Hendry, L and Land, M L and Stevenson, M and Gaalman, G (2008) Investigating implementation issues for workload control (WLC): a comparative case study analysis. International Journal of Production Economics, 112 (1). pp. 452-469. ISSN 0925-5273
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Workload control (WLC) is a method of production planning and control, which when commenced at the customer enquiry stage, has particular relevance to producers of highly customised products. Although previous research has suggested that WLC has great potential to improve performance, only a few successful case studies have been reported. To facilitate more widespread use of WLC, this paper seeks to investigate issues that arise from implementing WLC systems through a rare comparative case study analysis. Two companies are studied, a capital goods manufacturer and a precision engineering sub-contractor. The study initially identifies emerging research questions that address 17 implementation issues, including those related to the market/customer, the primary manufacturing process, the WLC system requirements, the flow of information and embedding WLC within the organisation. For each implementation issue, an appropriate response is given that leads to changes in the theory underpinning WLC or the development of WLC implementation strategy. Finally, areas in need of further research are suggested, providing direction for fellow scholars in the field of WLC. These areas include the further refinement of the implementation requirements for WLC in additional case study settings and the need for simulation studies to verify the effectiveness of some of the proposed changes to the underlying theory of WLC.
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