Childerhouse, P., Thomas, A., Phillips, G. & Towill, D.R. (2010). Auditing improvements in a product delivery process (AIPDP). Business Process Management Journal, 16(4), 598-618.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5230
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the appropriateness of using the 12 previously published material flow simplicity rules (SRs) to shape the successful design and implementation of improvements in a casting company product delivery process (PDP). Design/methodology/approach – The business process improvement (BPI) project described in this case study was actively supported by the UK knowledge transfer partnership initiative. Hence, the outcome in terms of gain in the key performance indicators has been subjected to close and independent scrutiny. The dynamics of process change observed (and displayed on the factory floor) can thereby be exploited as signatures showing actual rates of improvement. It is then straightforward to highlight the qualitative impact of SR relevance to the likely outcomes. Findings – The 12 SRs were originally posited based on published research (particularly by Jay Forrester and Jack Burbidge) and many others. This case study independently tests their detailed application in one specific environment. Research limitations/implications – None emerged during this case study. Other investigations may subsequently lead to prioritisation of the rules. Practical implications – On this evidence the 12 material flow SRs are directly relevant and highly effective in the planning and execution of industrial PDP improvement programmes. They provide structure and build confidence during execution of this important task. Originality/value – The paper has originality and values primarily due to new proven application of a recent published technique for BPI auditing.
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