Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Kenneth Schultz, PhD.


The Air Logistics Centers (ALC) represent the Air Force's largest Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Operations. The ALCs strive to become leaner by reducing Work In Progress (WIP) inventory, reducing flow times, and increasing product quality to meet aircraft and engine demand levels. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is considered the best example of lean manufacturing by many. TPS utilizes the ingenuity of Toyota employees to generate Continuous Process Improvement (CPI). Achieving CPI can aid the ALCs in reducing operating capital while providing increased levels of service. The Air Force as a whole has made several attempts to get lean. Implementing lean tools without fully understanding their underlying philosophy has made it difficult to sustain process improvements. This thesis explores the softer, less tangible conditions that predicate successful CPI. A theoretical model was tested at Tinker ALC to identify focus areas for management. The researcher hypothesized that increased levels of the seven conditions tested would be positively correlated with successful CPI. Focusing on creating these conditions may aid in sustaining improvements. There was no evidence to suggest that any of the seven conditions are not positively correlated with CPI, although the degree of that relationship is very low. The data suggest that having Structured Improvement Processes most significantly impacts successful CPI. Anecdotal evidence also suggest that Drive for Improvement and Direction for Improvement also support CPI, although these conclusions were not supported by the data. Air Logistics Center managers should focus on those three conditions to aid successful CPI efforts in the future.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number