Industrial engineering priorities for improved demand chain performance

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to exploit site-based research evidence from a range of value streams so as to prioritise the industrial engineering (IE) foci necessary to move towards the goal of a seamless demand chain. Design/methodology/approach – A sample of 40 real-world value streams have been audited to produce codified scores assessing the usage of 12 Simplicity Rules leading to streamlined material flow. The rules are partitioned into “local” (Internal) and “holistic” (External) actions. Exploratory statistics are used to explore the different uptake of these two groups. Research limitations/implications – The sample is neither random nor fully representative of all supply chain scenarios. This paper confirms, via site based research, the validity of first actioning the improvements necessary to enable “our process” to deliver efficiently and effectively, in response to internal demands. Practical implications – Expending effort into effective engineering of “our process(es)” as first priority offers a double advantage compared to starting at the systems level. Such a strategy generates both competence and confidence. Once this level is achieved the business is in a good position for upgrading the external interfaces. Originality/value – This paper shows that modern industrial engineering concepts transpose into two groups of Simplicity Rules, which can move a business forward towards the seamless demand chain goal. The rich field data confirm a logical industrial engineering sequence when enhancing demand chain performance.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Towill, D.R. & Childerhouse, P. (2011). Industrial engineering priorities for improved demand chain performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 60(3), 202-221.