Impact of Human Resources on Quality After Just-in-Time Implementation

Impact of Human Resources on Quality After Just-in-Time Implementation

Teresita Molina (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico), Jorge Luis García-Alcaraz (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico), Valeria Martínez Loya (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico), Nadia Sofia Tanino (Texas A&M University, USA) and Diego Tlapa (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2440-3.ch011
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Nowadays maquiladoras require improving processes and reducing costs in order to stay in the market and be competitive. Just in Time (JIT), the lean manufacturing tool, works specifically on materials handling, but critical success factors (CSFs) for its implementation are unknown. For this reason, in this chapter the results of a survey applied to 372 maquiladora workers of Ciudad Juárez (México) are reported. Six hypotheses are proposed and validated through a structural equations model executed in WarpPLS 5.0® software, where four latent variables related with Management Commitment, Human Resources, Suppliers and Quality benefits in a JIT environment are associated. Direct effects, indirect effects and total effects of each one of the variables are analyzed. The results show there is enough statistical evidence to state that there is a direct and positive impact of Human Resources on the obtained Quality in a JIT environment application.
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Facing the utmost challenges with stiff competition globally and locally, firms are forced to search alternatives to reduce costs, quality improvement and demand needs expectation of their customer (Nadarajan et al., 2013).

Lean Production has been adopted by companies in various service and industrial sectors in recent decades and these companies have subsequently moved forward in its implementation. In many cases this has enabled them to improve their results and competitiveness (Martínez-Jurado et al., 2014), Womack et al. (1991) first coined the term “Lean Production” in their seminal book, The Machine that Changed the World; however, the origin of lean thinking is generally attributed to Toyota, whose production system was originally referred to as JIT, but is now commonly called the Toyota Production System (TPS) (Fullerton et al., 2014). The TPS provided the basis for what was to become popularly known as JIT.

Initially JIT was applied to the manufacturing industry. This successfully helped to accomplish better product quality, preventive maintenance and employee motivation, and it also improved workers’ involvement and commitment to their organization (Low Sui and Gao, 2011). The use of JIT practices can greatly reduce the number of adjustments and the defect rate, which mean JIT practices can improve product quality and reduce costs (Zhao et al., 2014).

Manufacturers can obtain improvements in quality and delivery by motivating their suppliers to adopt JIT production and JIT delivery (Jayaram et al., 2010). In the enterprise using JIT production system, the implementation and operation of flexible production plan must be accompanied by flexible allocation of human resources and incentive policies (Li and Yang, 2010).

The study of Flynn et al. (1997) illustrated that the JIT practices can affect the quality performance from three aspects: firstly, JIT practices will reduce waste and the stock, so the enterprise will improve their quality from more than one aspect; secondly, the question that reduce stock revealed will be reflected in the quality performance; thirdly, JIT practices will also have an impact on the butch, which will affect the quality performance because of timely feedback and thus reduce the variability of process (Zhao et al., 2014).

In JIT, long-term business relationships are maintained and information is exchanged closely with a small number of suppliers who have been selected according to such criteria as high quality, low-costs and punctual delivery. This provides benefits than can be enjoyed by both, suppliers and assemblers in the way of profits generated through more moderate transaction costs and through a learning effect brought about by the accumulation of production experience (Kaneko and Nojiri, 2008).

Although lean management is widely regarded as a business strategy and implementation of lean techniques improves business competitiveness and organizational performance, few researchers have concentrated on the validation of its positive link with business performance (Büyüközkan et al., 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Implementation: Implement procedures or activities of a methodology.

Process: Stage where certain tasks or work to transform or produce a final product are made.

Indirect Effects: The result that a variable produced by a mediating variable in another variable.

Direct Effects: Result that a variable produces in the following variable related by SEM.

Total Effects: The sum of the direct effects and indirect effects of one latent variable on a latter variable.

Management Commitment: Activities fostered by the active participation of members of the managerial levels in a company.

Critical Success Factors (CSF): Practices or conditions that determine that a project can be executed and produce the expected results.

Maquiladora: Company where to manufacture or assemble products or transnational companies. The final products after processing are exported.

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