Does Lean Help the Smaller Companies?

I came across this article over on the Bloomberg.com site that details the struggles of Saab (the Swedish carmaker) during the past year to remain in business after its sale to Spyker Cars from General Motors. The situation is quite grim with suppliers halting shipments because of unpaid debts.

A quote from Garel Rhys, president of the automotive industry research center at Cardiff University in Wales, stood out. He states that: "There was a period about 25, 30 years ago when people mistakenly thought that things like lean production would allow the smaller carmakers to survive easily against the bigger companies. Nothing of the sort has happened."

What do you think of this statement? Is this the promise of Lean production? Can successful Lean initiatives alone guarantee survival? I look forward to your comments.


Texas said...
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Texas said...

Of course it helps, it is certainly no disadvantage, but its not a miracle cure. if there are no customers it doesnt matter how lean you are. Furthermore I dont believe SAAB only produces what has already been sold.


John said...

Lean was never intended as a promise of unerring success. The fundamental values always have to be there - a product the customer wants, competitive pricing, good product quality, etc. But Lean can help companies who've laid the proper business foundation in being better at what they do, by eliminating wastes and improving the ability to better serve the customer.

scm said...
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David said...

Texas stole my thunder. If there is no market for your product then lean will only help reduce your losses before you fold.

Kaikaku said...

What You think about Business Intelligence Software for smaller companies?