Study of «Lean Production» Technology Application at Domestic and Foreign Enterprises

By Khamidullina, Alfiya M.; Puryaev, Aidar S. | Academy of Strategic Management Journal, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Study of «Lean Production» Technology Application at Domestic and Foreign Enterprises


Khamidullina, Alfiya M., Puryaev, Aidar S., Academy of Strategic Management Journal


INTRODUCTION

In modern world, the overwhelming majority of companies which are the world leaders in their respective industries (Toyota, Ford, Boeing, Airbus, GE, Scania, Alcoa, Xerox and others) apply actively the lean manufacturing system (D.P. Womeck., 2004, p. 473; Sheree Hanna, 2014). Russia fell behind other countries in terms of familiarity with lean manufacturing for decades. There is a high demand for it today. First, it's the desire to make up for lost time, and secondly it a vital necessity. This is especially true for large industrial enterprises with the heritage of the past in the form of mass production with its large batches, worn-out equipment and an excessively large staff of employees. I.e. those companies who understand that they will not be competitive if they do not begin to take immediate measures. There is an increase of domestic enterprise number in recent years. These enterprises upgrade their quality management systems, using the concept of lean manufacturing. There are their own peculiarities of lean production concept in different countries (Michael A. Cusumano, 2016). The experience of lean production implementation in Russia and in the developed countries has an important feature. A great importance is provided for lean manufacturing tools at Russian enterprises. And a great attention is given to the development of lean manufacturing ideology and corporate management culture at foreign organizations (Safronova K.O., 2012, p. 431). However, the tools of lean manufacturing do not work without an ideology. The primary issues are the issues of thinking and the implementation of rational proposals.

RESEARCH METHOD

Paper objective: to investigate the application and implementation of «Lean Production» technology issues at enterprises. The study was conducted using the method of article literary review and other materials on the use and the implementation of "Lean production" technology at different branch enterprises in different countries. The resulting material was subjected to the comparative analysis in order to identify the specific application of manufacturing technique at enterprises. This allowed proposing the ways of the studied technology application improvement during the next stage.

STUDY RESULTS

"Lean production" system includes a large number of tools and techniques from these approaches, and often management approaches (Kuzmin A.M, 2007, p. 19; Nikulina O.V., Konovalenko D.G., 2014, p. 372; Michael Ballé, James Morgan, and Durward K. Sobek II, 2016). Moreover, the composition of applied tools will depend on the conditions of particular enterprise specific objectives. The table below shows the features of "lean production" concept application in different countries.

Each company uses a specific set of tools (Lean manufacturing, 2016). In the future, these tools become the components of the operating system, which has a unique name of the company using these tools ( Jeffrey K. Liker, 2004, p. 268). The first Russian companies which applied lean manufacturing are the Gorky Automobile Plant ("GAZ Group"), VAZ, KAMAZ, Rusal, EvrazHolding, Eurokhym, VSMPO-AVISMA, OJSC "KUMZ", SeverStal-auto, etc. The interest in "lean production" concept was caused by an increased inflow of leading foreign companies to the Russian market, which use the concept methods. In order to be competitive, Russian companies have to optimize their production and business processes (RazumovRazdolov K.L., 2008, p. 16; Tulchinsky S., date of appeal 10.10.2014).

As a rule, Russian companies experience significant difficulties at the implementation of lean production rules. Often their reasons are the following ones: a) the lack of methodology deep understanding among the experts who undertake to carry out lean-conversions, and focus primarily on symptoms; b) the lack of methodology adaptation to the peculiarities of a particular organization, the use of the most well described procedures to deal with any organizational problems; c) the lack of a systematic approach in the transformations of an organization, the use lean manufacturing system as a set of operational-level instruments; d) the introduction of a formal project with formal objectives and formal outcomes; d) the lack of specialized knowledge and skills for a lean manufacturing project implementation; e) the lack of interest among owners and top managers; g) the complexity of the entire lean system architecture understanding (philosophical principles, systems and tools, the real production problems they solve); h) the resistance to changes on the part of employees in relation to the fear of non-compliance with new requirements and the fear of losing their jobs, as well as the reluctance to increase the loads at the same salary (Kuzmin A. …

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