Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2013

DOI

10.1057/ori.2012.15

Abstract

Lean implementation involves eliminating all forms of waste (for example, defects or overproduction) and consists of many improvement strategies or systems such as mistake proofing (Poka-Yoke) and Single Minute Exchange of Die (a.k.a. quick changeover). The purpose of this study is to discuss a successful lean or waste elimination initiative for a building products company. Specifically, this study describes how mistake proofing and quick changeover systems were implemented using soft OR practices or Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). Essentially, SSM consisted of four sequential stages, namely (1) problem identification, (2) basic approaches to improvement, (3) making plans for improvement, and (4) translating improvement plans into reality. The study contributes in two ways: for practicing managers, it shows that at the core of lean is soft OR practices, and for academicians, it provides directions for future research.

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