تحقیقات تجربی در مورد رابطه بین استراتژی کسب و کار و نگهداری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12453||2006||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 104, Issue 1, November 2006, Pages 214–229
All manufacturing companies choose to compete in the market based on some competitive priorities like cost, quality, flexibility and other priorities, depending upon their manufacturing capabilities. Equipment maintenance being an integral part of manufacturing, can influence these competitive priorities and hence the business strategy directly in a negative or positive way. Over a period of time, there had been significant developments in the field of manufacturing and maintenance. These are in the areas of technology, concepts, methodologies, and philosophies. Examples are Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), JIT, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), and Outsourcing. Maintenance, directly influenced by these developments, has risen from a mere tactical to a more strategic level. Hence, there is a growing need to study the relationship between business and maintenance strategies. The paper is supported by a survey conducted in a sample of about 150 companies within Belgium and to some extent in the Netherlands. In this paper, our empirical study investigates whether companies with different competitive priorities pursue different maintenance strategies. The results indicate that quality competitors have more pro-active maintenance policies, better planning and control systems, decentralized maintenance organization structures when compared to others. They manage maintenance much more effectively when compared to others. There is also a difference in the distribution of AMT usage, automation, maintenance personnel (management/supervision and technicians), expenses and budget figures. Quality competitors have more AMT usage, automation, maintenance personnel and spend more on budget, followed by cost and flexibility competitors.
All manufacturing companies invest a substantial amount of capital in procuring physical assets. One of the important factors that influence the return on investments is maintenance of these assets. However, when it comes to maintaining these assets, maintenance is being treated as any other budget line item. On the other hand, many developments have taken place in terms of technology, concepts, and philosophies both in production and maintenance. Some examples can be Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT), JIT, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), and Outsourcing. These developments influence directly or indirectly some of the maintenance elements like organization structure, human resource policies (training, recruitment, etc.), maintenance policies and concepts. For instance, AMT and automation require continuous training programs for craft workers and supervisors to enhance their technical expertise. It also requires recruitment of professional staff to raise the level of technical expertise in maintenance department (Swanson, 1997). Also, with the introduction of AMT and high automation, the nature of maintenance has become increasingly complex and costly. According to Maggard and Rhyne (1992) and Mobley (1990), 15–40% of production costs can be attributed to maintenance costs. With the onslaught of more automation, robotics and computer-aided devices, maintenance costs are likely to be even higher in the future (Blanchard, 1997; Niebel, 1985). According to a study conducted in 1989, the estimated cost of maintenance for a selected group of companies increased from $200 billion in 1979 to $600 billion in 1989 i.e. three-fold in just 10 years (Wireman, 1990). On the other hand, the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for a typical factory is only 45% (Kotze, 1993). OEE is a function of Equipment availability, Performance efficiency and Quality rate of products. It is the performance metric often used for TPM (Nakajima, 1988). The above paragraph indicates that if maintenance is tapped effectively there is a scope for improving the profits and productivity of a company. For maintenance to make these improvements it should be recognized as an integral part of business strategy or the competitive strength equation (Hora, 1987). In particular, there is a growing need to understand the relationship between a company's business and maintenance strategies. Lack of understanding this relationship and only cutting down the costs of maintenance can effect the company's competitive strength equation and its ability to compete in the market. 1.1. Strategy Strategy can have various definitions depending upon different contexts. However, the elements within it can provide us more insight in understanding the type of strategy and its content. Strategy at any level, say at business level or functional level will provide the company a sense of direction, integrity and purpose. In general, Hax and Majluf (1991) provide a comprehensive definition. According to them “Strategy is a coherent, unifying and integrative pattern of decisions; determines and reveals the organizational purpose; selects the businesses the organization is in or is to be in; attempts to achieve a long term sustainable advantage in each of its businesses, engages all the hierarchical levels (corporate, business and functional) of the firm and; defines the nature of the economic and non-economic contributions it intends to make.” 1.1.1. Business strategy Porter (1985) identifies three generic choices of strategies at business level. They are cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. Cost leaders compete in the market based on the low price of their products. Differentiators compete based on certain distinct competence like quality, customer service, image, etc. Focus players compete by serving the needs of a particular market or product segment. Hax and Majluf (1991) define business strategy in terms of three elements: the mission of the business, the attractiveness of the industry in which the business belongs, and the competitive position of the business unit within that industry. They view Porter's generic choices of strategies as generic competitive strategies, which determine the competitive position; the business unit will adopt in order to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. According to Mintzberg et al. (1995), locating, distinguishing and elaborating the core business is more relevant for a business-level strategy. They consider Porter's framework of generic strategies as those that distinguish the core business. Further, they present two types of strategies for distinguishing a core business. These are the strategies of differentiation and scope. They consider cost leadership or low price strategy as a part of differentiation strategies along with quality, image and design. Further they consider focus as a part of scope strategies along with customization. The business strategy choice elements like cost (or price), quality, customization, or flexibility were termed as competitive priorities by Hayes and Wheelwright (1984). They defined competitive priorities as the ways in which a company chooses to compete in the market place and the types of markets it pursues. Further, they stress that, within the industry, different companies, or business units differ in the emphasis given to each competitive priority. The competitive priorities in principle are the basis on which a business unit will achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. In this paper the term business strategy is considered with respect to a competitive priority, or business strategy element. Since our main aim is to study the maintenance behaviors, by segregating companies based on certain generic business strategy element. 1.1.2. Maintenance strategy The term maintenance strategy is generally viewed from the perspective of maintenance policies and concepts. For instance, it is defined in terms of reactive or breakdown maintenance, preventive and predictive maintenance (Kevin and Penlesky, 1988; Cooke, 2003). Swanson (2001) explains three types of maintenance strategies: reactive strategy (breakdown maintenance), proactive strategy (preventive and predictive maintenance), and aggressive strategy (TPM). However, from our view, these maintenance policies and concepts form one of several elements of maintenance strategy. The list of those elements is presented in Table 2. Maintenance though closely related to manufacturing is a business function of its own. Its business is to provide dependable service to manufacturing. Hence, maintenance strategy can be defined at a functional hierarchy level. It can be defined as “coherent, unifying and integrative pattern of decisions in different maintenance strategy elements in congruence with manufacturing, corporate and business level strategies; determines and reveals the organizational purpose; defines the nature of economic and non-economic contributions it intends to make to the organization as a whole.” This definition is based on the strategy definition given by Hax and Majluf (1991). 1.1.3. Relationship between business and maintenance strategies The relationship between business and maintenance strategies can be well understood through the famous value chain framework of Porter (1985). The underlying principle is that all of the tasks performed by a business unit can be classified into five primary and four support activities. The primary activities constitute inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales and service. Here, maintenance is considered as a part of operations activity. The support activities constitute procurement, technology development, human resource management and company infrastructure. However, several authors subsequently altered the above classification system according to their own perceptions. For instance, Hax and Majluf (1991) considered inbound logistics, operations and outbound logistics as manufacturing. Whether maintenance is a part of operations or manufacturing it should be managed as a separate value chain activity. For instance, maintenance is often ignored as a part of the value-added chain by considering it as a part of manufacturing overhead (Hora, 1987). By considering it as a separate value chain activity, management can visualize the effects of maintenance costs on the value-added chain and the business strategy. Moreover, the maintenance function plays a critical role in a company's ability to compete on the basis of cost, quality and delivery performance (Swanson, 1997; Pintelon et al., 2000). Hence, maintenance should be considered as a part of primary activities but as a separate service function of its own. This will allow profiling the competitive position of a business unit with respect to maintenance against its competitors. In addition, every function or activity in the value chain is a potential source for pursuing either cost leadership or differentiation (Hax and Majluf, 1991). To be effective, each functional strategy must support, through a specific and consistent pattern of decisions, the competitive advantage being sought by the business strategy (Hayes and Wheelwright, 1984). For example, decisions in areas such as capacity, organization structure, maintenance policies, and planning—all sub-parts of the maintenance functional strategy can be different, if the desired business strategy were cost leadership rather than superior product quality with low price. As shown in Fig. 1, the decision patterns of some of the maintenance strategy elements differ, if the competitive advantage sought by business strategy is superior product quality with low price rather than only low price. The effect on maintenance can be viewed either directly through business strategy requirements or indirectly through manufacturing strategy decision patterns. In most of the cases the effect will be through manufacturing strategy decision patterns. For instance, superior product quality at low price can be achieved through more automation and usage of AMT like (CIM) computer-integrated manufacturing, (CAM) computer-aided manufacturing, (CAD) computer-aided design (Hayes and Jaikumar, 1988). However, with more automation and AMT usage, even though there are cost advantages with less direct labor costs, it can be offset by increase in indirect costs. This can be one of the reasons that can be attributed for the increase in maintenance costs over the past few years. In addition to this, the maintenance complexity has also increased (Morrison and Upton, 1994). In such situations, maintenance has a crucial role to play in achieving superior product quality and cost-effectiveness of operations. This means more focus is needed in some of the maintenance strategy elements like maintenance modifications and human resource policies. With more equipment design modifications and continuous improvements the number of maintenance tasks required can be reduced and hence the related costs. Moreover, complex maintenance environments require high training and recruitment of professional staff and crew with high skills. In addition, more team-oriented maintenance involving production operators is crucial to maintain product quality and reduce maintenance costs. In other words, there is a relationship between business and maintenance strategies. In that spirit, this paper explores whether there is a relationship in practice, that is, whether companies pursuing different business strategies differ in the way of carrying out the maintenance of their equipment. In the past few years, several studies have emphasized on new theoretical concepts, frameworks and models both related to manufacturing and maintenance. For instance, Demeter (2003) studies manufacturing strategy and its competitiveness. She explains that a smoothly running production system will have a positive influence on business performance. However, smooth running mainly depends on equipment performance, hence maintenance. Several other studies mainly focus on the connection between business and manufacturing strategies. There are meagre or no direct studies on the relationship between business and maintenance strategies. However, some of the recent studies like Waeyenbergh and Pintelon (2004) and Al-Najjar and Alsyouf (2003) emphasize the importance of maintenance and its role in contributing to positive business performance. The subject topic of this paper in that respect is new. In other words, the contributions of this paper are contemporary and are relevant both in practice and academic field. The empirical study in this paper is an effort to build a theory on the relationship and create a starting point for further exploration and testing. Understanding the theory will help to develop the right maintenance strategy that is consistent with the business strategy. The remaining part of this paper is organized into four sections. In Section 2, the theoretical background is reviewed. The literature on manufacturing strategy is reviewed. Using the manufacturing strategy elements as a guiding framework the elements of maintenance strategy are developed. In Section 3, the research methodology is explained. Then, some tentative hypotheses are developed on the relationship between business and maintenance strategies. In Section 4, the data and analysis are presented. Note that this empirical study was carried out on the whole manufacturing industry and not pertaining to any particular segment of the industry. Finally, in Section 5, the results are discussed and the conclusions with implications for future research are highlighted.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The results indicate that there is a relationship between business and maintenance strategies. The results show some support to some of the hypotheses, which have been formulated in Section 3 as hypothesized quality competitors have more pro-active maintenance policies, better planning and control systems when compared to others. They seem to manage maintenance much more effectively when compared to others. This is also agrees with their business strategy, since superior product quality can only be maintained with effective and efficient equipment. TPM concept is also based on this link between maintenance and quality. Though cost competitors had high count in some of the elements, they were not significant. This can become clear with a large-scale survey. Interestingly, in most of the companies teamwork is still only at a medium level. This can be due to many reasons like workers attitude, training level of operators and management philosophy. To implement people-oriented maintenance concepts like TPM first improving teamwork is an important factor. There is also a difference in the distribution of AMT usage, automation, maintenance personnel (management/supervision and technicians), expenses and budget figures. Quality competitors have more maintenance personnel and spend more on budget, followed by cost and flexibility competitors. Technical complexity of the equipment does not show much variation between different competitors. However, in a majority of the quality competitors it is from medium to high level. This can be due to more AMT usage and automation in quality competitors when compared to others. This study has been limited to only a small population of Belgium industries; a study on a large scale can provide us much more information on certain issues. Some of these issues can be training, technical complexity, teamwork, etc. Moreover, the results of this study give us some points for further research. The link between quality and maintenance can be much explored in the areas of maintenance expenditures, personnel, measuring and quantifying maintenance output on quality. A limited study within an industry (say an automobile sector or chemical processing industries) producing similar products but with differing competitive priorities may also provide us with some more clues. In general, these types of studies will help us to understand maintenance in different contexts. It can therefore be helpful for managers to devise appropriate maintenance strategies in different contexts.