Plants’ Operations Strategies of Companies that adopt XPSs in the Brazilian Automotive Sector

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2018)


lean production, operations strategy, XPS


Purpose In the Brazilian automotive sector, where the competition is very fierce, industrial units must compete through operational excellence (KURDVE, 2014). Multinational and national companies in this industry have implemented lean manufacturing practices for some time and, more recently, are increasingly adopting the so called XPS systems. Each company develops its own XPS – Production System of Company X (NETLAND, 2013), a system that coordinates the production of all plants of company X. Each XPS is unique because it incorporates, in most cases, principles and practices of lean production, inspired by the pioneer TPS (Toyota Production System) and principles and practices developed in the company (NETLAND, 2013). By promoting communication and learning among its industrial plants (NETLAND, 2014 ), companies adopt XPSs as a way to improve and monitor the productivity of all plants simultaneously. Considering the Brazilian automotive industry, in this research we seek to discuss the following questions in an exploratory way. What are the operations strategies of plants in companies that adopt XPSs? And how do these systems condition the formation of such operations strategies? For this, we intend to identify (i) the main characteristics of each XPS; (ii) some of the lean production practices adopted in each XPS; (iii) the stages of implementation of XPSs and lean production practices adopted in some plants; (iv) the operations strategies adopted in three selected plants, including their competitive production priorities and changes in the main structural and infrastructure decision areas. We intend to discuss how the characteristics of the XPSs and of the lean production practices adopted condition the formation of operations strategies in the three plants. Design In this research, we conducted a survey initially, sending a questionnaire to 98 factories of companies of the Brazilian automotive industry. The questionnaire, addressed to plant managers, was applied with the objective of identifying the stages of implementation of the XPSs and lean practices adopted by plants. After analysing the information obtained through the survey, three plants were chosen for more detailed studies. Interviews were carried out with managers of those plants for collection of the characteristics of the XPSs and the lean production practices implemented, as well as the operations strategies adopted, involving competitive production priorities and changes in decision areas. Findings Responses to the survey questionnaire were obtained from 12 plants: a rate of return of 12.24%. In order to do a cluster analysis, we used the hierarchical method and the Ward's technique (SIEGEL, CASTELLAN, 2006, SIEGEL, 1981). Cluster 1 is made up of seven multinational industrial plants, and their XPSs are in an advanced implementation stage. Cluster 2 is formed by two plants of national companies, with XPSs implemented in intermediate stage. The last cluster consists of three plants from companies with mixed capital, and their XPSs are in an initial phase of implementation. Calculating Friedman's test and Kendall's agreement coefficient (SIEGEL, 1981), the ten lean practices most used by the automotive sector are: 5s; team work; visual management; quality control; Kaizen; cellular manufacturing; empowerment; supermarket; pull system and takt time. Companies at different stages of implementing their XPSs assign distinct priorities to similar sets of practices. The realization of three case studies in three plants allowed an initial discussion of how the plants’ operations strategies are formed in environments that are conditioned by XPSs and lean production. Other factors, however, as customer requirements and production process specific conditions, also influence the formation of operations strategies at the level of industrial plants, involving aspects not contemplated by the XPSs.
KURDVE,M.; ZACKRISSON, M.; WIKTORSSON, M. and HARLIN, U. (2014) Lean and green integration into production system models e experiences from Swedish industry. ‘Journal of Cleaner Production’. Vol. 85, p.180-190, 2014.
NETLAND, T.H. (2013) Exploring the phenomenon of company-specific Production Systems: One-best-way or own-best-way? ‘The International Journal of Production Research’, Vol. 51, Iss. 4, pp. 1084-1097.
NETLAND, T. H. (2014) Coordinating Production Improvement in International Production Networks: What’s new? In J. Johansen, S. Farooq, & Y. Cheng (Eds.). ‘International Operations Networks’: pp. 119-132.
SIEGEL, S. and CASTELLAN,Jr, N.J. (2006) ‘Estatística Não-Paramétrica para as Ciências do Comportamento’. Artmed- Bookman. São Paulo.
SIEGEL, S. (1981) ‘Estatística não-paramétrica’. Editora McGraw Hill do Brasil, São Paulo.

Copyright© Gerpisa
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Géry Deffontaines

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