Improving the competitiveness of SMEs at low cost

Figure 1: Employee at assembly workplace: In order to stay competitive, companies should invest in their employees. (Photo: Bettina Fischer)

IFA | Staying competitive does not necessarily require an investment into expensive technologies. Companies can improve their processes and enhance their competencies through numerous methods. But which method is the most effective one? A software tool developed by IFA helps to make the right choice.

There exist numerous methods to improve processes and increase employee competencies. These include lean production methods, such as 5S, Kanban or Poka Yoke, as well as human resources development methods like training courses and learning workshops. Many of these methods can be realized at a low price, making them especially interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

However, not every method is a perfect match for every company. The Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA) has developed a software tool which supports companies in their selection process. The user enters company-specific data, and the software tool selects those methods which suit the company and its employees and contribute to achieve the desired goals. In this way, companies are able to identify exactly the method which suits them best, thus avoiding bad investments. 

Funding note

The IGF-project 18226 N of the Forschungsvereinigung Gesellschaft für Verkehrsbetriebswirtschaft und Logistik e.V. – GVB, Wiesenweg 2, 93352 Rohr was funded through the AIF under the program to promote joint industrial research (IGF) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) following a decision of the German Federal Parliament.

by Vivian K. Bellmann

Image gallery for this article

  • Figure 1: Employee at assembly workplace: In order to stay competitive, companies should invest in their employees. (Photo: Bettina Fischer)
  • Figure 2: Which method is the most suitable one? The software tool developed by the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics (IFA) helps to make the right choice. (Source: IFA)
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