Title: Advance Manufacturing Technology implementation in SMEs: a framework of justification criteria

Authors: Hussain Bux Marri, Zahir Irani, Angappa Gunasekaran

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro 76062, Sindh, Pakistan. ' Brunel Business School, Brunel University, West London, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK. ' Department of Management, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300, USA

Abstract: Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) plays a major role in quality and flexibility improvements in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The world of business is changing rapidly. The winds of globalisation have pushed SMEs to grapple with the changing needs of their customers. The customer of the 21st century demands products and services that are fast, right, cheap and easy. The quest for lower operating costs and improved manufacturing efficiency has forced a large number of manufacturing firms to embark on AMT projects of various types. AMTs have been heralded as a new way for manufacturing companies to gain a competitive advantage. One of the ways by which SMEs can achieve a competitive advantage in manufacturing is through the implementation of AMT. Realising the importance of SMEs, an attempt has been made in this paper to review the application of AMT in SMEs. Also, a framework of justification criteria has been offered for the implementation of AMT in SMEs. Finally, a summary of findings and conclusions are presented.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; justification criteria; framework; implementation; computerised automation; manufacturing efficiency; electronic business; e-business; manufacturing companies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2007.012969

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2007 Vol.5 No.2, pp.124 - 140

Published online: 02 Apr 2007 *

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