Title: Improving high variable-low volume operations: an exploration into the lean product development

Authors: Hassan Qudrat-Ullah; Baek Seo Seong; Brian L. Mills

Addresses: School of Administrative Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada. ' College of Business Administration, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Korea. ' K&L Microwave, 2250 Northwood Dr., Salisbury, MD 21801, USA

Abstract: This paper draws on extensive theoretical research and literature reviews, from two cases, and presents one case to illustrate practical application. It seeks to define and understand how lean product development integrates with current lean manufacturing strategies, and how the principles of the lean product development process can successfully be applied to improve the operations of a high variable-low volume product mix business. This work aims at delivering a unique conceptual model that demonstrates how businesses can improve their profitability through the utilisation of lean product development concepts. Through our conceptual model, business firms achieve the systemic integration of lean product development concepts with their downstream operations. The case presented of a high variable-low volume business organisation offers useful insights into how to implement this in practice.

Keywords: lean product development; high variable operations; low volume operations; process; people; information use; training; technology management; lean manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2012.043951

International Journal of Technology Management, 2012 Vol.57 No.1/2/3, pp.49 - 70

Published online: 06 Apr 2013 *

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