Evaluation of frameworks developed which assist SMEs to adopt best practices
Ahmad, Mohammad Munir
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Due to limitations, whether financial, knowledge and skills, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are vulnerable to failure when they decide to adopt best practices techniques. Best practices such as Lean tools are considered to be effective improvement approaches to the elimination of waste, in different forms, within processes. Although many studies which have addressed the application of Lean practices in large companies, this is not the case with SMEs. Therefore, the aim of this study is to review the existing frameworks which have been developed in order to assist SMEs to adopt Lean tools; also to develop a framework which can be adopted by SMEs to assist them to implement appropriate Lean tools, and consideration of limitations of SMEs. To achieve this aim, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to review the existing frameworks, followed by developing a theoretical framework appropriate for SMEs to adopt Lean tools. The findings of this study are useful for SMEs as a guide to adopt Lean tools to assist them to avoid the failure experienced by other SMEs. An assessment methodology is presented which brings together the previous developments frameworks for comparison and analysis which will lead to the building of a coherent body of knowledge and open potential for future work. The argument of this paper is that, making decision to select inappropriate lean tool is pure waste. Avoid making the occurrence of such a decision will greatly save resources (time, money) for the company, particularly those SMEs with limited resource. It is intended that the developed model will support the SMEs that are considering the implementation of Lean tools.
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