CAVS Publication Abstract

Preliminary Investigation into Problem Solving within Small and Medium Manufacturing Enterprises.

Simmons, L., Walden, C., & Holt, R. (2011). Preliminary Investigation into Problem Solving within Small and Medium Manufacturing Enterprises. Proceedings of the 2011 Industrial Engineering Research Conference. Reno, NV.

Abstract

Over the years, many problem solving methodologies have become popular including a variety of techniques (e.g., DMAIC, PDCA, SPC, DOE, ). Based on a preliminary literature review, it appears as if most of these approaches are typically more successfully implemented within larger enterprises than within Small and Medium Size Manufacturing Enterprises (SMEs). It is hypothesized that one of the reasons may be that many of these techniques tend to require access to professional staff and expertise typically available within larger organizations. This research will offer an initial set of definitions that describe particular obstacles faced by SMEs during successful problem solving implementation. These definitions will be based on literature review and field experience. Also, included in this research is a preliminary approach for empirically evaluating alternative problem solving strategies relative to a subset of the obstacles faced by SMEs.