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A methodology for developing sustainable quantifiable productivity improvement in manufacturing companies

Lookup NU author(s): Colin Herron, Professor Paul Braiden


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This paper describes a model which has been developed to direct and generate productivity improvement in a group of manufacturing companies. The companies are of all sizes including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and form a cross-section of industries and abilities with regard to manufacturing. There is a wide range of manufacturing efficiency improvement methods available to the companies, such as Just in Time (JIT), or a range of lean manufacturing tools. The selection of appropriate tools for manufacturing improvement, together with their applicability, incorporation and acceptance within operations is a major problem for many companies. A methodology has therefore been developed which consists of three clearly defined steps, starting with a Productivity Needs Analysis (PNA), which gives an overview of the current manufacturing condition of the company, identifies the key productivity measures for the plant and forms the basis for a detailed study of production efficiency. The plant processes and problems are defined and are associated with the appropriate tools and metrics in a Manufacturing Needs Analysis (MNA), which generates an initial 1-year improvement plan for a particular manufacturing unit. The output from the procedure is obtained as a numerical ranking. In order to ensure that the tools which are found to be efficacious are fully embedded within the company, the PNA and MNA are combined with a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). The paper describes the approach and the results obtained from 15 companies plus an identified exemplar, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd. (NMUK). © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Herron C, Braiden PM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Production Economics

Year: 2006

Volume: 104

Issue: 1

Pages: 143-153

ISSN (print): 0925-5273

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2005.10.004


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