainty reduction principle is assured by establishing readily assimilated “best practice” guidelines via the study of “exemplar” operating characteristics.
 
Analogy between manufacturing and mechanical systems
Sand cone model of deep leadership
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of technology adoption on operational competitiveness by taking an example from international manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach - This paper develops a conceptual model to generate strategic flexibility and benefit for a manufacturing firm by managing manufacturing strategy and technology adoption with different leadership roles. Findings - The results show that the leadership role is a significant factor to motivate strategic flexibility and generate higher benefit. For intellectuals, the mechanism provides a new approach to explicate technology adoption in a manufacturing company. Besides, it provides a deep-rooted preliminary point for supplementary empirical assessment. The mechanism facilitates managers to expand their understanding of the leadership role for trust building and knowledge sharing in manufacturing firms. Practical implications - With that enhanced understanding, the managers can spotlight their actions, which help further to perk up their firm's competitiveness provoked by supporting the knowledge sharing activities through appropriate leadership roles. Originality/value - The mechanism developed in this study is believed to be the first sober effort to provide a deeper theoretical understanding of trust building for improving operational competitiveness in manufacturing firms with a practical approach.
 
Producing spare parts on demand from a regional distribution center However, as long as the number of parts suitable for rapid manufacturing are few it is necessary to combine centralized warehousing and centralized rapid manufacturing. The challenge is reducing inventory holding of slow moving parts while at the same time keeping the investments in rapid manufacturing capacity well utilized. Operating a number of rapid manufacturing machines in the same centralized location is more efficient than distributing machines between many locations (Wohlers and Grimm, 2002b). The reason is the need for
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe and evaluate the potential approaches to introduce rapid manufacturing (RM) in the spare parts supply chain. Design/methodology/approach - Alternative conceptual designs for deploying RM technology in the spare parts supply chain were proposed. The potential benefits are illustrated for the aircraft industry. The general feasibility was discussed based on literature. Findings - The potential supply chain benefits in terms of simultaneously improved service and reduced inventory makes the distributed deployment of RM very interesting for spare parts supply. However, considering the trade-offs affecting deployment it is proposed that most feasible is centralized deployment by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), or deployment close to the point of use by generalist service providers of RM. Research limitations/implications - The limited part range that is currently possible to produce using the technology means that a RM-based service supply chain is feasible only in very particular situations. Practical implications - OEMs should include the consideration of RM in their long-term service supply chain development. Originality/value - The paper identifies two distinct approaches for deploying RM in the spare parts supply chain.
 
Article
Purpose â–“ To determine whether or not clockspeed is an important variable in outsourcing strategies throughout the development of radical innovations. Design/methodology/approach â–“ An internet-based survey of manufacturing firms from all over the world. Findings â–“ An industry's clockspeed does not play a significant role in the success or failure of a particular outsourcing strategy for a radical innovation. Research limitations/implications â–“ Conclusions from earlier research in this area are not necessarily industry-specific. Practical implications â–“ Lessons learned via previous investigations about the computer industry need not be confined to that sector. Vertical integration may be a more robust outsourcing strategy when developing a radical innovation in industries of all clockspeeds. Originality/value â–“ Previous research efforts in this field focused on a single technology jump, but this approach may have overlooked a potentially important variable: industry clockspeed. Thus, this investigation explores whether clockspeed is an important factor.
 
Article
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a game plan for planning and monitoring all of the resources of a manufacturing company. It has been recognized as an effective management system leading to excellent planning and scheduling capability and significant improvements in productivity. It also provides dramatic increases in customer service, much higher inventory turns, and greater reduction in materials costs. The enterprise resource management (ERM) organizational assessment checklist provides a simple and practical reference to determine whether companies are ready for today's competitive business environment. In this study, the checklist has been surveyed within the companies using ERP systems through a questionnaire. The survey data were analyzed to determine whether the companies (using ERP software) in Turkey are ready to implement ERM..
 
Conference Paper
In the literature process platform-based production configuration (PPbPC) has been proposed to obtain efficiency in product family production. In this paper, we present a holistic view of PPbPC, attempting to facilitate understanding and implementation. This is accomplished through dynamic modelling and graphical representation based on Petri nets (PNs) techniques. To cope with the modelling difficulties, we develop a new formalism of hierarchical colored timed PNs (HCTPNs) by integrating the basic principles of hierarchical PNs, timed PNs and colored PNs. In the formalism, three types of nets together with a system of HCTPNs are defined to address the fundamental issues in PPbPC. A case study of electronics products is also reported to demonstrate PPbPC using the proposed formalism.
 
Article
Globalization of business, the worldwide competitive economy and the decrease in product life force companies to use new equipments that are continuously introduced to the market with the advances in technology. An improper selection can negatively affect productivity, precision, flexibility and company's responsive manufacturing capabilities. Thus, selecting the most suitable machine from the increasing number of available machines can be highly demanding. A decision support system is developed for the selection of machine tools. It will guide the selection process and help a decision maker solve the selection problem. Multi-criteria weighted average is used in decision-making process to rank the machines evaluated with respect to several criteria. The method is demonstrated with an example.
 
Worker commitment and site lean implementation  
Article
Purpose – The characteristics of successful lean operations make a committed workforce a necessity. However, there is an ongoing debate over whether lean characteristics inherently enhance or impede commitment. The purpose of this paper is to help settle the debate, as well as provide insights into the role specific work practices play. Design/methodology/approach – Based on responses from 1,391 workers at 21 lean sites, the authors examined the relationship between the degree of lean implementation and worker commitment; as well as the commitment effects of 21 lean work practices. Findings – The paper examines relationships between worker commitment and lean production, sheds light on the lean commitment debate and provides guidance for designing lean systems that complement high-commitment work practices. Practical implications – The results will be of value to readers with interests in operations, human resources and high-performance work practices, as well as the management and implementation of lean and its associated practices. Originality/value – The study described in the paper is unique in that it establishes a statistically valid relationship between lean production and worker commitment and associated work practices.
 
Example of alternatives scores with time
Article
Purpose – Actual situations evidence how adopted decisions can change the decision constraints of the system where the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is being applied. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to provide a dynamic view of the AHP method, considering the criteria and alternatives as temporary variables and finally obtaining not only one good choice for a specific moment but a more comprehensive picture of those alternatives resulting more important for the business, according to strategy and over time. Design/methodology/approach – With this purpose this paper starts with a short literature review and the general characteristics of the AHP method. Afterwards, the paper presents the problem that appears frequently in actual situations which justify the development of this research. Once described, the uncertainty appeared after the AHP implementation, the proposed methodology called dynamic analytic hierarchy process (DAHP) is presented. Findings – Finally, this paper shows a case study and concludes with the main points of the research suggesting applications and further extensions. Originality/value – The value of this paper is the description of a DAHP as a tool that can facilitate decision making related to some of the critical aspects in maintenance or post-sales area, permitting the alignment of actions with the business’ objectives.
 
Article
Purpose – Developing countries are heavily dependent on the resources and commitment of foreign providers to ensure successful adoption of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). The purpose of this paper is to describe the important role of buyer-supplier relationships (BSRs) in the process of technology selection, acquisition and implementation. Design/methodology/approach – A survey of 147 Malaysian manufacturing firms is the main instrument used in the research investigations and data analysis is carried out by the structured equation modelling (SEM) technique. In particular, the authors examine the impact on performance of different patterns of relationship between technology buyers and suppliers. Findings – Although the majority of the firms reported improvements in their performance since the acquisition of AMT, closer investigation reveals that those demonstrating a closer relationship with their suppliers are more likely to achieve higher levels of technology and implementation performance (IP) than those that do not. Research limitations/implications – The paper only assesses the strength of BSR from the buyers' perspective and they may have limited experience of acquisition, whereas suppliers may have more experience of selling AMT. Also, the research is undertaken in Malaysia and the findings may be different in other countries, especially where the technology being acquired is not imported but sourced locally. Practical implications – The findings relating to BSR, technology acquisition and IP have important implications both for customers and supplier firms as well as for industrial policy makers in developing countries. Originality/value – The result of the research provides useful insights that are especially pertinent to an improved understanding of BSRs in the procurement of capital equipment, about which the current research literature is limited.
 
Article
Purpose – To develop a systems strategy for supply chain management in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Design/methodology/approach – A standard systems development methodology has been followed to produce a process model (i.e. the AMSCR model); an information model (i.e. business rules) and a computerised information management capability (i.e. automated optimisation). Findings – The proof of concept for this web-based MRO supply chain system has been established through collaboration with a sample of the different types of supply chain members. The proven benefits comprise new potential to minimise the stock holding costs of the whole supply chain whilst also minimising non-flying time of the aircraft that the supply chain supports. Research limitations/implications – The scale of change needed to successfully model and automate the supply chain is vast. This research is a limited-scale experiment intended to show the power of process analysis and automation, coupled with strategic use of management science techniques, to derive tangible business benefit. Practical implications – This type of system is now vital in an industry that has continuously decreasing profit margins; which in turn means pressure to reduce servicing times and increase the mean time between them. Originality/value – Original work has been conducted at several levels: process, information and automation. The proof-of-concept system has been applied to an aircraft MRO supply chain. This is an area of research that has been neglected, and as a result is not well served by current systems solutions.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to categorise the research on environmental sustainability in logistics and transportation on the basis of the main themes and study methods and proposes directions for future research. Design/methodology/approach – The review is based on 72 papers published from 1994 to 2011 in international peer-reviewed journals. The academic papers were analysed and categorised according to both their defining characteristics (i.e. year of publication, journal title, regions addressed, and research methodology adopted) and the themes tackled. Five key themes were examined: sustainability initiatives, reasons for adoption, benefits achieved following adoption, critical issues and barriers to adoption, and the evaluation and measurement of environmental initiatives. Findings – While many studies have addressed the issue of environmental sustainability within the supply chain as a whole, papers focusing specifically on environmental sustainability within logistics and freight transportation are fewer and relatively more recent. Although researchers have started to examine the decision-making process involved in environmental sustainability adoption in recent years, many themes, such as sustainability evaluation and measurement, and the level of adoption of sustainability initiatives in the context of the third-party logistics (3PL) industry are under-represented in the literature. As far as the methodology is concerned, our review revealed that many articles are either conceptual papers or empirical studies (i.e. mostly based on surveys or case studies), while simulation and analytical modelling have rarely been addressed. Research limitations/implications – While efforts were made to be all-inclusive, some research efforts may have inadvertently been omitted. However, the authors believe that this review provides an accurate representation of the body of research on environmental sustainability in logistics and transportation published during the specified timeframe, and that the resulting assessments are reliable. Originality/value – The paper offers a guide to the previous research on this topic and identifies the most important issues that need to be addressed in future research.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent and nature of greening the supply chain (SC) in the UK manufacturing sector; and the factors that influence the breadth and depth of this activity.Design/methodology/approach – Based on the findings from a sample of manufacturing organisations drawn from the membership of The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply. Data are collected using a questionnaire, piloted and pre-tested before distribution with responses from 60 manufacturing companies.Findings – On average manufacturers perceive the greatest pressure to improve environmental performance through legislation and internal drivers (IDs). The least influential pressures are related to societal drivers and SC pressures from individual customers. Green supply chain management (GSCM) practices amongst this “average” group of UK manufacturing organisations are focusing on internal, higher risk, descriptive activities, rather than proactive, external engagement processes. Environmental attitude (EA) is a key predictor of GSCM activity and those organisations that have a progressive attitude are also operationally very active. EA shows some relationship to legislative drivers but other factors are also influential. Operational activity may also be moderated by organisational contingencies such as risk, size, and nationality.Research limitations/implications – The main limitation to this paper is the relatively small manufacturing sample.Practical implications – This paper presents a series of constructs that identify GSCM operational activities companies to benchmark themselves against. It suggests which factors are driving these operational changes and how industry contingencies may be influential.Originality/value – This paper explores what is driving environmental behaviour amongst an “average” sample of manufacturers, what specific management practices take place and the relationships between them.
 
The sub-trees  
The sub-tree A  
The sub-tree C  
Article
Purpose – To introduce the applicability of the Ned-MASTA classification method for medicines within the environment of a hospital pharmacy and the virtual pharmacy inventory system that forms a virtual pharmacy inventory of hospitals within the same geographical region providing the infrastructure for the cooperation of hospital pharmacies in order to improve the efficiency of their operations. Design/methodology/approach – A survey that was conducted in Greek hospitals identified the inefficiencies of their logistics systems that are similar to inefficiencies identified through surveys in hospitals worldwide. It was considered vital and necessary to investigate the solutions that are provided in other industries facing similar problems. The case of spare parts inventory for production machines was found to present similarities with the management of medicine stock within the hospital pharmacy. The approach that was followed for the case of spare parts was modified and included in the system that forms a virtual hospital pharmacy inventory; this made the approach applicable in the hospital environment and further improved the efficiency of the use of hospital pharmacy resources. Findings – The MASTA classification approach was modified to fit in the operation of the hospital pharmacy and a system was constructed to form the virtual pharmacy inventory. The applicability of the system is demonstrated through an application scenario. Research limitations/implications – The system is in the form of a prototype under evaluation. It has not been applied yet thus results that are based on actual applications are not presented. Practical implications – It demonstrates the idea of a solution to the inefficiencies of the hospital pharmacy and sets the ground for discussing the proposed solution. Originality/value – This study introduces a new approach to the problems and inefficiencies of the hospital pharmacy management.
 
Article
Purpose – The ability of a team from a manufacturer and its partners to formulate strategic plans for supply chains is investigated. The research aims to improve the process of formulate strategic plans for supply chains is investigated. The research aims to improve the process of formulation using the strategic operations and logistics planning (SOLP) process. Design/methodology/approach – SOLP involves researchers facilitating many meetings of the planning team in an action research setting at their premises. Combining knowledge from operations strategy and socio-technical systems (STS), participant observation and semi-structured surveys are used to obtain rich data. Team members derive order-winning criteria and design policies along the supply chain for several product groups, using the process to craft strategies whilst researchers study it. One application included managers from supply chain partners whilst the other was limited to manufacturer managers. Working within the corporate plans of the focal company, the formulation is carried out by middle managers. Findings – Carrying out the process twice at a heavy fabrication business (HFB) in Australia demonstrated that a team of chain managers can formulate strategic operations plans for a complete heavy industry chain. Extensive support, in the form of worksheets and facilitation, is important to formulation and extent of implementation of the plans. A case is made that assistance is probably necessary for full implementation of those plans. Research limitations/implications – Whilst limited to cases in a heavy manufacturer, the research is believed to be applicable to a range of medium-sized supply chains. Practical implications – The need for the team to include supply chain partners and the effect of member’s capability and authority is investigated. The extent of implementation and the effect of team attributes on execution is studied. Originality/value – The research demonstrates that a team of chain managers can, with suitable support, formulate strategic operations plans for a complete heavy industry chain. The case sheds some light on the benefits, or drawbacks, of having members of other chain partners present.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide the organization with a process for assessing risk associated with their supply chain and a framework from which they can build their strategy to manage risk. Design/methodology/approach – The proposed process is based on a compilation of research and interactions with supply chain managers in various industries, and these sources provide a specific process to identify how critical the risk is, when to act upon it, and how to manage it. An adapted risk mitigation framework organizes strategies according to the likelihood of disruption and consequences. Included is an industry example used to demonstrate the framework. Findings – The variability and uncertainty associated with supply chain risks make disruption difficult to predict. Furthermore, getting information from suppliers about the amount of risk associated with their operation in an attempt to scope one's own risk can be a challenge. Management must consider the amount of risk the organization is going to accept and how much to invest to mitigate it. Originality/value – To manage the risk associated with supply chain disruption, an organization must deploy a strategy for assessing it. Once risk areas have been identified, the organization must design strategies which will mitigate the risk. The depth and degree to which risk is mitigated depends upon how risk-averse a company is and what they are willing to invest in this activity.
 
Article
i>Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the issues relating to recruiting highly skilled managerial and professional staff experienced by multinational companies (MNCs) manufacturing in six Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Design/methodology/approach – Data collected from 529 MNCs were used to examine critical human resource planning and recruitment concerns of companies operating in high growth “Dragon” and newly developed “Tiger” economies. The study examined the differences in recruitment practices between manufacturing and service companies and the issues relating to how manufacturers maintain an adequate skills basis. Findings – There appears a considerable extent of battle for talent among Dragon and Tiger economies with the latter required to be more aggressive as they attempt to sustain growth. Manufacturing companies are experiencing a higher demand for more job-related managerial and technical capabilities whilst competing with service companies that are also in need for more talent. To succeed, manufacturing MNCs will need to adopt a strategic approach for recruitment and retention, and internal capability training to maintain their skilled employees in order to sustain competitive advantage. Originality/value – The results shown in the paper provide manufacturing MNCs with insights into managerial and professional recruitment trend in Asia.<br /
 
A line assignment problem tableau 
Overall structure of GA for the line assignment problem 
Representation of a chromosome 
Article
Purpose – This paper sets out to study a production-planning problem for printed circuit board (PCB) assembly. A PCB assembly company may have a number of assembly lines for production of several product types in large volume. Design/methodology/approach – Pure integer linear programming models are formulated for assigning the product types to assembly lines, which is the line assignment problem, with the objective of minimizing the total production cost. In this approach, unrealistic assignment, which was suffered by previous researchers, is avoided by incorporating several constraints into the model. In this paper, a genetic algorithm is developed to solve the line assignment problem. Findings – The procedure of the genetic algorithm to the problem and a numerical example for illustrating the models are provided. It is also proved that the algorithm is effective and efficient in dealing with the problem. Originality/value – This paper studies the line assignment problem arising in a PCB manufacturing company in which the production volume is high.
 
Article
Purpose – To investigate the role of simulation in the introduction of technology in a continuous operations process. Design/methodology/approach – A case-based research method was chosen with the aim to provide an exemplar of practice and test the proposition that the use of simulation can improve the implementation and running of conveyor systems in continuous process facilities. Findings – The research determines the optimum rate of re-introduction of inventory to a conveyor system generated during a breakdown event. Research limitations/implications – More case studies are required demonstrating the operational and strategic benefits that can be gained by using simulation to assess technology in organisations. Practical implications – A practical outcome of the study was the implementation of a policy for the manual re-introduction of inventory on a conveyor line after a breakdown event had occurred. Originality/value – The paper presents a novel example of the use of simulation to estimate the re-introduction rate of inventory after a breakdown event on a conveyor line. The paper highlights how by addressing this operational issue, ahead of implementation, the likelihood of the success of the strategic decision to acquire the technology can be improved.
 
Article
Purpose – In this paper, the authors are concerned with a maintenance workshop (MW) centralizing all corrective maintenance activities. The purpose of this paper is to propose a methodology for designing a central maintenance workshop, enabling the evaluation of performance in terms of cost and sojourn time, for a given budget. Design/methodology/approach – The authors propose a modeling framework based on queuing networks. The aim is to maximize operational availability of the production workshop, by reducing the sojourn time of failed equipment in the MW. Findings – The proposed methodology leads to a maintenance decision support tool enabling to give the structure of the MW, performing at a higher level, but at a reasonable configuration cost. Simulation results illustrate the influence of different parameters, such as the number of stations and the level of spare parts in the MW, on the sojourn time of the equipment. Research limitations/implications – Only corrective maintenance is taken into account and only equipment that can be taken out of the production workshop are considered. The preventive replacement of some equipment items can be taken into account by the repair process by considering them as failed. Originality/value – The work falls within a more general framework for optimizing maintenance costs, in the context of integration of multi-site services in a distributed context. The paper is concerned with centralized maintenance, and proposes to integrate the so-called repair by replacement technique in a MW, used for a multi-site production workshop.
 
Article
A new model formulation is developed for reducing the workload in pre-batching at a manufacturer of flavours and fragrances, by optimally assigning ingredients to different storage types, taking into account past usage of ingredients and several restrictions about volumes and number of storage units. Two models were developed, accommodating either fixed or variable shelf settings in its vertical carousel warehouse, along with other varying storage types. The model was validated, yielding a sizeable reduction in workload, and run under varying scenarios of storage additions to reduce workload even further.
 
Article
Purpose - There are guidelines for information and communication technology (ICT) applications which are already established in manufacturing. These guidelines include recommendations such as: alignment of ICT applications with strategy, involvement of the full range of stakeholders, and careful planning and monitoring. A recommendation from outside of manufacturing is that information and communication design should be carried out in conjunction with ICT applications. The purpose of the research reported in this paper is to investigate the relevance of information and communication design to applications of advanced ICTs used in the instruction of manual skills. Design/methodology/approach - Literature review, interviews, and fivequasi-experimental studies are used. Findings - The design of information and its communication is relevant to the instruction of manual skills with ICTs and, in particular, important for instruction with augmented reality (AR). Research limitations/implications - There are only 92 participants in the fivequasi-experimental studies. Practical implications - This paper provides an overview of information and communication design issues. Examples are provided of how these issues manifest themselves in the application of advanced ICTs, such as virtual reality and AR, which can be used in the instruction of manual skills. Originality/value - The originality of the research reported in this paper is that it goes beyond further investigation of established guidelines for ICT applications. The value of this paper is that it draws attention to the potential of information and communication design to improve ICTs implementations. It also draws attention to the need for balanced comparisons in the assessment of all ICTs prior to their implementation.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate how research and development (R&D) collaboration takes place for complex new products in the automotive sector. The research aims to give guidelines to increase the effectiveness of such collaborations. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used to investigate this issue was grounded theory. The empirical data were collected through a mixture of interviews and questionnaires. The resulting inducted conceptual models were subsequently validated in industrial workshops. Findings – The findings show that frontloading of the collaborative members was a major issue in managing successful R&D collaborations. Research limitations/implications – The limitation of this research is that it is only based in the German automotive industry. Practical implications – Practical implications have come out of this research. Models and guidelines are given to help make a success of collaborative projects and their potential impacts on time, cost and quality metrics. Originality/value – Frontloading is not often studied in a collaborative manner; it is normally studied within just one organisation. This study has novel value because it has involved a number of different members throughout the supplier network.
 
Article
Purpose – Globally expanding supply chains (SCs) have grown in complexity increasing the nature and magnitude of risks companies are exposed to. Effective methods to identify, model and analyze these risks are needed. Risk events often influence each other and rarely act independently. The SC risk management practices currently used are mostly qualitative in nature and are unable to fully capture this interdependent influence of risks. The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology and tool developed for multi-tier SC risk modeling and analysis. Design/methodology/approach – SC risk taxonomy is developed to identify and document all potential risks in SCs and a risk network map that captures the interdependencies between risks is presented. A Bayesian Theory-based approach, that is capable of analyzing the conditional relationships between events, is used to develop the methodology to assess the influence of risks on SC performance Findings – Application of the methodology to an industry case study for validation reveals the usefulness of the Bayesian Theory-based approach and the tool developed. Back propagation to identify root causes and sensitivity of risk events in multi-tier SCs is discussed. Practical implications – SC risk management has grown in significance over the past decade. However, the methods used to model and analyze these risks by practitioners is still limited to basic qualitative approaches that cannot account for the interdependent effect of risk events. The method presented in this paper and the tool developed demonstrates the potential of using Bayesian Belief Networks to comprehensively model and study the effects or SC risks. The taxonomy presented will also be very useful for managers as a reference guide to begin risk identification. Originality/value – The taxonomy developed presents a comprehensive compilation of SC risks at organizational, industry, and external levels. A generic, customizable software tool developed to apply the Bayesian approach permits capturing risks and the influence of their interdependence to quantitatively model and analyze SC risks, which is lacking.
 
Configurations of the Six Sigma structure  
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the status of Six Sigma's status in Brazilian companies and understand the integration of this program with other quality management approaches. Additionally, the critical success factors (CSFs) for Six Sigma implementation and primary Six Sigma program characteristics were identified. Finally, the results of the used of Six Sigma were analysed. Design/methodology/approach – An extensive literature review illustrates the primary Six Sigma characteristics and its relationship with other quality approaches. The research methodology encompasses survey development and statistical analyses. Questionnaires are distributed to 1,000 large firms in the manufacturing and service industries in Brazil. Altogether, a total of 198 firms, of which 46 companies adopted the Six Sigma program, participated in this study. Findings – The results suggest a synergic and incremental pattern of quality model implementation. The study reveals that companies that have adopted Six Sigma have a long history of implementing quality programs, which suggests a certain level of quality maturity. The studied companies perceive in Six Sigma an incremental evolution, which can be combined with earlier initiatives and provides strong synergy with ISO 9000. The findings of this study confirm the distinctive Six Sigma role structure suggested by several authors. However, three possible configurations of the role structure were found that differ in terms of training and the dedication of human resources involved in the Six Sigma program. Research limitations/implications – This study demonstrates the inherent limits of the research method adopted, the use of a non-probabilistic sample and a reliance on self-reported perceptions, which introduces bias to the analysis. Practical implications – Important managerial implications of this study are related to the Six Sigma structure adopted. The capillarity of the program in the organisation as a whole can be related to the type of role structure configuration adopted. This structure can have an impact in terms of both numbers and employees’ and managers’ degree of involvement, as well as the type of training and resources provided. Originality/value – The diffusion of Six Sigma in Brazilian companies is less widespread than in other countries. Three possible configurations of the role structure were found that differ in terms of the training and dedication of human resources entailed by the Six Sigma program. Three CSFs factors were identified: organisation, infrastructure and human resources.
 
Article
The adoption of the PSS business model means that the designing company has greater scope and motivation to learn from experience of its products in use to improve their core design and engineering capabilities. Continuous improvement, however, depends crucially upon the implementation of effective Knowledge and Information Management (KIM) systems within a dynamic learning environment that impinge on diverse communities throughout the product lifecycle. This paper consolidates literature reviews and presents our empirical observations relating to the current KIM systems and practices within large aerospace and manufacturing companies. In particular, we discuss issues and experiences from a case study to enhance reuse of in-service feedback conducted with an aerospace company. The case study involves the organisation of inservice records to expedite retrieval and knowledge discovery. Accepted for publication
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for overcoming the key barriers to the implementation of supply chain integration systems by small engineering to order (ETO) companies. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative data from three in-depth case studies are collected. The three case studies are small UK ETO companies, i.e. manufacturing companies that customise generic product types to meet specific customer requirements and only make these to order. Findings – The paper identifies three key barriers: management awareness of the benefits and implementation challenges of these systems, perceived risk to the business and to information security and intensity of skills needed for their successful implementation. The paper proposes an iterative model that aims at overcoming these barriers. Research limitations/implications – The authors apply the knowledge on technology adoption in the context of small ETO companies to explain the apparent lack of implementation of supply chain integration systems by small ETO organisations; and propose a model to overcome these barriers. The main limitation is the lack of full validation of our model. Although this model has been presented and discussed the with case study companies, it has not been fully implemented yet. A full implementation and subsequent review would provide unequivocal validation. Practical implications – The paper presents a model for overcoming the key barriers of implementation of supply chain integration systems by small ETO companies. Managers and consultants that aim at implementing such systems can use this model prior to implementation to reduce the potential impact of these barriers on the implementation. Originality/value – There are two contributions of this paper. The first is the explanation of the barriers that inhibit the implementations of supply chain integration systems by small ETO companies. The second is the development of the model for overcoming these.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to build and provide a step-by-step methodology to develop a speed-to-market (STM) process model for a fashion garment that can quickly respond to the marketing situation and shorten the cycle time from receiving orders to deliver the finished product. The improved STM process model to contrast the “before” and “after” scenarios in order to induce potential benefits such as reducing production lead-time and keeping low inventory. Design/methodology/approach – First, collected garment business management systems and garment manufacture operational process. Second, according to the point-line-plane-volume work improvement to list the garment industry up and down stream improvement projects and to reduce the supply chain lead-time. Third, establish the STM model and use information technology to redesign the garment industry supply chain process. Fourth, amend the STM model process. Fifth, compare the supply chain lead-time of finished STM process and normal process. Findings – After the garment industry implements STM and supply chain re-engineering, the clothing design to sale process can be simplified and reduced time to market. The garment order to buyer lead-time is shortened from 104 to 42 days totally. Practical implications – This research is a practical business re-engineering process and work improvement. The improvement STM model can half the cycle time from receiving orders to deliver the finished garment product. Originality/value – This paper provides a process with a step-by-step methodology to develop a successful speed-to-market model for the fashion garment industry and it is able to serve as a reference model for other industrial supply chain management.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a methodology to design a supply chain with a view to achieve a strategic fit between competitive and supply chain strategies. Design/methodology/approach – Quality function deployment (QFD)-based optimization methodology is employed to design a supply chain for a product through aligning the competitive and supply chain strategies. Normal boundary intersection (NBI) method is adopted to obtain optimal weights of the supply chain design objectives. Weighted additive model is developed for multi-objective optimization. Utility-based attribute function, which structure the relationship between the elements of competitive and supply chain strategies is established. The utility functions and the information contained in the House of Quality (HOQ) of QFD are used to define the supply chain performance (SCP). Findings – SCP index is computed using the set of supply chain design objectives obtained by solving the weighted additive model. On the basis of SCP index, the supply chain activities are planned accordingly. An illustrative example is presented in this paper to describe the QFD-based optimization methodology for designing a supply chain. Originality/value – QFD-based optimization is a novel approach to design a supply chain with a focus on aligning competitive and supply chain strategies.
 
Article
Purpose – Spare parts management plays a relevant role for equipment-intensive companies. An important step of such process is the spare parts classification, enabling properly managing different items by taking into account their peculiarities. The purpose of this paper is to review the state of the art of classification of spare parts for manufacturing equipment by presenting an extensive literature analysis followed by an industrial assessment, with the final aim to identify eventual discrepancies. Design/methodology/approach – Not only is the attention put on the literature about the subject, but also on an on-field analysis, that is presented comprehending an extensive survey and two in-depth exploratory case studies. The copper mining sector was chosen being representative for the case of capital intensive plants where the cost of maintenance has relevant weight on the total operating cost. Findings – The paper highlights the status of the scientific literature on spare parts classification by showing the current situation in the real industrial world. The paper depicts the existing barriers that leave gaps between theory and real practice for the application of an effective multi-criteria spare parts classification. Originality/value – The paper provides a review of the theory on spare parts classification methods and criteria, as well as empirical evidences especially for what concern current situation and barriers for an effective implementation in the industrial environment. The paper should be of interest to both academics and practitioners, since it provides original insights on the discrepancies between scientific and industrial world.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a methodology for supporting complex maintenance programs quantification (CMPQ) for industrial systems. The methodology is based on a generic formalization of static and behavioral expert knowledge both on the target system and on the maintenance one. The formalization is carried out first by means of system modelling language (SysML) diagrams to model knowledge concepts and second by the transformation of these concepts into Altarica data flow (ADF) language for developing stochastic simulation. Design/methodology/approach – An industrial case study (ARE system) proposed by the electricite de France (EDF) company is used initially to show a real problem statement on CMPQ. It allows highlighting key scientific issues considered as the basis for methodology development. Main issues are related to static and dynamic knowledge formalization justifying the choice of SysML and ADF languages. The added value of this methodology is finally shown on the same case study serving as benchmark. Findings – This paper demonstrates the suitability of using of SysML language for modelling the CMPQ knowledge and then of ADF language in building executable model implementing simulation as needed for assessing key performance indicators of CMPQ. ADF is based on formal mode automaton. Mapping rules are developed to ensure correspondence between the concepts of these two languages. Research limitations/implications – Additional industrial validations of the methodology should be performed to really evaluate its benefits. Practical implications – This work was made possible thanks to a partnership with the EDF Company (French energy supplier). The results are therefore directly usable at practical industrial levels. Originality/value – The CMPQ methodology proposed is fully generic leading to offering a library of atomic ADF components (COTS) which can be instantiated to develop executable model with regards to each specific application. It allows to favor reusability and makes easier the model development above all for a user who knows nothing about the language.
 
Article
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Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce a method for modelling the multi-state repairable systems subject to stochastic degradation processes by using the coloured stochastic Petri nets (CSPN). The method is a compact and flexible Petri nets model for multi-state repairable systems and offers an alternative to the combinatory of Markov graphs. Design/methodology/approach – The method is grounded on specific theorems used to design an algorithm for systematic construction of multi-state repairable systems models, whatever is their size. Findings – Stop and constraint functions were derived from these theorems and allow to considering k -out-of- n structure systems and to identifying the minimal cut sets, useful to monitoring the states evolution of the system. Research limitations/implications – The properties of this model will be studied, and new investigations will help to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach in real world, and more complex structure will be considered. Practical implications – The simulation models based on CSPN can be used as a tool by maintenance decision makers, for prediction of the effectiveness of maintenance strategies. Originality/value – The proposed approach and model provide an efficient tool for advanced investigations on the development and implementation of maintenance policies and strategies in real life.
 
Article
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a perspective of computer-aided material and process selection (MPS) software tools for product development purpose and present a practical approach for manufacturers and other decision makers involved in MPS. Design/methodology/approach - A multi-criteria deductive approach for MPS is applied to a case study by taking into account the technical performances and environmental constraints. A resource-based cost modeling is also deployed to examine the implication of selected material and process on overall product cost. Findings - The paper demonstrates the capabilities and shortcoming of existing computerized MPS software tools in assisting product managers and designers for handling the growing volume of material/process data. Research limitations/implications - Applying computer-aided MPS approach to complex shape products with multiple features is not a straightforward task and requires further development in existing MPS software tools. Practical implications - Computer-aided MPS systems can assist decision makers in solving many material/process selection problems by following a systematic process. Originality/value - Given today's rapid technological changes, it is important for decision makers to understand the capabilities of computer-aided MPS software tools in handling a growing volume of data. Very limited research has been done to explore the capabilities and limitations of existing material/process selectors. It is the first in the literature that demonstrates the application of multi-criteria deductive approach in MPS using a software tool.
 
Article
This article has no abstract
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of production and operations managers (POMs) and logistics managers (LMs) in improving manufacturing and service operations, comparing experiences in Australia and Britain. Design/methodology/approach – The findings are based on surveys of the two occupations in the two countries. Thus, the focus is on comparing and contrasting two strategically placed occupations within the supply chain and in two traditional manufacturing economies in developed countries, in opposing hemispheres of the world. Findings – The working lives of 254 Australian and 195 British POMs and 303 Australian and 168 British LMs are explored to see how well prepared they are for the business challenges of today, whether they see the need for changes in the ways in which they work and what satisfactions they derive from their worlds of work? Practical implications – Insights are provided for senior management into the deployment and personal and professional development needs of two key occupations within supply chain management. Originality/value – The findings from the research give fresh insights into the ways in which managers in the two areas of responsibilities in the two countries.view their worlds of work
 
Article
Purpose – Although leanness is certainly not a new concept it is doubtless still relevant. Interestingly, newly developed manufacturing paradigms and systems are always examined in relation to leanness. In other words, leanness serves in most cases as the landmark paradigm with which comparisons are being drawn between the latter and recently pioneered approaches. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the evolutional orbit that leanness has followed over the years and serve as a herald of the current state of this evolution, which will be discussed further, in a separate paper. Design/methodology/approach – A great part of this paper is devoted to highlighting the misconceptions surrounding issues such as what leanness really constitutes and what are the key concepts and practices that leanness encompasses. Two successful lean transition stories are presented showing how these lean tools and techniques were implemented in the cases of two UK-based manufacturing companies. Findings – Because of its inherently dynamic nature, leanness has undergone and still is undergoing a process of continuous and never-ending evolution, the current state of which is expressed in the form of the lean enterprise model. Nevertheless, despite the undiminished attention and interest for leanness, the literature has failed to keep track of this evolution. For this reason a significant proportion of the literature relies on a rather antiquated vision of leanness. Originality/value – The paper reviews two major waves of literature criticising leanness with the first focusing on its social aspects and the second questioning its universality mainly with respect to its limited applicability in high variety-low volume production systems.
 
Article
Purpose The effective implementation of the six sigma strategy within UK manufacturing industries, in particular SMEs, can be considered to be poor. SMEs cite high costs and complexity of implementation as being the major limiting factors as to its widespread use. This paper aims to describe the application of six sigma in an SME and to show how the company applied a cost‐effective six sigma methodology to eradicate a critical to quality (CTQ) issue. The paper seeks to conclude by developing a strategic framework for the widespread use of six sigma in SMEs. Design/methodology/approach This paper applies the six sigma strategy in an SME in order to eradicate a major CTQ issue. It identifies the approach employed, the tools and techniques used and shows the savings that were made through the structured application of the DMAIC procedure, which is at the heart of the six sigma approach. Findings Through the correct application of experimental design approaches, this paper identifies the optimum parameter settings that enabled the company to eradicate the CTQ issue and achieve significant improvements in quality and cost from a modest financial outlay. Research limitations/implications The design and implementation of an SME‐specific six sigma strategy and its application to a real engineering problem will enable companies to apply the techniques and to attain improvements in terms of cost and quality. Originality/value The application of the six sigma strategy and the resulting conclusions as to its effectiveness for industry are the real value of this paper. This paper will be valuable for quality professionals, design engineers and manufacturing specialists in a wide range of industries.
 
Article
The digital revolution on the web/internet is believed to be having a major impact on the performance of firms’ purchasing and supply functions. Beyond anecdotal evidence however, little is known about the actual level of utilisation of web-based interaction technologies in purchasing and supply management (P&SM). This paper addresses this gap through an empirical survey of 156 UK-based organisations. Findings indicate that only six in every ten organisations use digital/web-based technology (DWBT) in P&SM, and that the usage level is particularly low in SMEs. Current uses, and the importance of DWBT in P&SM in the future are reported. The paper also investigates the perceived benefits of DWBT in this area, and the link between uses, benefits and P&SM relationship orientation. The evidence suggests that at present DWBT is not a key driver of closer (collaborative) buyer-supplier relationship development. Implications are put forward.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a methodology for the engineering of E-maintenance platforms that is based on a value-driven approach. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology assumes that a value-driven engineering approach would help foster technological innovation for maintenance management. Indeed, value-driven engineering could be easily adopted at the business level, with subsequent positive effects on the industrial applications of new information and communication technologies solutions. Findings – The methodology combines a value-driven approach with the engineering in the maintenance scope. The methodology is tested in a manufacturing case to prove its potential to support the engineering of E-maintenance solutions. In particular, the case study concerns the investment in E-maintenance solutions developed in the framework of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system originally implemented for production purposes. Originality/value – Based on literature research, the paper presents a methodology that is implemented considering three different approaches (business theories, value-driven engineering and maintenance management). The combination of these approaches is novel and overcomes the traditional view of maintenance as an issue evaluated from a cost-benefit perspective.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the performance implications associated with production outsourcing. Specifically, the paper analyzes the cost of goods sold for firms who outsource core manufacturing processes, using empirical data from a variety of industries. The paper seeks to better understand the influence of outsourcing on factory cost by looking at these in the context of related strategies, such as supplier integration, information technology (IT) implementation, and manufacturing process decisions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on transaction cost economics, manufacturing strategy, and supply chain management literature to aid in predicting the performance to be expected when outsourcing production activities. Furthermore, the paper investigates the moderating effects of manufacturing strategies, supplier integration, and IT expenditures on outsourcing. The primary model is a two-way panel model for the cross-sectional and longitudinal data drawn from the MPI Census of Manufacturers Survey of US manufacturing plants. Findings – The analysis indicates that production outsourcing tends to shift costs among cost of goods sold (COGS) categories, but does not consistently reduce them as measured by overall COGS. The effects of production outsourcing on both the cost of labor and the cost of materials are strong, tending to decrease labor, and increase materials. Additionally, this study shows that a high level of supplier integration has a notable moderating influence on overall COGS, but that process strategies do not. Finally, this analysis indicates that IT expenditures were not influential as a moderator variable when outsourcing, but did have a marked influence on overall COGS, as well as on labor and materials costs. Originality/value – This research investigates the effects of outsourcing on the components of COGS, a level of analysis that is typically not looked at relative to outsourcing. This research also provides methodological contributions with the development of a nested random effects structural model for use with a secondary data source.
 
Article
Purpose – The academic literature and motivational theory recognise the positive role of motivation on organisational performance and considers personal development as a key motivational factor. In practice, most organisations employ a personal development review (PDR) process to drive and plan the development of their staff. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the interrelation and impact of the PDR process, and its elements, on staff motivation. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on a case study research approach carried out in two large manufacturing-engineering departments of a world-class manufacturing organisation. A survey questionnaire was designed, validated and distributed to the engineering staff and its results were analysed using descriptive statistics. Findings – The study's results indicate that in most of the cases, a PDR process does not by itself motivate staff. But it argues that a poorly designed and conducted PDR process may make motivation, through personal development, difficult to achieve. Practical implications – This paper provides manufacturing managers with an opportunity to understand whether a common business process (i.e. PDR), and the elements that comprise it, can be employed as a method to aid in the motivation of their staff. Originality/value – This research expands the current knowledge on motivational and manufacturing management theory by performing an initial and exploratory study that establishes the impact of the PDR process on staff motivation. It is among the very first investigations that correlate the PDR process and motivation, especially in the manufacturing industry.
 
Article
Purpose - Generative Production Systems are generative design computation that is linked to optimal physical production. They can improve the design and production of products which have unique geometries. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a preliminary methodology for Generative Production Systems. Design/methodology/approach - The paper takes the form of a literature review investigating the structures and formats of successful methodologies. The literature review also investigates Generative Production Systems' theoretical foundations, development and implementations. Findings - The potential of Generative Production Systems is restricted because enabling information is fragmented and difficult to access. In other fields, such barriers have been overcome through the introduction of methodologies that provide guiding principles, rules and strategies (P-R-S). The P-R-S type of methodology structure is suitable for Generative Production Systems. Practical implications - The use of Generative Production Systems requires more upfront investment than the use of CAD/CAM software packages. However, they require little, or no, human input after they are set-up. The preliminary methodology provides structured guidance about how to set up a Generative Production System. Further, the explanatory text enables wider understanding of Generative Production Systems, and how they can improve design and production. Originality/value - An analysis is provided for the structure and format of successful methodologies in general. A preliminary methodology for Generative Production Systems is introduced. Further, the paper provides an overview of the disadvantages and advantages of Generative Production Systems compared to typical CAD/CAM software packages.
 
Article
Purpose – The development of a local area supply chain network (LASCaN) is only as good as the skills and technological capabilities of the companies within that network. Recent studies have pointed to the lack of capability amongst local suppliers and hence many OEMs have now moved towards global supplier networks to meet demand. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the drivers which push companies to develop global supplier networks. Design/methodology/approach – Through the development of a case study approach, the paper chronicles the design, development and implementation of a supplier development programme (SDP). The programme is subsequently evaluated for its effectiveness in the subject company. Findings – The LASCaN is evaluated rigorously and describes accurately the effectiveness of the system and how the integration of the LASCaN into the global network allows the company to meet the demands of a fluctuating, mass customised market. Originality/value – The proposed SDP framework for the successful development of a LASCaN contributes to the existing knowledge base on supply chain systems and subsequently disseminates this information in order to provide impetus, guidance and support towards increasing the development of local suppliers in an attempt to move the UK SME sector towards world class manufacturing performance.
 
Research methodology
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report a pilot study on lean awareness and implementation using the survey data collected from about 32 industries situated in western and eastern region of India. Design/methodology/approach – A survey instrument containing 45 statements was designed to assess respondents’ attitude and awareness toward lean practices and to explore the level of lean implementation in the organization. The instrument was distributed personally or through mail to the employees of 32 industries and they were supported for any query about the questions. Descriptive statistical analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and ANOVA were used to analyze the data with SPSS statistical software. Findings – The research uncovers the fact that the current status of lean implementation and awareness in Indian industries is not so encouraging and the reason for that is, the human-related issues are not tackled properly. Quality and process technology, are the two key areas where industries are indicating inadequate efforts and poor insight. Research limitations/implications – The study conducted was limited to 32 industries situated in the eastern and western region of India. The data collected for few industries rely on only one respondent. Practical implications – The study identifies the lean implementation status based on nine lean assessment key areas and uncovers the major roadblocks for lean practices in Indian industries. It provides key insights to lean practicing industries and lean practitioner about the major barriers and key areas for the improvement. Originality/value – The paper reports comprehensive insights on current awareness and implementation of lean manufacturing (LM) in India. It also highlights the initiatives taken by Government of India to increase the competitiveness of the Indian industries, specifically of manufacturing sector, through the adoption of LM techniques. This would provide a platform for carrying out a detailed research in LM in Indian context.
 
Top-cited authors
Howard Lightfoot
  • Cranfield University
Tim S Baines
  • Aston University
Ornella Benedettini
  • Politecnico di Bari
Rajkumar Roy
  • City, University of London
Essam Shehab
  • Nazarbayev University