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Lean sigma implementation framework for food processing SMEs: the case of a Belgian confectionary

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Abstract
Lean manufacturing has been acknowledged as a methodology to eliminate waste, while six sigma has been regarded as a diagnostic tool to improve processes by eliminating variation. The important objective of both of the methodologies is to identify the most critical processes to generate savings for an organization. Lean sigma integrates these two methodologies into an effective hybrid method which combines the variability elimination tools from six sigma with the waste elimination methodology from lean manufacturing. Previous studies debate over the consistent result of the lean sigma methodology in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) considering their implementation barriers (size, resource, skill, time). Moreover, the unique characteristics of food sector such as variability in raw material, seasonality, low self-life and complexity of the supply chain make it even more difficult to implement lean sigma methodology in the SMEs operating in the food sector. In this context, this paper aims to study the application of lean sigma methodology in a medium sized confectionary (ginger bread) producing company in Belgium. The results shows that the company successfully applied lean sigma methodology and saved a huge sum of money by reducing overfilling/overweight of final product (ginger bread). However, there are number of barriers identified during the implementation process that mainly derived from the unique characteristics of the food sector on one hand, and of SMEs on the other. This study proposes a lean sigma framework to reduce the overfill and rework. The proposed framework integrates lean tools and six sigma DMAIC methodology to reduce overfill and rework to enhance the bottom-line results. The result of this study will help food SMEs to apply lean sigma methodology to reduce variability and consequent waste in their production process. Moreover, the results on barriers of lean sigma implementation in food SMEs will paves the way for further research.
Keywords
Lean sigma, confectionery, food, bottomline

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Chicago
Dora, Manoj Kumar, Maneesh Kumar, Dirk Van Goubergen, Adrienn Molnar, and Xavier Gellynck. 2012. “Lean Sigma Implementation Framework for Food Processing SMEs: The Case of a Belgian Confectionary.” In Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, 6th International Conference, Proceedings. Hyderabad, India: IBS.
APA
Dora, M. K., Kumar, M., Van Goubergen, D., Molnar, A., & Gellynck, X. (2012). Lean sigma implementation framework for food processing SMEs: the case of a Belgian confectionary. Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, 6th International conference, Proceedings. Presented at the 6th International conference on Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, Hyderabad, India: IBS.
Vancouver
1.
Dora MK, Kumar M, Van Goubergen D, Molnar A, Gellynck X. Lean sigma implementation framework for food processing SMEs: the case of a Belgian confectionary. Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, 6th International conference, Proceedings. Hyderabad, India: IBS; 2012.
MLA
Dora, Manoj Kumar, Maneesh Kumar, Dirk Van Goubergen, et al. “Lean Sigma Implementation Framework for Food Processing SMEs: The Case of a Belgian Confectionary.” Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, 6th International Conference, Proceedings. Hyderabad, India: IBS, 2012. Print.
@inproceedings{3103818,
  abstract     = {Lean manufacturing has been acknowledged as a methodology to eliminate waste, while six sigma has been regarded as a diagnostic tool to improve processes by eliminating variation. The important objective of both of the methodologies is to identify the most critical processes to generate savings for an organization. Lean sigma integrates these two methodologies into an effective hybrid method which combines the variability elimination tools from six sigma with the waste elimination methodology from lean manufacturing. Previous studies debate over the consistent result of  the lean sigma methodology in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) considering their implementation barriers (size, resource, skill, time). Moreover, the unique characteristics of food sector such as variability in raw material, seasonality, low self-life and complexity of the supply chain make it even more difficult to implement lean sigma methodology in the SMEs operating in the food sector. In this context, this paper aims to study the application of lean sigma methodology in a medium sized confectionary (ginger bread) producing company in Belgium. The results shows that the company successfully applied lean sigma methodology and saved a huge sum of money by reducing overfilling/overweight of final product (ginger bread). However, there are number of barriers identified during the implementation process that mainly derived from the unique characteristics of the food sector on one hand, and of SMEs on the other. This study proposes a lean sigma framework to reduce the overfill and rework. The proposed framework integrates lean tools and six sigma DMAIC methodology to reduce overfill and rework to enhance the bottom-line results. The result of this study will help food SMEs to apply lean sigma methodology to reduce variability and consequent waste in their production process. Moreover, the results on barriers of lean sigma implementation in food SMEs will paves the way for further research.},
  author       = {Dora, Manoj Kumar and Kumar, Maneesh and Van Goubergen, Dirk and Molnar, Adrienn and Gellynck, Xavier},
  booktitle    = {Decision Sciences for Performance Excellence, 6th International conference, Proceedings},
  keyword      = {Lean sigma,confectionery,food,bottomline},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Hyderabad, India},
  pages        = {13},
  publisher    = {IBS},
  title        = {Lean sigma implementation framework for food processing SMEs: the case of a Belgian confectionary},
  year         = {2012},
}