Theoretical Information With Relevance to 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

Still, this trait is mostly applicable within the growing services industry, whereas the industry and manufacturing fields still rely tenability on their machines and equipments to lead to the attainment of the pre-established objectives.

In such a setting then, the problems with the plant's machineries and equipments constitute a pivotal factor in the generation of delivery delays. The more stringent situation in this sense is represented in the case of lean times, which subsequently exacerbate the delays in using the respective machine; lead times can take any time from a few weeks to several months. In this context, the single solution is for the manufacturing managers to ensure adequate planning solutions (the Eagle Technology Group, 2011).

Another example is represented by the malfunction in plant production equipments which would also slow down -- or even temporarily cease -- the manufacturing operations. Aside from the actual delays, these forces also generate operational inefficiencies and supplementary expenditures. Finally, a last example to be revealed at this stage is represented by the sometimes common need to switch equipments when moving from one project to the other, or even form one stage to the other. Unless the plant and its team are able to quickly make the switch between equipments delays and inefficiencies would be created (System Design).

d) Other internal factors causing delivery delays

Aside from the already mentioned factors influencing delays in the completion of the manufacturing projects, there are also some other forces which should be mentioned. These are briefly introduced below:

The usage of tertiary parties to complete part of the manufacturing operations; outsourcing can as such be a cause of delays as it generates the loss of control and increases the plant's dependability on a tertiary party (Bragg, 2006)

The decision to relocate the manufacturing plant or to renovate it; in the long-term, such a decision could case organizational gains, yet, in the short-term, it can lead to manufacturing delays

Product complains and its endangerment of consumer health, which would translate into the need to reassess the entire design and manufacturing processes (the Eagle Technologies Group, 2011).

c) External factors

Aside from the previously mentioned factors, delays in the delivery of the manufactured items can also be generated by forces outside the plant. One relevant example in this sense is represented by the delays which could be registered by the suppliers in their own delivery of the commodities; by lacking in the materials necessary for production, the manufacturing plant is unable to work on schedule and deliver as initially planned, leading as such to delays.

Then, another external cause is represented by the delays generated by the customers. In some cases, customers check with the manufacturing outcomes while the process is still ongoing. It is sometimes possible for them to not agree with the offered quality and to demand superior quality; in such a setting, the operational complexities become increased and delays are generated. Additionally, delays can also be generated when the customers change their minds about the order by desiring new features, changes in the volume or the order and so on. Increases in consumer demand for instance almost always materialize in production delays as the manufacturing plant is unable to cope with an unexpected surge in demand (the Eagle Technologies Group, 2011).

Another source of delays can be represented by the natural environment. The effects from natural disasters affect transportation projects but normally the climate changes will affect only the outdoor construction companies because as the organization will not be able to calculate on length time planning of production, which will lead to project delays.

Delays in the delivery of the manufacturing projects can also be encountered due to logistics reasons. The more relevant example in this sense is represented by the relation with the transport company. Sometimes, choosing the transport company is important for every company to avoid project delayed. Some transport companies have poor tracking records of on time delivering to customers. Moreover, delayed shipment can be caused by several factors such as customs, weather, or address, which are beyond the control of the transport company. The transportation delays include any problems which could be encountered at the levels of flight, vessel, and rail transport (Branch, 2008). Each type of transportation has different quality of time controlling, so choosing the right type of transportation can help company to save cost of delivery and manage it to deliver on time.

2.4. Recommendations for dependable product delivery

However disruptive and costly the displays can be within the manufacturing plants, fact remains that these can be addressed through several measures in a means in which their incidence and severity would decrease. Some examples in this sense include the following:

Adjusting the organizational culture and improving the management practices

The stimulation of organizational learning

The improvement in the quality of organizational leadership

The emphasis on developing communication skills within the institution

Improving the relationship with the suppliers, transporters and the environment

Increasing the performances of the projects, with emphasis on mechanisms such as Six Sigma, Lean or ERP.

a) the organizational culture and the managerial practices

According to Alvesson (2002), organizational culture is the link between the cultural dimension and central in all parts of organizational life. The factor behind achievement of business is closely linked with organizational culture, so well managing organizational culture can bring the ultimate success to the company.

From the figure1, there are many different elements that become involved in organizational culture, so when each influencing factor changes, it affects to organizational culture change (Herriort, 1999). Organization culture and management includes organization learning, organizational leadership, success criteria, quality management, and management of employees on turnover rate. Developing organization culture and its framework will help the company to improve its performance and reduce the occurrence of rework.

b) Organizational learning

Organizational learning is yet another method through which a company can improve the skills of its employees in order to reduce the volume of rework. According to Levitt and March (1988), organizational learning is a study model, through which individuals learn by using history in the form of past mistakes and past success experiences in order to guide the employees' behavior. Learning by adapting and interpreting direct and indirect experience can help company to improve conceptual frameworks. Moreover, organizational memory is required in order to continue organizational learning without sensing a negative effect resulted from the turnover rate and the passage of time.

According to Josephson, Larsson and Li (2002), learning is not only based on training programs but also employees should learn from their mistakes and experiences in the field of work. Learning from the mistakes made is a very important lesson for future improvement. Management style of organization generates impact on employees' attitude, performance, and level of reworking. Having strong organization culture would directly reduce level of reworking. Improvement organization culture includes improvement of organizational leadership, in a context in which the leadership style is a crucial element in the overall improvement of the organization culture (Schein, 2010).

c) Organizational leadership

According to Lussier and Achua (2010), leadership is about involving employees and manipulating them to work on something they do not want to work on by using leadership skills to influence them. As a good leadership requires influencing people, Kouzes and Posner (2012) state that inspiring followers can be done by sharing the company's vision with them in order to make them imaginative and attracted by the beautiful picture of the organization in the future.

This is in line with Alinaitwe, Mwakali and Hansson (2009) who argue that good leadership can improve employees' attitude and their satisfaction by allowing them to become involved in planning and considering them in goal setting. The leadership style should be open to communication and sharing of the company's vision with the staff members. The idea is similar to Zaccaro and Klimoski (2001), who argue that the position of leadership is important in work to help organizations to achieve their purposes by running the processes from defining direction for employees until translating direction to make followers understand and achieve organizational the purposes. The key to success in leadership is a functional one, which means collective effectiveness.

As illustrated by Lussier and Achua (2010), the role of leadership is that of influencing followers to do something. Influencing means the process of communicating objectives and ideas and try to make followers accepting of them by motivating them to support and work on them, so effective communication skills are required in order to effectively influence the followers. Describing a similar approach to Schein (2010), good leadership requires a well developed set of communication skills to bringing different parties together into the same understanding in order to create coordination actions within the organization.

d) Communication skills

As it has been revealed so far, the causes of manufacturing delays are created along the…

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