Benchmarking the Key Determinants for Successful Business Growth Within Manufacturing

  • Richard Barton

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Manufacturing companies based in high labour-cost economies must have a well defined strategy to develop and maintain core competencies in process capability, continuous improvement and manufacturing best practice to ensure sustainability of the business unit.

    This research was undertaken to determine the key enablers of sustained business growth and use this knowledge to contribute to the body of knowledge around use of business improvement techniques within a manufacturing improvement strategy. Auditing and performance measurement techniques have been used in this research to assess the growth and sustainability characteristics in two cases, who have successfully applied very different approaches to achieve business growth.

    By reviewing existing assessment processes, and the audit output from these two case studies, this research demonstrates the strengths and shortcomings of the available practices, in particular the Quickscan tool selected for this research. Methodological improvements are then proposed, to focus on aligning business improvement activities with the identified gaps between current performance and customer requirements. The new approach provides a capability to assess a complex supply chain system against the determinants of competitive advantage, hence achieve sustained company growth.

    This study directly contributes to the body of knowledge around supply chain auditing and benchmarking, by focussing on novel aspects of customer demand and feedback to improve the accuracy of the audit recommendations. This contribution is novel both in terms of the ten critical success factors, and also the resulting methodological improvement. It overcomes weaknesses in existing business maturity models which seek to standardise performance of a value chain rather than provide competitive advantage through effectiveness of the complex supply chain.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish

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