Comparison of lean management in Japanese and Belgian manufacturing SMEs: Intermediate Conclusion
In Belgium, Lean seems to be applied well in some large companies, but for SMEs it remains difficult to get good results. The aim of this research is to investigate why this is the case, by comparing manufacturing SMEs in Japan and in Belgium. A major reason for the problems with Lean implementation seems to be a lack of a culture for continuous improvement, regarding to both managers and employees. In this presentation, I formed an intermediate conclusion about the first part of the research that was conducted in Japan. Generally, Japanese SMEs seem to focus strongly on quality. Even though the Lean awareness is not so high, the culture of continuous improvement seems to be inherently present. However, there is still room for improvement. Starting from September, I will focus on Belgian SMEs, after which I will compare both countries and form a conclusion.