Are Companies Continuously Improving their Supply Chain?
Lean enterprise, six sigma, and other productivity improvement techniques use continuous improvement; however, it appears continuous improvement is haphazardly applied or even lacking in companies, especially across the supply chain. This research identifies key continuous improvement characteristics in regard to leadership, learning, and collaborating that need to be executed more effectively. This research was conducted among a population of 174 different automotive companies in nine industries. Only 7.1% of companies with less than 100 to 249 employees used lean or six sigma. Participants using lean or six sigma struggled with extending initiatives to include suppliers (56%), as well as other areas that support building a competitive supply chain. While initial gains from these productivity improvement techniques are beneficial, the long-term impact of continuous improvement across the supply chain will offer these companies sustainable market power.
W. J. Huehn-Brown and S. L. Murray, "Are Companies Continuously Improving their Supply Chain?," Engineering Management Journal, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 3-10, American Society for Engineering Management, Jan 2010.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1080/10429247.2010.11431874
Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Automotive companies; Continuous improvements; Lean enterprise; Productivity improvements; Six Sigma; Sustainable markets; Industry; Productivity; Supply chains; Work simplification; Supply chain management; Continuous improvement; Lean enterprise; Six sigma; Supply chain management
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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