A Lean Transformation Journey - A Case Study of the Lean Implementation Process at a Medium-Sized Manufacturing Plant

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Boström, Martin
Olsson, Johan
The fierce market competition has forced organizations to constantly improve in order to keep up with their competitors and increasing customer demands. Lean manufacturing is a popular improvement strategy for companies to embrace, as it aims to increase the customer value through the removal of wastes in production. However, embracing a Lean philosophy is far from easy, and an insufficient understanding of the Lean concepts and practices is a main cause of the failure rates of 80%. This study aims to investigate how Lean manufacturing can be implemented into a medium-sized manufacturing plant and the decisive success factors, to define a suitable approach for others who seeks to become Lean. Moreover, the research aims to identify the challenges that arose during a Lean implementation at Gunnebo Entrance Control S.p.A., and the process of solving them. The results and conclusions of this research are based on an extensive literature review of 65 publications, and a 5-month case study with daily interviews and 500 hours of observations at the shop-floor. To achieve the purpose, the authors have been involved in a Lean transformation project at Gunnebo Entrance Control S.p.A., a manufacturing plant in Lavis, Italy. The findings demonstrate that Gunnebo was successful in their Lean implementation which is based on improvements validated through increased capacity and improved space utilization, in combination with qualitative assessments from interviews and observations. The challenges faced at Gunnebo were closely connected to change management, which stresses the importance of Lean implementation projects not only possessing appropriate Lean expertise, but also expertise in managing an extensive organizational change. Furthermore, a holistic framework for a successful Lean implementation is presented to assist companies in Lean transformations. The framework suggests lower maturity Lean practices at an early stage to provide short-term success to overcome resistance, and higher maturity Lean practices once a robust Lean foundation has been set. Lastly, following the framework will result in different Lean practices for every company and it cannot be emphasized enough that a Lean transformation, like any other extensive organizational change, has to be adapted to the specific context in order to be successful.
Transport, Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi, Transport, Other industrial engineering and economics
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