Purpose – Based on a case study of a drugs manufacturing plant in the UK, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how best to improve manufacturing processes using a hybrid model of Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Insights are provided to a phased implementation of TQM at the strategic, organisational, and process levels of the organization. Design/methodology/approach – The case method was utilized to demonstrate the implementation of a theoretical concept. Findings – Managers naively agree that process improvement failures may be due to the absence of executive‐level commitment and poor execution; however, it is evident from the paper's findings that the poor performance of process‐related techniques is based on the fact that they are often applied organisationally rather taking an operations, strategy and people focused, approach, which would require the interdependence that must exist between strategy and people, people and strategy; and strategy and operations. Practical implications – The paper, based on extensive research and consultancy work, suggests that the most effective mechanics for enhanced and sustainable improvement of manufacturing processes is through the so‐called old, redundant technique – a hybrid of BPR and TQM. Evidence from practice and academic research demonstrates that the high failure rate of improvement programmes based on BPR, TQM, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and more recently, Six Sigma, is because each of these models is not a stand alone operational tool, and thus a hybrid model, which encompasses two or more is usually the best approach to bring about dramatic improvement in operational quality, speed, cost and service and product reliability. Originality/value – The paper shows that the high failure rate of improvement programs can be overcome through using a combination of models.
Business Process Management Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 20, 2012
Keywords: United Kingdom; Pharmaceuticals industry; Business process re‐engineering; Manufacturing
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