Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: An empirical examination of the best practices to ensure manufacturing flexibility : lean alignment
Authors: Boyle, Todd A.
Scherrer‐Rathje, Maike
DOI: 10.1108/17410380910936792
Published in: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Volume(Issue): 20
Issue: 3
Pages: 348
Pages to: 366
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Emerald
ISSN: 1741-038X
Language: English
Subjects: Alignment; Best practice; Examination; Manufacturing
Subject (DDC): 658.5: Production management
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the best practices managers use to improve manufacturing flexibility and ensure the tools and techniques selected for flexibility improvement are in line with broader organizational and manufacturing goals, such as lean production. Design/methodology/approach: A number of best practices are identified based on a review and synthesis of the conceptual frameworks for improving manufacturing flexibility and are presented to North American manufacturing managers. Results of analyzing the data from 168 managers indicate the best practices, techniques, and major groups involved in improving flexibility. Findings: Results support these best practices, with the most important practices being: incorporating the role of manufacturing flexibility into the manufacturing strategy; identifying the major potential sources of uncertainty faced by the manufacturing department; and identifying the general capability of the manufacturing department to address these potential sources of uncertainty. The results also indicate a growing preference to reducing sources of uncertainty, in addition to responding to it, as demonstrated by the use of lean tools and practices. Originality/value: This research empirically develops a framework linking manufacturing flexibility and lean decisions; and subsequently addressing an area under examined by the extant literature. In addition, this study empirically tests many of the best flexibility practices identified in the literature and in doing so provides some empirical support for the frameworks developed in previous studies. This research also highlights the practices, which managers should consider when attempting to improve flexibility in their manufacturing facility, while keeping in mind broader organizational strategies such as lean.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: 
Appears in collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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