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Categorizing WIP inventories in the food industry

Categorizing WIP inventories in the food industry Purpose – The food and beverage industry, particularly the agro‐processing and packaging industry, plays a critical role in the economies of Latin America and Caribbean countries. To remain competitive and to increase competitiveness, companies operating in this industry must achieve operational efficiency – where one contributing factor would be the efficient management of their work‐in‐progress (WIP) inventories. Design/methodology/approach – Constructs from related manufacturing management research areas such as manufacturing strategy and coordination theory, are incorporated into a conceptual framework to examine the reasons WIP are needed in food plants. The framework is used to inform the development of an audit tool, which is applied in a case study. Findings – An audit tool is proposed, which can be used by practitioners to review the structural and infrastructural decisions that impact WIP. Research limitations/implications – The audit tool is applied in one case study. Further application of the tool will test its overall comprehensiveness. Practical implications – The audit tool can be used as part of a structured decision making process. Originality/value – The paper brings together a number of constructs to create an audit tool that can be used in both greenfield and existing plants in the food industry. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies Emerald Publishing

Categorizing WIP inventories in the food industry

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2044-0839
DOI
10.1108/20440831311321647
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The food and beverage industry, particularly the agro‐processing and packaging industry, plays a critical role in the economies of Latin America and Caribbean countries. To remain competitive and to increase competitiveness, companies operating in this industry must achieve operational efficiency – where one contributing factor would be the efficient management of their work‐in‐progress (WIP) inventories. Design/methodology/approach – Constructs from related manufacturing management research areas such as manufacturing strategy and coordination theory, are incorporated into a conceptual framework to examine the reasons WIP are needed in food plants. The framework is used to inform the development of an audit tool, which is applied in a case study. Findings – An audit tool is proposed, which can be used by practitioners to review the structural and infrastructural decisions that impact WIP. Research limitations/implications – The audit tool is applied in one case study. Further application of the tool will test its overall comprehensiveness. Practical implications – The audit tool can be used as part of a structured decision making process. Originality/value – The paper brings together a number of constructs to create an audit tool that can be used in both greenfield and existing plants in the food industry.

Journal

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging EconomiesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2013

Keywords: Work‐in‐progress; Work‐in‐progress inventory; Food manufacturing; Coordination theory; Mix flexibility; Form postponement; Logistical complexity; Food industry

References