Leveraging capabilities for digitally supported process improvement: a framework for combining Lean and ERP

Indrė Liutkevičienė*, Niels Gorm Malý Rytter, David Hansen


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Purpose: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Lean are both widely used approaches to business process improvement. However, research is limited on their interactions when implemented in combination, leveraging the advantages of both. The purpose of this paper is to propose a generic framework for implementing ERP and Lean in combination to develop digitally supported business process improvement capability and improved competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach: Principles and elements for the framework were derived from the extant literature and subsequently applied as input for solution incubation using design science research (DSR) in a five-year case study. Study results and learnings enabled solution refinement and the development of a generic framework for digital supported process improvement capabilities. Findings: The paper presents a case study narrative and proposes a framework for digitally supported business process improvement capability based on Lean and enabled digitally by ERP. The framework delivers tangible productivity and quality improvements deployed, and an increase of continuous improvement capability. Originality/value: This paper provides a novel generic framework and a set of guidelines for implementing Lean and ERP in SMEs and/or service companies to improve their business process excellence. The paper contributes to the scientific literature by providing insights on how SMEs and service operations can integrate Lean and ERP methods, digitalize and streamline processes in the organization and build continuous improvement capabilities.

TidsskriftBusiness Process Management Journal
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)765-783
StatusUdgivet - 20. maj 2022

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© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


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