Critical success factors for lean implementation within SMEs

Critical success factors for lean implementation within SMEs Purpose – The aim of this research paper is to present the critical factors that constitute a successful implementation of lean manufacturing within manufacturing SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – A combination of comprehensive literature review and visits to ten SMEs based in the East of the UK were employed in the study. The companies' practices were observed to highlight the degree of lean manufacturing utilisation within these companies. This was followed by interviewing of the relevant and key personnel involved in lean implementation. Results were analysed and validated through workshops, case studies and Delphi techniques. Findings – Several critical factors that determine the success of implementing the concept of lean manufacturing within SMEs are identified. Leadership, management, finance organisational culture and skills and expertise, amongst other factors; are classified as the most pertinent issues critical for the successful adoption of lean manufacturing within SMEs environment. Research limitations/implications – Continued scepticism within SMEs about the benefits of lean to their business is one of the fundamental limitations this research faces. SMEs are, therefore, not very willing to provide useful information and data, timely for further investigation. Originality/value – The novelty of this research project stems from the realisation of critical factors determining a successful implementation of lean manufacturing within SMEs environment. The results would provide SMEs with indicators and guidelines for a successful implementation of lean principles. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing

Critical success factors for lean implementation within SMEs

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1741-038X
DOI
10.1108/17410380610662889
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this research paper is to present the critical factors that constitute a successful implementation of lean manufacturing within manufacturing SMEs. Design/methodology/approach – A combination of comprehensive literature review and visits to ten SMEs based in the East of the UK were employed in the study. The companies' practices were observed to highlight the degree of lean manufacturing utilisation within these companies. This was followed by interviewing of the relevant and key personnel involved in lean implementation. Results were analysed and validated through workshops, case studies and Delphi techniques. Findings – Several critical factors that determine the success of implementing the concept of lean manufacturing within SMEs are identified. Leadership, management, finance organisational culture and skills and expertise, amongst other factors; are classified as the most pertinent issues critical for the successful adoption of lean manufacturing within SMEs environment. Research limitations/implications – Continued scepticism within SMEs about the benefits of lean to their business is one of the fundamental limitations this research faces. SMEs are, therefore, not very willing to provide useful information and data, timely for further investigation. Originality/value – The novelty of this research project stems from the realisation of critical factors determining a successful implementation of lean manufacturing within SMEs environment. The results would provide SMEs with indicators and guidelines for a successful implementation of lean principles.

Journal

Journal of Manufacturing Technology ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 2006

Keywords: Lean production; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Critical success factors

References

  • Enterprise resource planning: taxonomy of critical factors
    Al‐Mashari, M.; Al‐Mudimigh, A.; Zairi, M.
  • Lean production and the internet
    Bruun, P.; Mefford, R.N.
  • Critical success factors for the successful implementation of six sigma projects in organisations
    Coronado, R.B.; Antony, J.
  • Successful implementation of six sigma: benchmarking general electric company
    Henderson, K.; Evans, J.
  • Enterprise resource planning: implementation procedures and critical success factors
    Umble, E.J.; Haft, R.R.; Umble, M.M.

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