The effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing Audits in driving improvements in operational performance

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dc.contributor.author Taggart, Patrick
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-16T13:56:17Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-16T13:56:17Z
dc.date.issued 2010-09-16
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/8731
dc.description MSc (Enginnering), Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment en_US
dc.description.abstract In recent years companies have made increased use of Lean Manufacturing audits to measure the degree of Lean Manufacturing implementation within their organizations. Thereafter, a gap analysis highlights areas for improvement, which leads to increased Operational Performance. This approach may be flawed. The audit may measure Lean Manufacturing characteristics that are not beneficial or the Lean Manufacturing audit may be inaccurate due to auditor bias or inadequate scope. The result is frustration and a lack of belief in the effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing as a competitive strategy. This study tests the hypothesis that “Lean Manufacturing audits drive improvements in Operational Performance.” A sample company comprising sixty four organizations operating in a job shop and Batch operations management environment is used as a case study. The organizations manufacture and service high value added products for heavy industry. The Lean Manufacturing audit developed to assess the effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing audits in driving Operational Performance uses Lean Manufacturing characteristics commonly used in previous research. These characteristics include policy deployment, standardized work, visual management and housekeeping, quick changeover techniques, total preventative maintenance, continuous improvement, error proofing, cultural awareness, material control and level production. Commonly used Operational Performance measures such as On-Time-Delivery, Inventory turns and Direct Labour Utilization are used to assess Operational Performance. A range of independent auditors were used to gather data on the extent of implementation of Lean Manufacturing and Operational Performance measures. Structural Equation Modelling is used to relate the results of the Lean Manufacturing audits to Operational Performance. This is the first known paper to use Structural Equation Modelling in measuring the extent of implementation of Lean Manufacturing to Operational Performance. Lean Manufacturing audit results have a significant correlation to Operational Performance but with a high degree of variation in Operational Performance not accounted for by the results of the Lean Manufacturing audit. This variation is caused by the inadequate scope of the audit relative to Operational Performance measures as well as auditor bias. Lean Manufacturing audits are effective in driving improvements in Operational Performance provided that the scope of the audit is expanded to include office functions, supplier networks and customer and branch distribution networks. A recommended audit framework is suggested in this research. A large scale study of a number of different companies should be conducted to verify the results of this research using the audit framework developed. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject lean manufacturing
dc.subject quality control
dc.subject production management
dc.title The effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing Audits in driving improvements in operational performance en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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