The strategic value of ergonomics for companies
The discipline of ergonomics studies the interaction between man and the designed technical and organizational environment. In product ergonomics, this knowledge is used to develop user-friendly products and in production ergonomics to design human-friendly (production) processes. Beside social goals, ergonomics can contribute to economic goals of an organization. With user-friendly products, a company can deliver benefits to its customers, which exceed those of competing products. With human-friendly production processes, a company can increase labor productivity and consequently can reach important cost-reductions. The growing consciousness of the importance of humans (customers and workers) for the success of organizations, implies that ergonomics can have a strategic value for the management of organizations. In this paper a model is presented how ergonomics can be integrated in the decision-making and design processes of organizations, and examples are given to show possible business benefits.
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