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Lean Six Sigma strategy in telecom manufacturing
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
Business Unit Networks, Microwave and Access Supply, Ericsson, Borås, Sweden.
Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
2014 (English)In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 114, no 6, 904-921 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to elaborate, how the use of a joint-use strategy of Lean and Six Sigma can improve flexibility, robustness, and agility. Telecom manufacturing has been under tremendous change after dot.com bubble burst in the early 2000, and new competition has originated from Asia. Being successful requires now more than before, and joint-use of strategies is one option to survive.

Design/methodology/approach – A single case study from a Swedish company operating in the telecom manufacturing was conducted. In particular, a Six Sigma project was followed and analyzed during 2002. However, the outcome of the Six Sigma project has been studied in longitudinal manner until 2014.

Findings – The Lean Six Sigma strategy ensures flexible, robust, and efficient processes. However, to make them more agile in order to sustain in today's highly competitive environment, something more is required. This could include staff training, strengthening company culture and collaborating with key partners in the supply chain.

Research limitations/implications – This study is limited to large company that usually has a lot of resources and choices where to put the strategic emphasis as well as has level of control of the supply chain operations. The situation could be very different in small and medium-sized companies and thus it may be more difficult to realize the Lean Six Sigma strategy in such environment. On the other hand, the processes in these companies are often less complex.

Practical implications – This research provides guidance on how to manage the Lean Six Sigma strategy in order to ensure more flexible, robust, and efficient processes as well as how to perform a Six Sigma project in Lean environment, in a proper manner.

Originality/value – This research provides guidance to companies regarding the applicability and properties of the Lean Six Sigma strategy. The paper will also serve as a basis for other companies and industries, on how to survive in difficult times.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 114, no 6, 904-921 p.
Keyword [en]
Six Sigma, Lean, Telecom manufacturing
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-24297DOI: 10.1108/IMDS-02-2014-0069ISI: 000341782000004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84907090269Local ID: JTHIndustriellISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-24297DiVA: diva2:736302
Available from: 2014-08-06 Created: 2014-08-06 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved

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