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ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.9 No.10 pp.21-37

The Blind Men and the Soft Drinks Industry in the United Arab Emirates

Carrie Amani Annabi*,Fatima Hassan**,Islam Amer***
* Faculty of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, SoSS. Heriot-Watt University. Dubai, UAE. E-mail:
** Associate Faculty of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, SoSS. Heriot-Watt University. Dubai, UAE.
*** Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, SoSS. Heriot-Watt University. Dubai, UAE
May 22, 2018. October 01, 2018. October 15, 2018.


Purpose – This paper explores the contribution lean makes to service levels by addressing lean thinking application in logistics process improvement within a MNC soft drinks manufacturer situated in the United Arab Emirates, and identifies the most significant sources of wastes and their interdependence and highlights key attributes of successful lean implementation.
Research design, data, and methodology - This case study examines key logistics employees’ perceptions on lean methodology.
Results - The results highlight the most significant types of wastes in logistical processes and illustrates ways to eliminate wastes and streamline process flow. The importance of the human role within lean methodology is also identified. Findings suggest that managers should follow both a micro and macro approach when implementing lean practices, as focusing on one waste often leads to ignoring the significance of other wastes.
Conclusions - This study highlights the importance of implementing lean at both micro and macro levels and shows how staff involvement increases the efficacy of lean thinking. It offers guidance towards the efficiency of creating value stream mapping processes in situ, which considers different wastes and their interdependence. Managers with limited resources are encouraged to implement lean methodology taking cognizance of these factors.

JEL Classifications: C10, M1, N15, N65.





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