Purpose– This study deals with waste in New Product Development (NPD) processes of SMEs. The purpose of this paper is to reveal opportunities for SMEs to overcome resource constraints in their NPD process. Design/methodology/approach– The authors employed qualitative key informant interviews. This design was chosen because research in this field is still limited. The authors performed 49 interviews in engineering-oriented German SMEs to examine the dimension of waste in NPD processes. The data were collected by conducting semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Findings– The study highlights substantial waste types such as waiting times, rework and duplication of work. In contrast to contemporary literature, waste of material is considered to be relevant in particular for NPD processes of SMEs. In addition to that, the authors found that waste drivers differ to a great extent between the study and the hitherto literature on larger companies. Research limitations/implications– The overall outcome of this study can help organisations to address waste in NPD more thoroughly. The research presented was not specifically designed to draw statistical generalisations. For this reason, the results may not be applicable to all SMEs. Practical implications– Based on waiting times as the major waste type in NPD processes of SMEs, the authors claim that firms should pay special attention to disruptions of these processes. Originality/value– The paper gives insights into current waste types in the NPD processes of SMEs. Moreover, it uncovers the NPD activities which can lead to waste.
International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 11, 2016
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