Analysis of Internet process tool for continuous improvement and productivity in a manufacturing environment
Smith, P. G.
Oduoza, Chike F.
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In today's busy, highly competitive market, businesses are under increasing pressure to meet targets and achieve their objectives. Previous research has shown that SMEs not only need to satisfy customer requirements, but must also meet shareholders' demands for returns on their investments. There is a wealth of research publications available to SMEs especially on the use of continuous improvement techniques; however, SMEs do not always make use of these facilities. This research focuses on analysis of a web-based process tool to quantify improvements that can be used as an incentive to gain management commitment and to support other SMEs within a community of practice in order to implement improvements in a manufacturing environment. Using Action Research in an SME environment inefficiencies have been identified and classified. The Internet portal will provide user-friendly access to Continuous Improvement CI tools suitable for SMEs within a community of practice and will contain simple to use CI tools which will enhance business productivity. The overall objective is to motivate SMEs within a community of practice to adopt process improvement techniques, especially those generated by academic research, and thereby minimise waste in the business environment.
Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San AntonioIncludes bibliographical references