Case Study Topic:
Lean manufacturing implementation in Malaysian Automotive Components Manufacturer
Summary of the Case Study:
The purpose of this case study is to investigate the methods used in implementing lean manufacturing by this successful company namely MJ SDN BHD where this company was awarded by Malaysia Japan Automotive Industries Cooperation (MAJAICO) on its achievement as a Toyota Production System (TPS) Model Company (Muslimen, Yusof and Abidin, 2011). This case study was chosen because it related to our assignment’s central issue in the process of implementing lean production. The issue that may face by the company in the implementation of lean production is that the process is time consuming and high in expenditure (Sandberg, 1995). Despite requiring specific tools and techniques, this long term project also need a clear direction of work progress, proper planning and controlling, and adapted to a company’s environment and needs. Most of the companies failed in implementing lean manufacturing are because they possess an ambiguous project direction, lack of planning and insufficient project sequencing (Bhasin and Burcher, 2006 as cited in Muslimen, et al., 2011).
Lean Manufacturing was distributed across countries and industries and widely acceptable and adoptable as best manufacturing practice for company due to its flexibility, fast respond, cost saving, and superior in quality (Schonberger, 2007 as cited in Muslimen, et al., 2011). Different manufacturing companies used different ways to implement lean manufacturing system. However, it is challenging in finding a suitable approach to implement lean manufacturing because it must be suitable to a particular company’s environment and needs. There is no universal solution or specific guidelines and procedures to be followed for the implementation (Balle, 2005; Papadopoulou and Ozbayrak, 2005; Allen, 2000; Oliver, 1996; Nanni, Gregory and Platt, 1995 as cited in as cited in Muslimen, et al., 2011).
In the case study, MJ Company started its lean manufacturing implementation in year 1996, but at that time the concept is still fresh and lack of knowledge. Until year 2002, a team was formed with five full-time members to initiate the activities of lean manufacturing. MJ Company adopted project approach. In the very first step, a few Japanese experts came to guide and shared their knowledge of lean manufacturing implementation with the five team members. Secondly, MJ selected and determined a model line to run the lean manufacturing implementation project. The chosen model line was based on the characteristics of small area, bottleneck area and delivery area. Before running the project, the buffer stock was ready and prepared at the model line for any shortages of the product during lean manufacturing implementation (Muslimen, et al., 2011).
Finally, the project base approach is to focus on decreasing the level of inventory in this lean manufacturing implementation. The inventory is...