Overcoming obstacles to lean in a repair operation
Author(s)Christensen, Daniel D. (Daniel David)
Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Roy Welsch and Chris Magee.
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Over the last three decades, manufacturing companies have come to recognize the value of institutionalizing continuous improvement efforts. Most of them look to Toyota as a leader in this area and have taken Toyota's model for implementing lean, the Toyota Production System (TPS), and adapted it to fit their business. While the tools created and implemented by Toyota are a big part of TPS, the tools alone will not cause a lean transformation. TPS is not a toolkit at all, but rather, a way of thinking that is often explained to others with tools as pedagogical devices. United Technologies Corporation has created their own operating system, Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE), which includes many of the tools espoused by Toyota. ACE has produced extraordinary results and has been a large part of United Technologies' success over the past fifteen years. While ACE has proven successful at the corporate level, it has not taken root at the Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation repair operation in Phoenix, Arizona. This thesis is based on the research that the author conducted during a six month internship at that Hamilton Sundstrand electronics repair facility in Phoenix. Using this site as an example, it explores a variety of the challenges companies face in their attempts to create a lean work environment. The central finding of the thesis is that for a lean implementation to be successful, four main elements are necessary. First, a company must have the supporting tools and techniques for driving change. Second, managers must become teachers capable of helping others increase their problem-solving ability. Third, process ownership and responsibility for improvement efforts must be pushed to the lowest level possible. Finally, they need methodical and sustained support for lean from the top to the bottom of the entire organization.
Thesis (M.B.A.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division; in conjunction with the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MIT, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-77).
DepartmentSloan School of Management.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Leaders for Global Operations Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management., Engineering Systems Division., Leaders for Global Operations Program.