Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and address various wastes in the supply chain of the edible cottonseed oil industry (specifically the processing side) using a value stream mapping (VSM) approach to improve productivity and capacity utilization in an Indian context.Design/methodology/approach – Critical observations and interviewing techniques were used with open‐ended questions to understand the processes involved in the value chain of the cottonseed oil industry. Different chain links/members were investigated through personal visits and discussions. VSM is applied as an approach to the industry to identify and remove non‐value‐adding (NVA) activities.Findings – Major findings obtained from the study are as follows. There is an excess cumulative inventory of 244 days in the whole supply chain. The industry is highly fragmented with a large number of small players present, which hampers the use of economies of scale. There are NVA activities present in the supply chain such as the moving of cottonseed oil from expeller mill to refinery. The industry still uses outdated technology which hampers the productivity.Practical implications – Attention needs to be given to boosting the productivity of the oil sector. Waste removal from the oilseed‐processing sector is one key to improving the productivity of the sector.Originality/value – The paper addresses the various wastes in the processing side of the supply chain of the Indian cottonseed oil industry, using VSM as an approach which was hardly ever attempted before. Wastes are then individually attacked to reduce or eliminate them from the system. Suggestions to make the whole chain more productive can be generalized and can be replicated in the context of other developing countries.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 2, 2008
Keywords: Edible oils; Waste minimization; Supply chain management; Value chain; India