Companies must dare to adapt best practices to the market environment
The content of Ville Hallavo’s dissertation offers perspectives for the development of best practices by business enterprises.
Mr Hallavo shows in his dissertation that the lean approach is not appropriate for all business environments but rather for those whose demand is predictable. Agility, on the other hand, should be given emphasis when uncertainty of demand increases.
Simultaneous implementation of the lean approach and agility is impossible in practice. In an environment marked by consistently even demand, the attempt should be to achieve cost effectiveness by keeping the utilization rate high with regard to the supplier network, production, inventories and distribution; whereas conversely – under uncertain circumstances – one should strive for flexibility by keeping buffer resources available for surprising peaks in demand in all the above-mentioned supply chain areas.
Ville Hallavo, M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Admin.), has examined various perspectives in his doctoral dissertation in the field of logistics at the Aalto University School of Business, focusing on the adaptability requirements of best practices, benchmarking diversity and research practices in the sector.
‘The benefits of best practices are realized only if they suit the needs of the business environment. Best practices should not be applied as silver bullets under any circumstances: rather, they should be assessed in terms of their suitability for the business environment concerned,’ Ville Hallavo points out.
Enterprises must continuously develop their operations in order to preserve their competitive edge. Such approaches can be developed either by internal innovation or by learning from others, i.e. applying benchmarking. With the increasing prevalence of benchmarking, certain patterns of action have become entrenched in business life in what is called ‘best practices’ – by which means the competitiveness of companies has increased significantly. Recognition for best practices and their utilization rate has been promoted considerably by, for example, academic research and teaching, professional literature, global quality standards and business coaching programmes.
‘Although the institutionalization of best practices has offered business life excellent tools for the development of business during the last few decades, companies shouldn’t take best practices as “universal truths”,’ Mr Hallavo cautions. ‘It's now or never for enterprises to dare to critically evaluate these best practices.’
Public examination of the dissertation
The doctoral dissertation on the subject of logistics by Ville Hallavo, M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Admin.)., The impact of context on benchmarking and best practices research, shall be examined at the Aalto University School of Business on Friday, 19 December 2014 at 12.00 noon (Chydenia building, Stora-Enso auditorium H-324). Professor Gyula Vastag (Széchenyi University) and Professor Gyöngyi Kovács (Hanken School of Economics) will act as opponents, and Professor Markku Kuula (Aalto University School of Business) will serve as custos.
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