FROM MASS PRODUCTION TO LEAN PRODUCTION

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Summary of the theoretical background

Since our study is about mapping the value stream to identify wastes at HAGS, we applied Lean approach as a framework. We started with lean production. Srinivasan (2004), Seth and Gupta (2005) and Gross (2003) provided the information about lean production including history, goals and enablers of lean manufacturing. Björnfot (2006) contributed with the essentials of Lean Manufacturing. Womack, Jones and Roos (1990), and Fleischer and Liker (1997) contributed with the benefits of lean manufacturing. To understand lean thinking concept we referred to Harrison and van Hoek (2005) and Womack et al. (1990) works. Lean thinking includes the tools described in Tapping and Shuker (2003) and Srinivasan (2004). We based the study on the five lean principles supported originally by Womack and Jones (1996) and cited from Harrisson and van Hoek (2005). Tapping and Shuker (2003) and Harrisson and van Hoek (2005) contributed to the study by determining the three areas of the value stream application. To describe all the five lean principles we found relevant to base the study mainly on Womack and Jones (1996), and Tapping and Shuker (2003) works. Value description was supported by Whicker, Bernon, Templar and Mena (2006), Rutner and Langley (2000).

Induction vs. Deduction

There are mainly two research approaches such as inductive and deductive that can be applied in a scientific study. The aim of inductive study is to “understand the phenomenon in its own terms” (Hirshman, 1986), i.e. building a theory through data collection (cited in Golicic, Davis & McCarthy, 2005 p.60). On the other hand, the aim of deductive approach is to “add the body of knowledge by building formal theory that explains, predicts and controls the phenomenon of interest” (Golicic, et al., 2005, p.60). Thereby, deductive approach tests theory by “confronting the theory with real-world data” (Golicic, et al., 2005, p.60). The problem that we stated for our research makes a deductive approach relevant. The reason we chose this approach is that we were able to apply the existing literature and theoretical methods to conclude on the collected empirical data. Furthermore, the authors (Golicic, et al., 2005) stated that the deductive approach dominated in logistics and supply chain phenomena research. We applied already existing lean thinking principles, including the method of value stream mapping, for analyzing the supply chain (Womack & Jones, 1996; Tapping & Shuker 2003; Rother & Shook, 2005). It led us to description of problems in the existing product family value stream at HAGS and explanation of the identified wastes.

Data collection

Data is the empirical evidence or information that one gathers carefully according to rules or procedures. Every researcher collects data using one or more techniques. The techniques may be grouped into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. According to Saunders, et. al. (2003), the main difference between the two methods is that the quantitative method uses the research instruments, such as diagrams and statistics to gather, analyze and measure information, which is derived from numbers. In contrast, the qualitative method depends more on the skills of a researcher, interviewer or observer, who gathers the information, which is expressed through words. In addition, the qualitative data collection captures “the richness and fullness” of information that cannot be done using the quantitative data collection method (Saunders, et. al., 2003). Thus, either technique is relevant to use depending upon the type of research study to be conducted. In addition, it depends on a researcher’s skills, practice and creativity to match a research question to an appropriate data collection technique (Neuman, 2003). In the study we collected data both of qualitative and quantitative nature. The data gathering was based upon the communications with the management at HAGS, interview with the supplier and sub-contractors, studying the internal HAGS documentation and field observation, see Figure 3.1. In particular, when studying the internal HAGS documentation quantitative data on lead and cycle times as well as product specifications were collected, whereas field observations resulted in both qualitative and quantitative data (cycle time measurement).

Validity

Validity is very important in the cohesion between conceptual framework methods, questions and findings in the study. If the methods, approaches and techniques match with the research issues then the findings are likely to be valid, and in the opposite (Wisker, 2001). There are four different tests of judging the quality of research that exists in the methodology literature: 1) Construct validity: the correct operational measures are established for the studied concepts. 2) Internal validity: testing a causal relationship by establishing the causal relationship between two variables. If a research does not take into account the third variable, which exists, a researcher failed to construct the internal validity. The internal validity is used for explanatory and causal studies only. 3) External Validity: deals with the issues whether study’s findings can be generalized and the results applicable to another case study. Single case studies tend to have the external validity problems due to a poor basis for generalization. 4) Reliability: test of reliability means demonstrating the data collection procedures that can be repeated and the results would be the same (Yin, 2003).

The development of Hags Aneby AB

HAGS is a Swedish manufacturing company that produces playgrounds and park furniture. The company was established in 1948 in the southern Swedish town of Aneby, fifty kilometers east from Jönköping. The three founders of the company realized that it was a need for both knowledge and products concerning children’s playgrounds. The three men were skilled craftsmen: Sven Hultgren, Nils Andersson and Rune Gustavsson. The initials of their surnames formed the name of AB HAGS Mekaniska, which today called HAGS Aneby AB (HAGS presentation). The goal was then, as it is today, to turn good theoretical knowledge about play into exciting, attractive and safe environments for both children and grownups. For more than 50 years HAGS looked at a play seriously with a great success. Figure 4-1 presents the evolution of the playgrounds.

Table of Contents :

  • 1 INTRODUCTION
    • 1.1 BACKGROUND
    • 1.2 SPECIFICATION OF PROBLEM
    • 1.3 PURPOSE
    • 1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
    • 1.5 DELIMITATION
    • 1.6 DISPOSITION OF THESIS
  • 2 FRAME OF REFERENCE
    • 2.1 FROM MASS PRODUCTION TO LEAN PRODUCTION
    • 2.2 LEAN THINKING
      • 2.2.1 Application of lean thinking to business processes
    • 2.3 LEAN PRINCIPLE – SPECIFY VALUE
    • 2.4 LEAN PRINCIPLE – IDENTIFY THE VALUE STREAM
    • 2.5 LEAN PRINCIPLE – MAKE VALUE FLOW
      • 2.5.1 Value Stream Mapping
      • 2.5.2 The three types of activity
      • 2.5.3 Wastes
      • 2.5.4 Additional Value Stream Mapping tools
    • 2.6 LEAN PRINCIPLE – PULL SCHEDULING
    • 2.7 LEAN PRINCIPLE – SEEK PERFECTION
    • 2.8 POSTPONEMENT
    • 2.9 POSITIONING AN ORGANIZATION IN TERMS OF SUPPLIER RELATIONS
    • 2.10 SUMMARY OF THE THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
  • 3 METHODOLOGY
    • 3.1 INDUCTION VS. DEDUCTION
    • 3.2 CASE STUDY
    • 3.3 DATA COLLECTION
      • 3.3.1 Interviews
      • 3.3.2 Observations
      • 3.3.3 Secondary data
    • 3.4 TRUSTWORTHINESS
      • 3.4.1 Validity
    • 3.4.2 Reliability
  • 4 EMPIRICAL STUDIES
    • 4.1 THE DEVELOPMENT OF HAGS ANEBY AB
    • 4.2 PRESENT-DAY HAGS
      • 4.2.1 Products of HAGS
      • 4.2.2 Introduction of the product family
    • 4.3 THE VALUE SUPPLY CHAIN OF ORIGO AT HAGS
      • 4.3.1 Supplier X
      • 4.3.2 HAGS mechanical workshop
      • 4.3.3 QPC
      • 4.3.4 LTN
      • 4.3.5 Outbound Logistics Companies
      • 4.3.6 Customer
    • 4.4 ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS
  • 5 ANALYSIS
    • 5.1 SPECIFY VALUE
    • 5.2 IDENTIFY THE VALUE STREAM
    • 5.3 MAKE VALUE FLOW (I): ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT STATE MAP
    • 5.4 IDENTIFICATION AND ANALYSIS OF WASTES IN THE FLOW OF ORIGO
      • 5.4.1 Waiting
      • 5.4.2 Transportation
      • 5.4.3 Unnecessary Inventory
      • 5.4.4 Unnecessary Movement
      • 5.4.5 Defects
    • 5.5 FURTHER ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT STATE MAP
      • 5.5.1 Postponement and Decision Point Analysis
      • 5.5.2 HAGS positioning in terms of relationship
    • 5.6 MAKE VALUE FLOW (II): SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE THE WASTES AND THEIR INFLUENCE
      • 5.6.1 Waiting
      • 5.6.2 Transportation
      • 5.6.3 Unnecessary Inventory
      • 5.6.4 Unnecessary Motion
      • 5.6.5 Defects
    • 5.7 DRAFT OF FUTURE STATE MAP
      • 5.7.1 Summary of changes introduced in the future state value stream
      • 5.7.2 The benefits of the new components flow
  • 6 CONCLUSIONS
    • 6.1 METHODOLOGICAL IMPLICATION
    • 6.2 THEORETICAL CONCLUSIONS
    • 6.3 MANAGERIAL IMPLICATION

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Value Stream Mapping for Waste Reduction in Playing System Components Flow

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