Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage (IJSSCA)

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International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage (16 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Contemplation of food industry attributes confronted in smooth adoption of Lean Six Sigma practices   Order a copy of this article
    by Janpriy Sharma, Mohit Tyagi, Dilbagh Panchal, Ravi Pratap Singh 
    Abstract: Food industries feed the lives on earth for survival and have significant importance in the economy of the country too. Globalisation, the growing population across the world, has increased the demand for food commodities, and industries are burdened with the pressure of high production volumes of quality products. Hence, the need of the hour becomes that industries should deploy various quality improvement initiatives like Lean Six Sigma (LSS), to improve their production practices and outputs with increased profitability. Food industries are quite different from other manufacturing industries, in terms of product type, processes, procurement and distribution channels, etc. Likewise, the deployment of LSS principles in food industries is also monitored by its special attributes. These attributes must be identified before the successful implementation of LSS in food industries. This work identifies those unique attributes of food industries that act as barriers to the smooth deployment of LSS. The identified attributes are further analysed by the tool of GREY Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL). The results from this study enable the industry to curb the attributes which are causing the barrier in implementing LSS. For checking the robustness of the generated results, sensitivity analysis is carried out.
    Keywords: Lean Six Sigma; LSS; food industry; GREY – DEMATEL; barriers in Lean Six Sigma; Indian food industry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10040116
  • Multi-objective optimisation and analysis of fused deposition modelling parameters: best infill patterns   Order a copy of this article
    by Pooja Patil, Dharmendra Singh, Sunil Jaysing Raykar, Jaipraksh Bhamu 
    Abstract: Components manufactured with additive manufacturing process are always exceptional with respect to their quality in terms of shape and size. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is one 0f the additive manufacturing process used to manufacture high quality polymer components and prototypes. Quality of parts manufactured by FDM depends on many of its process parameters like infill %, layer thickness, bee temperature, infill percentage, speed, and infill patterns. This paper presents a multi-objective optimisation paradigm based on VIKORAHP for selection of best printing parameters for FDM. Layer thickness of 0.3 mm, 80 mm/s of printing speed, 50% of infill % with zig-zag pattern gives the best results in terms of FDM performance. With these settings printing times is 22 min with consumed filament length and weight are 2.25 m and 6.72 gms respectively.
    Keywords: additive manufacturing; fused deposition modelling; FDM; infill pattern; optimisation; vise kriterijumska optimizacija i kompromisno resenje VIKOR; analytical hierarchy process; AHP.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10040225
  • Estimation of best possible solutions for environmental trade-offs in cold supply chain using BWM based ELECTRE-I approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Neeraj Kumar, Mohit Tyagi, Anish Sachdeva 
    Abstract: Present research work aimed to establish an environmental trade-off between energy consumption and product life cycle in cold supply chain (CSC). For the same, the authors have focused on consolidating the various issues liable to a higher rate of negative emissions from the cold chain (CC) and exploring the best-suited alternatives promising to lower the environmental impact of the same. To establish the theoretical framework and ground the empirical aspects of the analysis, the research work recognised five most influencing environmental criteria of CSC and proposed six most preferable alternatives to mitigate the negative influence of criteria on the environment. In order to acquire the objective, the best worst method (BWM) and ELECTRE-I approach has been used. The outcomes of the paper highlight that the energy consumption and GHG emissions per unit of cooling load are the two most severe criteria of the CC from an environmental perspective.
    Keywords: cold supply chain; perishable products; environmental load; electre method; BWM method; carbon emission; refrigeration.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10040226
  • Implementation of Lean Six Sigma in industrial manufacturing applications: a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Harkrit Chhatwal, Nishant Bhasin, Aditya Bassi, Shubham Sharma, Ruchika Gupta 
    Abstract: This paper presents a case study where the implementation of Lean Six Sigma tools in the inventory control and management of raw material were investigated to study its impact. During this investigation, the problem with large inventory levels and non-moving items were examined through the define, measure, analyse, improve and control (DMAIC) concept of Lean Six-Sigma. The study includes the analysis of the current system depicting the existing problems within the company. The methodology aims to analyse the root cause of existing problems and then based on the root cause helps to design an improvement plan through proper process mapping. At the end of the investigation, a few solutions were proposed for implementation. The results demonstrates that with the steps taken to optimise the inventory, an increase in the inventory turnover ratio (ITR) by 33% from a level of 4 to an improved level of 6 can be achieved which will saved the inventory cost for sustainable use in future.
    Keywords: inventory turnover ratio; ITR; cost of goods sold; COGS; day sales inventory; DSI; define; measure; analyse; improve and control; DMAIC.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10040699
  • Water budget control using DMAIC in commercial buildings   Order a copy of this article
    by Malek Almobarek, Abdalla Alrashdan 
    Abstract: This research is focused on one of the important water management schemes based on its budget control. The Six Sigma approach has been well implemented in an operational framework style to detect water budget deviation. The approach includes five phases: define, measure, analyse, improve, and control (DMAIC). The research recommended managerial steps in each phase that build a road map to implement the framework. The steps contain several statistical and quality engineering tools, which are considered as pillars of the proposed framework. The commercial buildings are addressed and one of the universities was used as a case study to implement the framework. DMAIC has shown a valid outcome in finding the significant locations that effecting the allocated budget. In a particular period, three locations were found significant at the university case study and the framework led to the associated issues like leakage, broken faucet, and drain batteries washbasin.
    Keywords: DMAIC; water; budget control; commercial buildings.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10040706
  • Structural modelling and ranking the warehouse activities in a pharmaceutical supply chain system   Order a copy of this article
    by Shweta , Amit Kumar Yadav, Dinesh Kumar 
    Abstract: Storage and inventory management of drugs in a pharmaceutical industry is a complex process and it constitutes major part of costs, specifically when talking for the distribution of generic medicines. Therefore, warehouse management for generic medicine has to be looked from its basic concept for its design and operation. This article proposes a framework to redesign a warehouse for storage and distribution of generic medicines through exploratory case study. Field survey has been performed and bottleneck involved in the warehouse of a pharmaceutical industry has been identified using interpretive structural modelling (ISM) and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP). The decisions made in the process mainly depend upon the dynamics of the different activities involved and their interrelationships. ISM establishes interrelationships between different activities and FAHP prioritises most sluggish sub-activities of warehouse. The findings highlight that quality control activities are heavily responsible for bottlenecks.
    Keywords: generic pharmaceutical supply chain; GPSC; fuzzy AHP; ISM; bottlenecks; interpretive structural modelling; analytical hierarchy process.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10042092
  • Barrier analysis for channel synchronisation and implementation of omni channel supply chain strategy meeting customer preferences   Order a copy of this article
    by T. Niranjan, P. Parthiban 
    Abstract: Omni channel is an approach that enables customer to shop across various platforms from brick-and-mortar stores to mobile app while offering them fully integrated shopping experience. The aim of this study is to identify the barriers and develop a path model discovering the strength and pattern of relationship among these barriers. The challenges that a firm would be facing while moving towards omni channel are explored by empirically testing a model. The structural equation modelling (SEM) technique is used for addressing these challenges which can help in future omni channel implementations. Results of this study shows that the challenges related to strategy are the greatest barriers in the initial stage of omni channel implementation while barriers related to development turn into the greatest barrier in the second phase. The obtained results give important guidelines to the multi-channel firms for streamlining their existing channels.
    Keywords: omni channel; structural equation modelling; SEM; supply chain; barriers; strategy.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10042093
  • Solving production bottleneck through developed define-measure-delegate-implement-control in solving production bottleneck   Order a copy of this article
    by Muhammad Danish Mohamad Rosni, Mohd Norzaimi Che Ani, Ishak Abdul Azid, Shahrul Kamaruddin 
    Abstract: This study focuses on the development of a define-measuredelegate-implement-control (DMDIC) framework to solve production bottleneck where this issue causing the productivity to drop. The plan-docheck-act (PDCA) and define-measure-analyse-improve-control (DMAIC) approaches have been successfully employed in solving production issues, however each approach has its limitation to certain aspects, for example, both approaches dealing either short- or long-term solution. The PDCA approach normally proposes a short-term solution that is faster in achieving a result. While the DMAIC approach can propose a long-term solution that can find the main causes of the drop in productivity. Thus, this study introduces a newly developed framework on handling short- and long-term solution to improve production bottleneck. Based on the simulation results using DMDIC approach, the production daily output had significantly improved from 264 to 304 units which had met customer daily demand. This result showed that the developed framework could improve productivity, thereby meeting customers requirements.
    Keywords: PDCA; DMAIC; DMDIC; unit per hour; UPH; productivity.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10042420
  • Sustainable continuous improvement programs   Order a copy of this article
    by Liem Ferryanto 
    Abstract: Continuous Improvement programs in their various forms have proven their capabilities in creating value for a company, but often fail to have a lasting impact. The reason is its management and engineers gradually lose incentive and fall back into longstanding ways because they fail to consistently meet their objectives, solving ill-posed inverse problems. The unsustainable executions and results are costly and take more unnecessary time for the company to attain high return on investment. This article examines three key tenets of the continuous improvement programs, i.e., deployment, methodology, and common tool. Behavioural economics approach, scientific principles, and causal inferences based on Bayesian statistics are applied to guide us in evaluating the key tenets. The guidance is used to extract the prerequisites of the mindset development of understanding and improving the mechanism of the true causality and reasoning process to uphold continuous improvement intended goals, i.e., perpetually better quality, and capability improvement.
    Keywords: Bayesian inferences; behavioural economics; cognitive biases; hypothesis testing and p-value; ill-posed problems; lean; learning mindset; Six Sigma; scientific principles.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10042620
  • Understanding LSS 4.0 through golden circle model and reviewing its scope in Indian textile industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Ashwani Sharma, Bikram Jit Singh 
    Abstract: Industry 4.0 renders a smart factory by using sophisticated information and communication systems along with forward-looking technologies. This paper analyses the incompletely understood link between Industry 4.0 and Lean Six Sigma (LSS) as far as quality excellence is concerned. It explores whether Industry 4.0 tools, synergised with LSS strategies, can bring performance excellence in 21st century manufacturing systems. Further, the scope and applicability of LSS 4.0 approach in Indian textile industries have been reviewed and explored for bringing a paradigm shift in this domain. LSS 4.0 is rarely applied in Indian textile cluster and this paper will definitely enhance the concerned knowledge base. Golden circle approach will make the idea more systematic and easy to understand.
    Keywords: TQM; Lean; Six Sigma; Lean Six Sigma; LSS; Industry 4.0 tools.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10043034
  • Role of employee training on Six Sigma implementation success: an empirical study   Order a copy of this article
    by Anthony Bagherian, Mark Gershon, Vikas Swarnakar 
    Abstract: According to a study by distinct authors, nearly 60% of all corporate Six Sigma initiatives fail due to various and, nonetheless, inaccurate SS training provided to employees. The objective of this study is to investigate what elements of employee training contribute to the success of Six Sigma initiatives in the automotive industry. The present study used an explorative research questionnaire and approaches using a mixed-method research design. The study identified three essential key elements of training: 1) learning how to use the essential DMAIC tools; 2) appropriate use of metrics (PPM and Sigma level); 3) new employees should be trained in the utility of DMAIC. The practical implications of this study would support the institution, and practitioners, in incorporating these three elements into their employee training. This paper is an original contribution to the analysis of key elements of employee training in the automotive industry in Europe.
    Keywords: Six Sigma; employee training; success factors; survey; factor analysis; automotive industry.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10043575
  • A Six Sigma and DEA approach for learning outcomes assessment at industrial engineering programs   Order a copy of this article
    by Enrique Delahoz-Dominguez, Rohemi Zuluaga-Ortiz, María Suarez-Sánchez 
    Abstract: This research assesses the performance of 89 industrial engineering degrees in Colombia. The proposed approach articulates the Six Sigma concept of quality with the efficiency assessment from data envelopment analysis. The data used correspond to the standardised test taken by university students in Colombia in their last year of training (SABER_PRO). The input variables used for the Six Sigma metrics are quantitative reasoning, critical reading, citizen competencies, English and written communication. The output variable is the learning outcome, formulation and evaluation of projects. The studys findings show that universities with institutional quality accreditation have a higher level of compliance than non-accredited universities. Also, private universities have a higher level of compliance than public universities. Regarding the data envelopment analysis model results, the average level of efficiency of the universities determined by the CRS, VRS, and performance to scale models is 93%, 90%, and 92%, respectively.
    Keywords: Six Sigma; data envelopment analysis; DEA; predictive evaluation; higher education.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10043648
  • Improving the productivity of an assembly production line utilizing lean tools and simulation: a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Amr I. Ezzeldin, Tamer A. Mohamed, Khaled S. Abdallah 
    Abstract: This study considers the production line of a leading multinational company that is facing significant wastes in the form of waiting and delays. A lean project case study is applied to the production line. The methodology used is to first explore the current situation to find wastes and bottlenecks. Then possible improvements are proposed which are examined using computer simulation for validation purposes and for searching for other emerging issues that may arise from the proposed improvements. Finally, the proposed improvements are applied to the real-life production line. The improvements lead to productivity improvement and significant cost reduction. This study explores the one-piece flow tool which, despite its importance, shows few case studies in the literature as it is difficult to implement in real life. The proposed methodology in the case study can be extended to other companies, and also can be used in lean project utilising other lean tools.
    Keywords: lean manufacturing; one-piece flow; assembly line balancing; simulation; lean case study; ARENA.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10045212
  • PMDECS approach of Red Bin Analysis the art of problem solving in manufacturing industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Sumit Shandilya, Jaskiran Arora, Kalluri Vinayak 
    Abstract: Over the years, problem solving in manufacturing industries has become one of the key attributes and a differentiator in this competitive market. A notable fact which has emerged from the literature of problem-solving that, most of the time it has been a reactive approach. If the approach has to be preventive then there must be automation or application approaches involving statistics. In developing countries where component manufacturers still struggle to implement an effective problem solving methodology, OEMs have relatively better awareness of problem solving but they are yet to have an effective problem-solving methodology which can be cost effective, time saving and simultaneously have a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach. In this paper, authors have demonstrated PMDECS approach of Red Bin Analysis which reduces the issues and problems at source as a preventive approach. This is an alternative approach towards problem solving based on the Demings PDCA cycle.
    Keywords: Red Bin Analysis; problem solving process; manufacturing problems; defects and defectives; supplier upgradations; supplier management; operation excellence; business process improvement; continual improvement.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2022.10047023
  • Analysis of barriers in implementation of blockchain technology in Indian industries   Order a copy of this article
    by Kanika Prasad, Dinesh Kumar, Mayank Gupta 
    Abstract: Blockchain technology could change the way that confidentiality, collaboration and ambiguity are perceived in this digitised world. These features have increased its potential for application in various sectors. However, this technology is still emerging and integrating it with the current system poses several challenges. There are numerous barriers that hinder the successful implementation of blockchain technology in Indian industries. Therefore, in this study a framework based on IF-TOPSIS methodology is developed for analysing various barriers in the implementation of blockchain technology. This work considers 14 such barriers that have been identified through extensive literature review and experts opinions. Application of the proposed framework showed that Poor economic behavior, Market-based risks and Cyber-attack risk are the most relevant barriers for implementation of the said technology. The study provides an insight to the industries and government to enable proper and successful implementation of the blockchain technology in future industries of India.
    Keywords: blockchain technology; barriers; MCDM; IF-TOPSIS; industry; manufacturing sector.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10047025
  • Analysis of performance evaluation and issues of last mile delivery by AHP technique   Order a copy of this article
    by V.K. Pathak 
    Abstract: Customer pride is utmost priority for any enterprise. As last mile delivery is the downstream part of supply chain management so ultimately it influences deliver chain. In latest trends, last mile performs a crucial position in making sure the well timed and secure delivery of parcel/product and improving consumer pleasure. In this study paper, perception of different business folks and academicians is taken for making last mile transport extra dependable and optimised. A questionnaire survey and brain storming is taking location for getting beneficial consequences. There are several performance criteria for non-perishable product like price, carrier level, lead time, satisfactory and courting which influences final mile and these standards is further divided into many sub-organisations. Controlling the delivery and transportation charge of the product with desirable serviceability is a component which places last mile ahead of competition. This paper proposes a method to prioritise the distinct performance tiers in any enterprise using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) multi standards selection making methodology. It additionally proposes a balanced overall performance evaluation system for non-perishable product in last mile transport.
    Keywords: last mile delivery; analytic hierarchy process; AHP; supply chain; performance evaluation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2021.10047026