The impact of continuous improvement methods on a firm's competitive priorities: empirical evidence from the customers perspective in the aerospace industry

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Lynch, Adam Carlton
Malzahn, Don E.

The purpose of this research paper is to examine the actual and perceived results from the customer perspective on the Competitive Priorities of cost, quality, delivery, flexibility and innovation stemming from Continuous Improvement initiatives in small to medium-enterprises (SMEs) in the Aerospace Supply chain in the USA. Specifically, empirical data was collected via electronic survey of AS 9100 registered companies in which the companies examined both themselves and their lower tier Nadcap Special Process Industry suppliers, including Thermal Processing (aka Heat Treating), Metal Finishing (aka Chemical Processors) , and Surface Enhancement (aka Shot Peening). Analysis of the survey data was conducted with a Structured Equation Model (SEM), specifically using the Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS-PM) technique to determine the nature and intensity of the relationships among the various Competitive Priorities which served as the latent constructs of this study.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Industrial, Systems and Manufacturing Engineering