Title: A framework for assessing the cost effectiveness of lean tools

Authors: Imad Alsyouf, Raid Al-Aomar, Heba Al-Hamed, Xiaojin Qiu

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Linnaeus University, SE – 351 95 Vaxjo, Sweden. ' Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Linnaeus University, SE – 351 95 Vaxjo, Sweden. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Linnaeus University, SE – 351 95 Vaxjo, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper, a framework for assessing the cost effectiveness of lean tools is developed. The framework consists of eight phases within the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) problem solving and continuous improvement cycle. The framework was verified using a case study of a sawmill process at a wood manufacturer in Sweden. The framework enabled decision-makers to holistically assess the company|s performance with respect to customer requirements, identify key process problems, and then select a cost effective lean improvement tool. The originality of the proposed framework was evident in addressing three key issues related to lean manufacturing: proposing lean techniques based on quality function deployment (QFD), developing a process lean profile using value stream mapping (VSM) and balanced scorecard (BSC), and assessing the cost effectiveness of lean tools using life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) and multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM). [Submitted 02 March 2009; Revised 27 October 2009; Revised 21 January 2010; Accepted 28 March 2010]

Keywords: lean manufacturing; lean tools; value stream mapping; cost effectiveness; life cycle cost analysis; LCCA; balanced scorecard; BSC; quality function deployment; QFD; multicriteria decision making; MCDM; sawmills; industrial engineering; wood manufacturing; Sweden; customer requirements.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2011.039871

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2011 Vol.5 No.2, pp.170 - 197

Published online: 22 Apr 2011 *

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