Who we are
The Centre for Process Excellence & Innovation is a research centre that brings together industry and academic partners to explore solutions on how to create sustainable competitive advantage through process improvement and product innovation.
What we do
Cutting-edge research should be thorough and insightful, but it should also be relevant. Firmly rooted in a tradition of empirical business management and industrial research, we focus on observations and questions from business and politics. The main focus of the Centre is therefore to provide a forum where industry and academia can interact and collaborate through research, leadership development and student projects. Our research aims to develop future-oriented thinking and solutions that are directly relevant to practice, in line with the overarching goal of “improving processes, smoothing ideas and work processes, and creating value”.
News and insights from CPEI
Read the latest news and features from the Centre for Process Excellence & Innovation.
Bentley Motors wins European Industrial Excellence Awards in competition judged by academics including Dr Jane Davies of Cambridge Judge Business School. Bentley Motors of the UK was named champion of the European Industrial Excellence Awards, the first time a British company was named European champion in the award's 20-year history. Judges included Jane Davies, Senior Faculty in Management Practice and Director of the MBA programme at Cambridge Judge Business School. The European Excellence Award honours competitiveness in the industrial and service sector, focusing on such factors as strategy, management quality, services and technology development. Bentley had earlier this year been named UK national champion, before competing against other winners from across Europe. The award to Bentley follows an assessment that included a visit by judges to the automaker's headquarters in Crewe. Bentley was recognised for a continuous improvement culture and its impact on revenue growth and productivity, as well as the company's achievement in maximising efficiencies of production. Bentley exemplifies excellence in both car production and specialist skills," said Davies. "What is particularly impressive is how Bentley has married the efficiencies of production with high quality craftsmanship, while achieving a step change in improvements in productivity. Michael Straughan, Bentley's Member…
It’s often said that Britain’s car industry is in decline, but research from Dr Matthias Holweg suggests the real story is very different. “Britain hasn’t lost its motor industry. It has just lost its national car company,” says Dr Matthias Holweg, Reader in Operations Management and Deputy Director of the Centre for Process Excellence & Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. “The idea that we need to resuscitate the industry is a misconception.” The failure of MG Rover in 2005 cost 6,000 people their jobs and left the UK without a national car manufacturing champion. “Rover has gone, but its children are prospering under different parents,” says Holweg. “Firms like Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover are making up for the production that Rover once had – we are actually producing more cars under foreign leadership than before.” Globally, the automotive industry is in a state of relative growth. Potential for a viable UK industry still exists, although its shape and dynamics have changed – with no British carmarker, it is reliant on foreign investment. Poor government relations have been a thorn in the industry’s side, as Holweg discovered while researching the failure of British Leyland, which had encompassed Britain’s motor…
New book reveals a fundamental re-thinking of what it takes to become productive Professor Roger Schmenner, an academic visitor at Cambridge Judge Business School, has recently published a book which focuses on the importance of productivity within an organisation. In the book, Getting and Staying Productive, Professor Schmenner looks at different kinds of processes – those that make things, deliver services or operate companies – and how they can be made more productive. He introduces the concept of 'swift even flow', which teaches managers to take on the point of view of the materials or information being worked on and actually become the product, so they can flow through the process quickly and with as little variation as possible. This method also shows how 'swift even flow' can lead to deep strategic insights and fresh ideas. The book uses many examples, both contemporary and historic, and 16 case studies from all sorts of business situations to demonstrate how 'swift even flow' can be applied. Professor Schmenner commented: When productivity increases, when we can get more output from the same resources, incomes can rise with no worries about inflation. Generations can live better than their predecessors and poverty can be reduced. When…