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Exploring a holistic perspective on production system improvement
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8291-7362
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3187-7932
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, Vol. 33, no 2, 267-283 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how holistic improvement work can be organized and what challenges can be observed in the process of adopting a holistic perspective on production system improvement. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative case study and a questionnaire have been carried out. Data for the case study has been collected through semi-structured interviews, archived documents and participatory observations. The questionnaire was done in order to increase the generalizability of the findings from the case study and further validate the conclusions. Findings – The improvement work at the case company is organized as a continuous improvement approach in a Lean Production system in the form of a company-specific production system (XPS), in which two other improvement approaches are incorporated. Some of the identified challenges are: the establishment of a holistic perspective on improvement opportunities; the development of a process to update the production strategy; the continuous update of the Operational Management System during the XPS implementation; aggregating measures for the improvement work and measuring the effect of improvement work. Research limitations/implications – As the current case study is limited to one case company, future research is interested in expanding to other production systems contexts for further validation. Originality/value – The present study offers an increased understanding of the integration difficulties of improvement work that many production companies face regarding operational effectiveness, and based on the findings, some implications for management are presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 33, no 2, 267-283 p.
Keyword [en]
Company-specific production system; Continuous improvement; Lean implementation; Lean production; Quality management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24253DOI: 10.1108/IJQRM-11-2013-0187ISI: 000382538000007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84955484326OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-24253DiVA: diva2:689984
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-22 Last updated: 2017-02-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A supportive framework for successful implementation of improvement work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A supportive framework for successful implementation of improvement work
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lean Production is one of the most generally accepted concepts for increasing operational effectiveness. However, its implementation is still challenging for many companies as it implies not only changes of technical systems and management systems but also changes in attitudes and culture. Generalizable implementation steps have still not yet emerged and there are many ways to implement Lean Production. A Lean Production implementation is a never ending process since it is always possible to become leaner. Thus, the implementation of Lean Production is a long-term commitment for a company in order to reach success.

There is a need for research on how to develop and integrate improvement work in order to establish a successful implementation of Lean Production. Accordingly, the overall purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to contribute to an increased understanding of how to successfully implement Lean Production. Moreover, the objective is to develop a supportive framework for a successful Lean Production implementation and to describe this in a general process for the implementation of improvement work.

Through literature reviews and three research studies, a supportive framework for the successful implementation of improvement work has been developed. The first study is an explanatory literature and interview study to build a concept model of improvement work. The second study is an exploratory embedded single case study that was conducted to validate the model. Finally, the third study is an exploratory multiple holistic case study that investigated enablers for continuous improvement after a radical implementation of Lean Production.

The resulting supportive framework consists of important actions to consider during the different stages of a process for the implementation of improvement work. In the first stage after a radical implementation phase, actions important to sustain change and enable continuous improvement include for example a focus on good leadership on shop floor and efforts in the area of control and follow-up of results in production teams.

To develop continuous improvement several actions are defined, like the importance of understanding the context of improvement work including important relations to operations and to develop the production strategy with objectives to align the improvement work.

To reach long term success it is important to integrate continuous improvement into operations and important actions for this stage are for example to update the Operational Management System on the company-specific-production-system framework’s processes continuously, which includes visualisation of the overall improvement work process. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 173
Keyword
lean production, implementation, improvement work, radical change, continuous improvement
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24252 (URN)978-91-7485-134-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-02-28, Raspen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationVinnovaXPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2014-12-05Bibliographically approved

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