Businesses encounter diverse challenges that can affect performance and reduce the level of competitiveness. Managers should apply their competencies to implement continuous improvement strategies to improve organizational processes, services, or products. This approach can be incremental in nature whereby firms introduce additional procedures and initiatives to maximize productivity. This paper evaluates a continuous improvement plan for Airbus Group. It also describes how the suggested new process can make it more profitable.
Just in Time Philosophy
Just in Time (JIM) is a famous model for inventory management that companies utilize to maximize efficiency, reduce operational costs, and minimize wastes. Organizations achieve this outcome by ensuring that goods and raw materials are only supplied when demanded. The methodology is applicable in different sectors to increase business profitability (Tesfaye and Kitaw 17). For instance, retailers can sell items that are still held by manufacturers before purchasing them. This model minimizes storage space and possible risks that are associated with contemporary marketing models. Such a process is essential since it results in increased cash flow and reduced chances of inventory errors.
Metrics and Processes
Monitoring and Sustaining Improvements
Airbus Group relies on the power of cutting-edge technology to innovate and deliver high-quality aircraft and products that meet the demands of different stakeholders in the defense, space, and aeronautics sectors. This organization uses workshops to guide and allow more individuals to share their ideas and consider new ways of solving emerging challenges (Lang 19). While the company records increased revenues annually, a superior model for continuous improvement can make a difference and maximize profitability. The use of several metrics can guide Airbus’ leaders to monitor performance and identify potential challenges. The first one is the amount or quantity of output for every hour of operations. The second one is the efficiency of operations within a specific period. The third metric that is appropriate for this company is that of the recorded quality.
The JIT methodology can inform additional procedures that different managers can use to sustain planned improvements in this company. First, this company can develop a superior method for measuring success in an attempt to identify how various activities are completed and potential obstacles to performance (Tesfaye and Kitaw 21). Second, this organization should be on the frontline to embrace the use of robotic technology to minimize some of the challenges associated with human efforts, such as fatigue and interpersonal differences.
Currently, Airbus delivers products to the targeted customers within the stipulated time. However, it records some delays when trying to acquire raw material and deliver finished items to the customers. The first metric to quantify the needed level of improvement is that of increasing productivity per hour by around 20 percent. This improvement means that the employees will be more involved and willing to reduce wastage throughout the manufacturing process. The JIT model will be taken seriously to ensure that materials are delivered whenever needed to minimize the use of space (Jeong and Yoon 401). The second one is to improve the level of organizational efficiency by 10 percent. Since the current processes are completed in a timely manner and efficiently, this metric will make it possible for Airbus to streamline operations and reduce wastage.
Sustaining the To-Be Process
Business leaders can employ different measurement techniques to measure and sustain organizational performance. The first one is that of benchmarking since companies tend to operate in sectors characterized by competitors. This technique revolves around the comparison of the recorded performance with the achievements of the rivals. The use of annual reports from different corporations can make it easier for the leaders at Airbus to know whether the company can pursue and sustain the intended process (Lang 58). The second common model is that of key performance indicators (KPIs). Those planning to apply it consider various aspects of the business, such as profits, logistical operations, employee involvement, teamwork, and overall quality of products (Tesfaye and Kitaw 19). The third possible tool for monitoring performance and sustaining the proposed improvement is that of balanced scorecards. This model entails the use of semi-standard reports that guide managers to monitor how various activities are being executed and examine the possible consequences of their actions.
Selected Measurement Technique
The most appropriate technique for Airbus Group is that of benchmarking since it operates in an industry with only a few established corporations. The leaders at this company will embrace the JIT philosophy to minimize lead time and make sure that raw materials are supplied when demanded to reduce unnecessary inventory and maximize productivity (Tesfaye and Kitaw 21). The company will compare and contrast its achievements with those of Boeing. This model will present the major gaps and strengths that can benefit from the intended continuous improvement process. This technique is also easy to use and capable of presenting honest observations.
Value Stream Mapping
Value stream mapping (VSM) is a powerful model that companies can utilize to examine, design, and coordinate the flow of information and various raw materials needed to deliver the targeted finished product to the client. Symbols are used to identify how data is transmitted and the way workstreams throughout the manufacturing process. Items are denoted as value addition or value loss from the perspective of the customer. This approach makes it possible for the leaders to identify various items that might be disorienting productivity (Jeong and Yoon 392). At Airbus, VSM can guide managers to locate points whereby delays or initiatives that might not be adding value.
Those involved will solve them and improve them to deliver the intended to-be process. All the parts of VSM are essential since they help users develop a mental picture of the activities taking place in a given organization (Jeong and Yoon 392). For instance, the information flow from the supplier to the customer remains critical since it helps leaders identify possible sources of misunderstanding. The material flow is also essential since it outlines the major processes from the source of different materials to the final user.
Recommendations and Conclusions
Several ongoing processes have the potential to benefit Airbus Group and make it more successful. The first one is the use of the JIT model to ensure that materials and parts are presented on the assembly chain when needed. The use of benchmarking and VSM will guide leaders to identify possible barriers and challenges affecting productivity. The second ongoing process is that of logistical operations (Tesfaye and Kitaw 22). This organization needs to apply the above insights to streamline such activities and minimize possible gaps or hurdles that might arise.
With the new improved processes, Airbus can sustain continuous improvement by combining various performance measures in order to identify possible wastes. The organization can also consider the concept of lifelong perfection by acquiring additional technologies that have the potential to transform operations (Tesfaye and Kitaw 22). Airbus can also embrace the power of gradual changes depending on the results gained from the past analyses. Regular feedback will become a new opportunity for streamlining operations and improving this company continuously.
Jeong, Bong K., and Tom E. Yoon. “Improving IT Process Management through Value Stream Mapping Approach: A Case Study.” Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management, vol. 13, no. 3, 2016, pp. 389-404.
Lang, Gerhard. Airbus: Aircraft Since 1972. Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2015.
Tesfaye, Gezahegn, and Daniel Kitaw. “A TQM and JIT Integrated Continuous Improvement Model for Organizational Success: An Innovative Framework.” Journal of Optimization in Industrial Engineering, vol. 22, no. 1, 2017, pp. 15-23.