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Lean Manufacturing Literature Review

Lean Manufacturing – Article Summaries

Rahman, Nor Azian Abdul , Sariwati Mohd Sharif and  Mashitah Mohamed Esa. “Lean Manufacturing Case Study with Kanban System Implementation.” Procedia Economics and Finance ,7 (2013): 174 – 180. Print.

The above journal article contains a study that was meant to determine how the Kanban system, which is one of the lean manufacturing techniques, facilitates improvement in the manufacturing processes undertaken by multinational firms. Further, the authors sought to Lean Manufacturing Literature Reviewdetermine the factors that hinder the adoption and application of Kanban system in small- and medium –sized organizations operating in Malaysia. To achieve the objectives mentioned above Rahman, Sharif and Esa (177) conducted a qualitative research that involved gathering both primary and secondary data. To determine the effectiveness of the Kanban system in multinational firms, the researchers gathered primary data from managers and workers of a multinational firm operating in Malaysia that has implemented the Kanban system. Although the authors did not reveal the identity of the multinational firm, they explained that it operates in the automobile manufacturing industry. To determine the factors that hinder the application of the technique in small and medium-sized firms, Rahman, Sharif and Esa (177) explored the findings of the previous studies focusing on the topic.

The researchers transcribed the interviews and identified key words or major themes in the responses of the respondents. From the results derived, Rahman, Sharif and Esa (178) noted that the Kanban system implemented in the firm where the empirical study was conducted helped to streamline manufacturing processes. The respondents mentioned numerous benefits associated with the use of the Kanban system, including significant reduction of losses, scraps, wastes and operational costs. The Kanban system enhanced the flexibility of operations in the organization, as revealed by the workers and managers of the firm. The researchers identified several factors that hinder the application of the Kanban system in small- and medium-sized firms in Malaysia, including lack of adequate commitment by managers, lack of employee participation, failure to develop quality controls and to carry out quality improvements and ineffective inventory management.

Aziz, Remon Fayek and Sherif Mohamed Hafez. “Applying lean thinking in construction and performance Improvement.” Alexandria Engineering Journal 52.4 (2013): 679–695. Print.

The above journal article contains an analysis of the construction industry meant to determine how application of lean construction methods and principles can facilitate improvement in construction processes and outcomes. The authors of the article, Aziz and Hafez, focused on exploring six topics. First, the authors focused on explaining how lean methods and techniques are implemented during construction. Second, the authors focused on identifying the wastage that can be reduced or eliminated through application of the lean techniques (Aziz and Hafez 693). Third, they examined the perceptions of people in the construction industry towards the use of lean practices and principles. Fourth, the authors explained how Last Planner System, which is part of the lean techniques, can facilitate construction improvement. Fifth, the authors explored how lean construction relates to other construction improvement methods. Last, the authors analyzed the attributes of effective construction improvement methods (Aziz and Hafez 693). To achieve the objectives described above, the authors conducted a desk-based research and they concentrated on the construction industry of Egypt.

During the analysis, Aziz and Hafez (693) identified two major attributes of successfully construction improvement programs, namely, outcome focused and process focussed. According to the authors, the lean construction method exhibits the two characteristics. When analyzing the perspectives of people in the construction industry, Aziz and Hafez (693) noted that some people in the industry prefer adopting result-focused programs to the lean construction method. The authors explained that focusing on the results only is one of factors that limit that application of the lean construction method. The authors explained that goals and structure highly influence the improvement effort direction. Further, the authors explained that focusing on the results only limits the ability to solve complex systemic problems (Aziz and Hafez 693).

Matt, Dominik Tobias and Edwin Rauch. “Implementation of Lean Production in small sized Enterprises.” Procedia CIRP, 12.29 (2013): 420 – 425.

The above article contains a study whose main purpose is to explore the contribution of the small business enterprises in the economy and the extent to which lean small business organizations adopt and implement the lean production principles. The researchers also explore the suitability of the existing lean production methods to small business organizations and the factors that limit the application of those methods in small business enterprises. In order to achieve the objectives mentioned above, the researchers gathered primary data from internal stakeholders of ten small business organizations operating in the northern part of Italy. Matt and Rauch (422) conducted interviews in the respondents in order to determine the extent to which the small organizations adopt the lean management methods and principles and the factors that limit the adoption of those principles and methods in small organizations. Also, the authors conducted a thorough research in one of the small business enterprise that had employed 25 workers to determine whether the lean production methods and principles are applicable in small business organizations. To determine the contribution of small organizations to the economy, the researchers conducted desk-based research that involved analysing the findings of the previous studies.

Matt and Rauch (424) found that small business enterprises have a major contribution to the economy. The authors found that in Italy, small business organizations make up 16 percent of all enterprises operating in the country. The authors further noted that the small business organizations in Italy contribute 25 percent of all goods produced in Italy. The authors found that the lean production methods and principles are applicable in small business enterprises. Despite this, small business enterprises hardly adopt those methods and principles. Matt and Rauch (424) found that small business enterprises are reluctant to implement the lean production methods because of lack of knowhow as well as due to fear of the required resources in terms of capital, personnel and time.

Works Cited;
  • Aziz, Remon Fayek and Sherif Mohamed Hafez. “Applying lean thinking in construction and performance Improvement.” Alexandria Engineering Journal 52.4 (2013): 679–695. Print.
  • Matt, Dominik Tobias and Edwin Rauch. “Implementation of Lean Production in small sized Enterprises.” Procedia CIRP, 12.29 (2013): 420 – 425.
  • Rahman, Nor Azian Abdul , Sariwati Mohd Sharif and  Mashitah Mohamed Esa. “Lean Manufacturing Case Study with Kanban System Implementation.” Procedia Economics and Finance ,7 (2013): 174 – 180. Print.

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