Best manufacturing practices : what do the best-performing companies do?

Timenes Laugen, B., Boer, H., Acur, N., Boer, H. and Frick, J. (2005) Best manufacturing practices : what do the best-performing companies do? International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 25(2), pp. 131-150. (doi:10.1108/01443570510577001)

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Purpose – Research on best practices suffers from some fundamental problems. The problem addressed in the article is that authors tend to postulate, rather than show, the practices they address to be best – whether these practices do indeed produce best performance is often not investigated. Design/methodology/approach– This article assumes that the best performing companies must be the ones deploying the best practices. In order to find out what are those practices, the highest performing companies in the 2002 International Manufacturing Strategy Survey database were identified, and the role 14 practices play in these companies was investigated. Findings– Process focus, pull production, equipment productivity and environmental compatibility appear to qualify as best practices. Quality management and ICT may have been best practice previously, but lost that status. E‐business, new product development (NPD), supplier strategy and outsourcing are relatively new, cannot yet be qualified as, but may develop into, best practice. Four other practices do not produce any significant performance effects. Research limitations/implications– There are four limitations to the research: Incompleteness of the set of practices tested: lack of insight into the effects of interaction between practices and the way in and extent to which they were implemented; good explanatory but poor predictive power; and lack of contextuality. Originality/value– Taking the position that best practice must be what best performing companies do, the paper is useful for managers using benchmarking to review the design and performance of their manufacturing system, and for scholars engaged or interested in best practice studies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Acur Bakir, Professor Nuran
Authors: Timenes Laugen, B., Boer, H., Acur, N., Boer, H., and Frick, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:International Journal of Operations & Production Management
ISSN (Online):1758-6593

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