The purpose of this paper is to identify the lean manufacturing implementation challenges in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The study is based on experiences of the Finnish furniture and boating sectors. The paper outlines the overall characteristics of the studied organizations and contrasts them with one of the most famous example of lean implementation – the Toyota Company. By comparing the different manufacturing environments as well as organizational characteristics, the potential challenges of lean adoption are outlined.
The findings presented in this paper were achieved through the case study method. The research utilizes the deductive approach.
The results present an assessment of the companies’ current situations. The results uncover their readiness for lean implementation and identify the challenges that might hinder lean implementation. Early identification of weaknesses will make companies more aware of their own capabilities. Moreover, it has potential for making them better prepared for lean implementation and more consistent in their process.
The importance of addressing certain aspect of lean implementation in the specific context of SMEs characteristics might contribute to the successful implementation of lean.
The author presents an original look at supporting companies in the process of adopting lean manufacturing.
Dorota Rymaszewska, A. (2014), "The challenges of lean manufacturing implementation in SMEs", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 987-1002. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-10-2012-0065Download as .RIS
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