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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) along with the National Productivity Organization (NPO) of Pakistan concluded a five-day Training of Trainers in Lean Manufacturing for SMEs in Islamabad, 26 February–2 March 2018. It focused on tools and techniques of lean manufacturing which can be effectively adopted by SMEs and was attended by 27 participants from 12 APO member countries. It also aimed at developing competent trainers who can guide SMEs in improving their organizational performance through innovative lean manufacturing methods leveraging practical approaches and supplementary smart technologies.
Delivering the opening address, NPO Chief Executive Officer Abdul Ghaffar Khattak stated that the development of SMEs was vital for APO member countries to compete with global players. He added that the success of any lean manufacturing program relied on the ability to change and this was where smaller businesses had an advantage: “While bigger organizations may have more resources at their disposal, change is typically slow and cumbersome. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, are usually more flexible and nimble when it comes to change.”
The term “lean manufacturing” had been around for more than 25 years, Khattak noted, but the concept remained a buzzword in industry, “Because the concept of lean is one of the most effective ways for manufacturing companies to become more productive, reduce their waste, and improve their efficiency.” He stressed that the adoption of the latest technologies along with quality and productivity tools and techniques was imperative for facilitating the productive integration of developing countries into the global economy.
The training program was conducted by two APO international experts, Management Consultant Yasunobu Kakiuchi of Chiba Small and Medium Enterprise Management Consultant Association from Japan and Principal Consultant Shaharum Ashaari of Synergy Assimilation of Knowledge Resources from Malaysia. Their presentations illustrated why economies and organizations need to be flexible and resilient to remain competitive in the present globalized market.
Photos: NPO Pakistan