WCM/U1 Topic 4 Global Competitiveness and Manufacturing Excellence
World class manufacturing has been characterised by three core strategies of customer focus, quality, and agility such as the ability to quickly, efficiently and effectively respond to change and six supporting competencies; employee involvement (EI), supply management, technology, product development, environmental responsibility and employee safety (Kinni, 1996). It is necessary for organizations to consider some critical factors that may impact implementation process and address them effectually to guarantee benefits and evade failures when executing World Class Manufacturing concept.
These factors are management commitment, quality department, continuous improvement and customer involvement. Theorist, Greene defined that “WCM companies are those companies which continuously outperform the industry’s global best practices and which know intimately their customers and suppliers, know their competitors’ performance capabilities and know their own strengths and weaknesses. All of which form a basis of continually changing competitive strategies and performance objectives (1991, p. 14). The perception of World Class Manufacturing is in reality in the manufacturing set up which can be implemented through the proper tools and methods such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and within it Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), SMED, pull and kanban system, continuous flow, visual management, team work, JIT, 5S, waste elimination, Statistical Process Control (SPC), Zero Quality Control (parts per million – PPM).
Figure: Factors of World Class Manufacturing
The Implementation of World Class Manufacturing
Management studies denotes that any organization can get success if it provides soothing conditions for improvement of both manufacturing and administrative processes. The implementation of world class manufacturing is usually organized in the companies by separate department whose job is to train employees about how to use WCM notion and methods, then organisation of individual projects, all that recording in the documentation, and evaluation of results and their distribution. World class manufacturing department addresses and aligns three major areas that include People, Process and Production:
- Area: People: Teams and peoples in the company work in secure atmosphere to accomplish goals of management and to satisfy the customer needs. Company must give more emphasis on health, safety, environmental thinking and behaviour. Management considers an education and training of people, then leading people to teamwork.
- Area: Processes: the process is a series of individual actions performed in a specific sequence that create value. It is important that processes must be standardized and give superior results over time and that the maintenance of processes and equipment must proceed well.
- Area: Production: Flow is the rhythmic and continuous transmission of the right material and precise information within the manufacturing operations at the correct time, in the right quantity and in the right way. The objective of flow production is to decrease product throughput time and human energy through a series of appropriate actions. The role of World Class Manufacturing engineer is to
- Implement and communicate the World Class Manufacturing concept in a company and oversight its proper implementation.
- To train top management and other company managers in World Class Manufacturing practices and assist them in implementing their training sessions.
- Introduce indicators, collect and visualize the results achieved by the company.
- Find solutions in World Class Manufacturing area of how to optimize resources for individual company departments;
- Find solutions to the demands of workplaces regarding World Class Manufacturing methods.
- Collaborate in defining company strategy in terms of World Class Manufacturing activities.
- Prepare meetings with company management.
- Introduce methodological procedures.
- Plan the necessary financial and human resources in the implementation of World Class Manufacturing.
Obstacle to World Class Manufacturing Implementation:
It is well established in management studies that World Class Manufacturing is a necessary practise for the achievement of competitiveness. It combines a system of knowledge, techniques, experiences, skills, and organisational characteristics that are needed to produce, utilise and control output. World Class Manufacturing is critical to competition, because the techniques and resources it combines can create new opportunities. Such an approach is given added motivation by speedy technological changes and aggressive competition, requiring manufacturers to consider the adaptation of recent techniques of World Class Manufacturing. Nonetheless, many theorists have argued that WCM implementation has a number of limitations that must be addressed in the manufacturing strategy (Hollensen, 2001). When executing the World Class Manufacturing techniques, there are many barriers such as partial implementation of WCM techniques, optimistic expectations and implementation of WCM to conform to societal norms rather than for its instrumentality (Campbell, 1994). Major problems in World Class Manufacturing application include incomplete implementation, lack of a well-defined routine for attaining the objectives of implementation, cultural resistance to change, lack of training and education, and lack of organizational communication (Crawford et al., 1988). Safayeni et al. (1991) stated that ineffectiveness of WCM implementation is due to misperception over what exactly constitutes World Class Manufacturing and its implementation within an existing organization structure that does not provide the necessary support. The main obstacle that affect World Class Manufacturing implementation is the incapability of a company to synchronize its human resource practices, management policies and technology (Fredendall et al., 1997).
To sum up, world-class manufacturing is a manufacturing management viewpoint that focuses on constant enhancement of manufacturing practises through human resource development. Management must put more emphasis on higher standards of quality, flexibility, and productivity. It represents a blend of various concepts, principles, policies and techniques for the management and operation of companies engaged in production.