Lean management is now practiced across a broad range of industries – manufacturing, construction, services, retail and even government. Although the term Lean is directly associated with manufacturing and production processes, lean philosophies and methods are applicable to all areas of the corporate enterprise. Lean practices enable an organisation to better match its production to demand, reduce inventory, reduce its development cycles, and eliminate waste throughout the total enterprise and value chain. As share of manufacturing in India's gross domestic product (GDP) has declined, policy making institutions like National Manufacturing Competitive Council is encouraging manufacturing sectors to improve the cost competitiveness of various products through application of Lean Manufacturing techniques. During 12th five year plan (2012-17), govt of India wanted to implement Lean in 500 mini clusters of MSMEs through lean manufacturing competitive scheme.
This creates a challenge as well as opportunity for the academic community not only to understand Indian manufacturing sectors but also contribute in its implementation, assess its sector specific effectiveness. The findings will be useful in terms of creating sector specific frameworks for Lean implementation. Likewise, the learning from implementation of Lean in manufacturing can also be successfully adapted and extended to ever demanding service sectors like Health, Govt. and infrastructure.
Being located in one of the manufacturing hubs of the country, IIM Kashipur has taken a lead in carrying out research activities in the area of Lean Operations with following objectives. The programme would enable the local industries to tap into the cumulative implementation knowledge that accumulates within cell.
To provide consultancy services in the area of implementation of Lean to various sectors and develop sector specific customized Lean analysis toolkits and products that would empower industries to espouse Lean in a more effective way
To act as a knowledge management centre for facilitating inter-disciplinary research, documenting the best practices and cases and developing a global and sector specific competitive benchmarking indicators
To design, develop games, simulation tools and training kits for various segments of industries and impart customised training programmes to various stake holders involved in implementation of lean in order to enhance their capacity building
To build Lean Management competencies among the students: enable them to work on real-life projects, and facilitate action learning
The focus of the centre is consultancy, training and research into the implementation of the in different sectors which includes distribution, retailing, construction, healthcare, financial services, defence and public administration. However in light of emerging opportunities in MSME sector, the cell will initially focus on MSME sector.