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A case study of kanban implementation within the pharmaceutical supply chain

Papalexi, M and Bamford, D and Dehe, B (2015) A case study of kanban implementation within the pharmaceutical supply chain. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 19 (4). pp. 239-255. ISSN 1367-5567


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© 2015 Taylor & Francis. This study explores the implementation of the kanban system, which is a Lean technique, within the pharmaceutical supply chain (PSC). The case study provides insights on the benefits and challenges arising from the application of this technique, within a group of cooperative pharmacists, in Greece. The research questions developed from the review of the literature were tested using evidence from field-based, action research within a pharmaceutical organisation. The reported case study contributes to the longer term debate on assessing the Lean maturity level within the health-care sector. There are two primary findings: (i) that the adoption of kanban system provides a strategic benefit and improves the quality of services. (ii) It also provides a basis for a strategy of operational change; it gives the opportunity to the organisation to move away from the current push delivery and logistics systems towards improved logistics strategy models.

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