Report: Lean Production Systems Training Course, November 4-17, 2012, Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan

APO Training Course on Lean Production Systems, Nov 4-17, 2012, Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan


The APO Training Course on Lean Production Systems is a two-tiered approach training program, the e-learning and the face-to-face training courses. The e-learning program is a pre-requisite training course in which participants for the face-to-face training course are pooled. The e-learning training course provides a webinar type of training in which the principles of Lean Production Systems are discussed by consultants from the national productivity organization of Japan assisted by consultants from a Japanese private consulting firm. The face-to-face training program provides comprehensive information on Lean Production Systems and details of Lean applications in Japanese manufacturing companies. Participants / observers learn how to make improvements on a production line through an in-plant exercise under the tutelage of experts / experienced practitioners of Lean Production Systems. The face-to-face training was conducted in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan.

The objective of the training course is to develop the capability of trainers / consultants, engineers and production managers on Lean Production Systems.


The project, Training Course on Lean Production Systems, is very relevant to my field of work as a Production Line Manager. As the head of production department, one of my responsibilities is to continually improve the company’s production operation vis-à-vis, to produce the right (quality and cost efficient) product, at the right quantity and at the right time. The training course on Lean Production Systems can provide me the tools to develop a sustainable framework for continual improvement system in the company.

The training course can provide the participants both the technical and applied knowledge of Lean Production Systems. The most interesting part of the training course is the applied knowledge which entails workshops, plant visits and other in-plant training.

My general expectation on the course is to enhance my knowledge on Lean Production Systems so I can implement / adapt it in our company and share it with the other manufacturing subsidiaries.


There are eighteen (18) participants from Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, IR Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam and two (2) observers from Zambia. Eleven (11) participants came from the private sector and nine (9) participants / observers came from the national productivity organizations of their respective countries.

The private sector representatives are comprised of supervisors and managers from the beverage, processed food, steel, cement, fertilizer, pharmaceutical and leather goods industries. Trainers / consultants from the government sector represented the member countries national productivity organizations.


The scope of the training includes the strategic planning for Lean Production Systems, practical consulting techniques in the management of production systems and hands-on techniques and systems.

The Training Course on Lean Production Systems are outlined on the following topics: 1.) Important Conditions for Successful Implementation of Lean Production Systems, 2.) Overview of Lean Production Systems Philosophy and Concept, 3.) Practical Tools of Lean Production Systems such as 5S, Muda (Waste) Elimination and JIT (Just-in-time), 4.) How to Apply and Implement Lean Production Systems in Your Organization, 5.) Value Stream Map and Supply Chain Management and 6.) Working Culture in Lean Organization.

The method of training includes lectures, group discussions, site visits, practical training in a manufacturing company and problem-solving case studies with an examination at the end of the project.

Each participant / observer is required to present a working paper to a faculty member composed of consultants from the national productivity organization of Japan assisted by consultants from a Japanese private consulting firm. The presentation highlights the Kaizen (Continual Improvement) projects each participant / observer is planning to implement in their respective countries. A Kaizen (group) working paper is also presented to the president of the manufacturing company where the practical training took place.


The training provided the participants / observers knowledge about the basic concepts of Toyota Production Systems, Just-in-time and Autonomation, which is the precursor of Lean Production Systems. 5S and Kaizen which are the basic foundation of Toyota Production Systems and other related tools were discussed. Initially, the two (2) weeks training course seems to be enough to cover all the aspects of Toyota Production Systems.

The most notable part of the training is about the plant visits and the in-plant training. This gave opportunity to the participants / observers to learn how Lean Production Systems are being implemented in a Japanese manufacturing companies. During those visits, we observed how very well the Japanese culture is adapted to Kaizen which lead to their development of culture for Lean Production Systems. The challenge for the participants / observers is to create the same culture once we implement Lean Production Systems to our respective countries / companies.

All of the faculty members are very knowledgeable of the subject matter and have many years of experience in implementing the Toyota Production Systems.


The general recommendations are the following: 1.) A representative from the national productivity organization and a representative from the private sector / local manufacturing organizations should always be involved in training given by Asian Productivity Organization and 2.) Partnership with local manufacturing organizations for knowledge dissemination. The objective is to generate the maximum multiplier effect.

Action steps: 1.) Lean Production Systems will be cascaded to the company and to the other manufacturing subsidiaries through echo training and 2.) Applicable Lean Production Systems concepts will be adapted to our current management system and will form part of a new key results areas such as cycle time reduction.

Production Line Manager
Asian Antibiotics Inc.


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