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MRPII-JIT-TQM Integration
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Lean Manufacturing

In today's globally competitive and dynamic market place it is becoming extremely critical to recognize and imple­ment on going process improvement strategies for gaining competitive advantage and sustaining your position ahead of the competition. The paper proposes a framework for selecting a few process improvement initiatives, namely MRP II, JIT and parts of TQM that are basics to a company's operation and provide immediate visible ben­efits; integrating these initiatives in a business environ­ment and implementing them in concurrent phases. The paper specifically outlines how to integrate JIT into MRP II system and concurrently couple the operating processes with selected initiatives from TQM that provide for an infrastructure for MRP II and JIT to operate.

Most of the proposed framework generalized for an inte­grated approach has been developed based upon the expe­rience gained in two case companies—one is a highly repetitive electronic assembly manufacturer and the other a hybrid or mixed-mode electromechanical assembly manu­facturer. The paper addresses the vital initiatives that must be implemented first by any repetitive or hybrid manufacturing company that aspires to be world class.
World Class Manufacturing

There is no lack of philosophies, tools and techniques available in the market place to select from for developing a world class manufacturing model or vision. Developing a world class manufacturing model consisting of various state of the art initiatives is important in that it sets up the company's vision and direction for the change strategies. But what is harder and more important is the right selection and integration of initiatives for the initial imple­mentation that strategically fits with the current state of an organization and its long term business goals.

Figure 1, World Class Manufacturing Strategy, shows a generalized model or framework of the various components of a world class manufacturing model applicable to most manufacturing companies. The initiatives depicted are not stand alone independent islands. One cannot fit these initiatives together like pieces of a puzzle nor can one implement one of them successfully without overlapping on the other. When integrated with each other and imple­mented properly with full ownership of the employees they provide a formidable and on going competitive advantage.

Aligning Improvement Initiatives with Company Mission

Many TQM initiatives fail to provide anticipated results because of the lack of definition of strategic importance of these initiatives, their linkage to the company's overall

business goals and visible results that the team members can individually associate with and get excited. Translat­ing long term vision into short term policy or change strategy and then translating the change strategies into action plans for various teams throughout the company are critical for a successful journey to world class manufactur­ing. These change strategies or initiatives should be de­signed to be implemented in phases depending upon the organization's current culture and its adoptability to change from the current culture to a competitive and process focused culture. The proposed integration of MRP II, JIT and TQM aims at reducing cycle time and costs and improving quality that provide for direct recognition of the teams and direct linkage to a company's overall business goals.

To be Continued


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