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Manufacturers move to tackle operational challenges


MAN, Kaizen seal pact on training

AS industrial firms continue to grapple with the effects of operational challenges, especially in the area of increase in the cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in collaboration with Kaizen Institute has commenced plans to explore effective operations management solutions in addressing the growing challenges.

With many industrial firms relying on importation for raw materials, the effect of the currency devaluation has continued to take its toll on the operations of many factories, with attendant inflation on consumer goods.

To this end, MAN and Kaizen signed a memorandum of understanding that would see the institutions developing and implementing strategies that would aid productivity of industrial firms.

Speaking at a forum organized by MAN and Kaizen on “Operational excellence for business excellence” in Lagos on Monday, the Director-General of MAN, Remi Ogunmefun explained that the move to sensitize manufacturers on effective operational practices is part of the association’s efforts to help its members mitigate the effect of monetary policies on their businesses.

He said: “Our job is to create an enabling environment for manufacturers. The strategy is an in-house effort to build capacity of members within the industry. The challenges are obvious and have created a difficult terrain for operations but we need to embrace good and best practices to mitigate the challenges.

“We need to embrace innovation to advance our businesses and change our orientation to improve our businesses”.

Director, Kaizen Institute, Jayanth Murthy noted that the ability of industrial firms and other institutions to remain profitable in difficult climes is hinged on their ability encourage the movement from present habits to better habits, as it relates to operations management.

According to him, it is easy for organisations to reduce wastes by downsizing its workforce, while ignoring the core problem of operational efficiency.

Applying the Kaizen principles, he said: “Lean operations management is applied at the real place called the ‘Gemba’. Going to the real place helps managers to get a proper assessment of the real people, situation, data, analysis and solutions that would lead to implementation.

“Manufacturers need to adopt good practices that can improve their productivity. Consistent business excellence can be guaranteed when minimum resources are used to achieve maximum result.

“It has been observed that some industrial firms often get confused with the idea of trading and manufacturing and this has affected their operational efficiency. Eliminating wastes can only be achieved by assessing the value-chain process and by encouraging lean operations practice.

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