Title: Achieving quality by rapid inventory turnover in the supply chain

Authors: Ignatius Odongo; Barin Nag

Addresses: Graduate School of Management, Monarch University, Zug, Switzerland ' Department of E-Business and Technology Management, Towson University, Towson, Maryland 21252, USA; Graduate School of Management, Monarch University, Zug, Switzerland

Abstract: Whereas just in time (JIT) and by extension lean have been lauded as successful strategies for waste reduction, improved efficiency and quality improvement, this paper argues that the overall objective of these practices is largely waste reduction. Although quality has improved after successful implementation of these strategies, our view is that this has been a consequence rather than a deliberate objective. The paper advocates for a marriage between lean and total quality management (TQM) in order to achieve dual objectives of waste reduction as well as quality enhancement within the organisation and across the supply chain. This paper is especially informative in that little research has been done in this area and is therefore a good addition to literature. The paper is of a descriptive nature derived mainly from recent literature sources. Meta-synthesis was used to glean and integrate pertinent insights and recommendations into a new approach for attaining quality in rapid inventory turnover supply chains. A key limitation of this approach is that it has not been tested in real life settings. As such, the approach needs to be further elaborated through inductive case studies, confirmatory structural modelling, and experimental design studies to make it applicable in specific contexts.

Keywords: inventory management; just in time; JIT; lean thinking; total quality management; TQM; rapid turnover; supply chain management; SCM; waste reduction; quality improvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2016.078888

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2016 Vol.19 No.2, pp.209 - 241

Received: 24 Jan 2015
Accepted: 12 Feb 2015

Published online: 04 Sep 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article