Lean Production implementation: a survey in Italy


Alberto Portioli Staudacher, Marco Tantardini. 2007. Lean Production implementation: a survey in Italy. XI Congreso de Ingeniería de Organización , pag. 1269-1279. Madrid.


European companies can beat competition from low cost countries only through innovation, and large investments are devoted to R&D to improve products and processes. But this is not enough. Organisational and managerial innovation lever must be exploited too. Typically, some 40-70% of total activities companies carry out are waste because don’t add value to the customer. Lean production focuses on waste reduction to improve operations’ performances. Despite many ?rms report large bene?ts from lean implementation, a lot of scepticism still remains regarding attainable results and on the possibility to apply Lean approach outside high volume manufacturing. This is particularly true in Italy, where SMEs competing on high variety and customization are a dominant portion of the manufacturing industry . Therefore a survey has been implemented to better understand Lean Production approach and implementation, because it appear to be quite an effective organisational and managerial innovation, as many Lean implementer can testify. But, Lean Production is a trick easy approach, because it appear easy to understand and implement, but it is not. And the number of companies that achieved no signi?cant improvement is quite large. Therefore a survey has been designed and carried out, in order to deepen the knowledge and help companies that started a Lean implementation, or are considering to do so, in achieving best results. 60 Lean implementer and 45 Non Lean Implementer have been surveyed, out of companies of any manufacturing industry, with at least 100 employee. Due to space limitation, only a small portion of the results can be presented in this paper. Future papers will present other results and comparisons with the results of other surveys. Besides, the same survey is about to be conducted in other European countries, allowing a much larger respondent sample and a comparisons among different countries. Keywords: Lean production, survey, Italian Manufacturing ?rms


(cio2007)XI Congreso de Ingeniería de Organización


Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement