Lean. Do Japanese tehniques work in Romanian factories? [engleza]

LEAN is based on Toyota Production System, which was developed by Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo and Eiji Toyoda more than 40 years ago (1940-1975). The “Lean” term was used only after 1990. During last 40 years, it has been implemented by thousands of large companies all over the world and the reported results were outstanding. The question I try to answer is: can Lean strategy be used in Romania?

The constant improvement philosophy employed by Lean will stress the employees. The permanent concern of eliminated waste can be interpreted as an obsessive and annoying. A constant care should be taken in informing the personnel and to teach them the benefits of lean. This is hardened by Romanian managers which are, traditionally, not willing to share the decision process. In these days, people are over-concerned of losing the jobs. Personnel must understand that, reducing effort on current processes will allow company to use the spare workforce to create new products.

The target of Lean methodology is JIT (Just in Time). It allows company to hold no stock, and to produce everything as needed. This will, indeed, free cash for further investments. Unfortunately, Romanian infrastructure is not as good as Japanese one. In Romania we have to create contingency stocks to overcome transportation or energy problems. A company with fewer resources will go into trouble if chooses JIT approach and one machine fails. In this case, the whole chain will stop.

Elimination of waste will increase company’s competitiveness. In current economy, this can have no other by great effect. Even if companies do not yet choose JOT as methodology, they can greatly benefit from all other techniques Lean reveal. What is important is the change in leadership style, the enhanced communication within company and the constant effort for improvement. In conclusion, to a certain extent, the Lean methodology can be implemented in Romanian organizations that are committed to progress.