Title: Assessment of continuous improvement approach in SMEs of Northern India

Authors: Jagdeep Singh, Harwinder Singh

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Department, Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology, Bhutta, Ludhiana, Punjab, 141206, India. ' Mechanical and Production Engineering Department, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, Punjab, 141006, India

Abstract: Continuous improvement (CI) is a management approach focused on achieving major enhancements in a process through small incremental improvements. Continuous improvement approach is being used by small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing sector to improve the performance of their manufacturing system processes. This study attempts to evaluate the performance of continuous improvement approach in SMEs of Northern India. The level of importance of different CI tools and the important benefits achieved after the implementation of CI tools and technique have been identified. The results indicated that the manufacturing enterprises are highly focused on customer relationship for carrying out continuous improvement and CI approach plays a vital role in improving the quality of the product.

Keywords: continuous improvement; kaizen; small incremental improvements; manufacturing industries; India; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; manufacturing processes; customer relationships; product quality; productivity; quality management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2010.032068

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2010 Vol.5 No.3, pp.252 - 268

Published online: 08 Mar 2010 *

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