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Profitability is the Driving Factor for Continuous Improvement Efforts in Busine

November 2, 2016 - 12:00am
UNIBusiness Editor
Professor Daniel Bumblauskas

Daniel Bumblauskas, Assistant Professor for Operations and Supply Chain Management and Hamilton / ESP Fellow for Supply Chain and Logistics Management, presented his findings on organizational continuous improvement efforts in Iowa and Ireland at the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) luncheon.

The ILC is a member-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing lean practices in all sectors of the economy. They provide tools and techniques to meet today's lean business challenges to member-organizations and partnered with Bumblauskas to provide participants for his study. The intent of the study was to develop a better understanding of how continuous improvement projects were initiated and why particular projects are selected for improvement.

"We saw that one of the primary factors in continuous improvement project initiation is profitability more so than other things, like safety. Safety was important but not as important as the company's profitability after the project's completion," said Bumblauskas. Over the course of 10 years, Bumblauskas and his research partner have collected data from organizations in Iowa and Ireland and found similarities in processes, procedures and motivators including profitability.

"We are starting to learn what's motivating people to look at operations efficiently," noted Bumblauskas. "Business students will be asked to improve a product based on the bottom-line, plain and simple. We can use this research in the classroom to prepare students for the demands in business world."

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