Essay On Continuous Improvement

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LITERATURE REVIEW Continuous improvement (CI) refers to a philosophy consisting of improvement activities that increase successes and reduce failures in a production process (Bhuiyan & Baghel 2005, p. 761). It involves activities and processes that focus on continuous and incremental innovation (Bessant et al., 1994, p.17). CI is a new approach that enhances productivity, performance, and achieves competitive advantage needed in the highly competitive industries. It may also serve as a complementary approach to other quality improvement initiatives such as total quality management (TQM) (Pike, Barnes, & Barnes 1995, p. 23; Larson 2003; Lassen, Gertsen, & Riis 2006; Oakland 2007, p. 227). The purpose of this research is to explore the application of production systems engineering methods in the CI at manufacturing plants. There is a lot of literature on the concept of continuous improvement (CI). Studies show that CI is very important to creating competitive advantages in highly competitive industries such as the automobile industry (Bhuiyan & Baghel 2005; Li et al. 2009; Schaeffer, Cadavid, & Backström 2010). These studies suggest that manufacturing firms use CI to eliminate waste in all organisational systems and processes (Bhuiyan & Baghel 2005; Li et al. 2009). Currently, manufacturing firms use lean manufacturing, six sigma, lean six sigma, and the Kaizen methods of CI methodologies to reduce wastages, simplify the production line, and improve quality (Swink & Jacobs 2012). Lean manufacturing refers to systematic identification and elimination of waste through CI processes in pursuit of perfection (Khan et al. 2013; Yang & Yang 2013). Lean production is now used worldwide in manufacturing plants to eliminate waste from all ar... ... middle of paper ... ...ploratory conversation. The closed ended questions will be used merely to confirm the participant’s opinion of a given issue. In addition, past evaluation reports on the improvement of the production performance of the plant will be reviewed (Bryman, 2001). The interview data will be coded before analysis and interpretation, and the results of the interviews presented thematically. WORK PLAN ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: The investigator will be obliged to follow all TUT ethical requirements during the cause of the study. First, the investigator obtained ethical clearance from TUT before proceeding with the research. In addition, the investigator obtained permission from the management of the production plant to be allowed to conduct the study. The participants will be handed an information sheet which they will complete to acknowledge informed consent (Verdugo, 1998).
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