Report: Lean Manufacturing Systems Training, April 6-17, 2015, Malaysia

Delegates of APO training from member countries

Delegates of APO training from member countries


Lean manufacturing systems involve the systematic elimination of all types of waste in production and related processes. “Lean” also involves the concept of continues production flow to satisfy customer demand by minimizing production lead time. The objective is to get the needed items to the right place at the right time in the right quantity and quality. The process requires identifying and eliminating activities that do not add value to the process of design, production, logistics, and customer relations. The system have been widely adopted by industries and other sectors in many countries.

The lean system was developed originally by Toyota Motor. It has become more widespread with the business success of Toyota. The “Toyota way” become a topic studied in business schools, and “lean” is used by many consulting firms and in academia as a synonym for the Toyota production system. To achieve the objective of this system, several techniques and concepts are indispensable, including just-in-time inventory, the pull concept, small lot production, total quality management, supply chain management, and value stream mapping.

As part of the APO’s strategic direction to strengthen SMEs in member countries, the study mission was organized to provide participants with the opportunity to learn from and examine best practices of SMEs in Malaysia and to encourage greater competitiveness among Asian SMEs by applying the subject in their companies.


My major objective of attending the said training is for me to know about lean system and its application, and to eliminate all types of wastes in our production processes. As a new SME, I don’t have a basic knowledge about Lean, in fact it was my first time to hear such word when Ms. Lorraine Brillantes of DTI-Misamis Oriental called and informed me that I have been nominated as a participant. My curiosity drives my eagerness to attend the training and to learn from it.


There were twenty one (21) participants from fourteen (14) countries: Cambodia, Republic of China, Fiji, IR Iran (2), India (2), Indonesia (2), Malaysia (3), Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand (2), and Vietnam (2). Most of the participants are lean practitioners and consultants. Few are directly employed in manufacturing companies.


The major topics discussed were:

1. The Principles of Lean Manufacturing System. Discussion on what is lean, why lean, who needs lean and where to apply lean. The five lean principles namely: specify value, identify value stream, create value flow, only make what is pulled by the customer, and strive for perfection. The 7+1 types of waste (muda), and Lean culture.
2. The Lean tools and techniques– value stream mapping, takt time, 5S, standard work, heijunka, pokayoke, continuous flow, Kanban/pull system, load levelling box, supermarket pull, pacemaker withdrawal, JIT/ zero inventory, milk run, and SMED.
3. Importance of Lean Culture and Sharing of Toyota Way
4. JIDOKA (QUALITY BUILT IN PROCESS) – includes major tools of jidoka, quality inspection and quality control, and pokayoke.
5. Malaysia experience on Lean from a Consultant perspective
6. Case study presentation on Lean

Workshops conducted include Value Stream Mapping and Analysis, Fish-Bone Diagram, and Implementation Plan.

There were four resource persons, and two from Selangor Human Resource Development Center:

1. Dr. Lee Gan Kai William (Singapore)
Co-founder and Chief Trainer
The SMART Methodology Pte Ltd

Topics:    Principle of Lean Manufacturing Systems/ Value Added and Waste Elimination/ Kaizen & PDCA, Lean Tools and Techniques, Value Stream Mapping, and Lean Application

2. Mr. Mitsuru Aonuma (Japan)
Counsellor, International Cooperation Department
Japan Productivity Center

Topics:    JIDOKA (Quality Built in Process), Importance of Lean Culture & Sharing of Toyota Way

3. Mr. Shaharum Ashaari (Malaysia)
Consultant, Synergy Assimilation of Knowledge Resources

Topics:    Malaysia experience on Lean from a Consultant Perspective

4. Mr. Shahril Goh Fadhil (Malaysia)
CEO and Senior Consultant, Lean Applied Sdn Bhd

Topics: Case Study Presentation on Lean

5. AB. Aziz & Zamri (Malaysia)
Instructors, Selangor Human Resource Development Centre

Topics:    Lean Manufacturing Simulated Go-Kart Assembly



The Country papers presented came from different industries and perspectives. From an SME, to a large enterprise, and even to service sectors such as a dental office and a care center.


I give two thumbs up! The said training more than met my objective in both ways: learning and application. I learned so much from the resource speakers and even from my colleagues during the workshops and personal discussions.
My perspective on lean with regards to its application, becomes much even wider during the visits in the three companies. I learned even a more in-depth understanding with its application during the simulation at the Selangor Human Resource Development Center (SHRC). It was the most enjoyable and remarkable experience, wherein we had given the opportunity for a hands-on application of lean principles using the simulated Go-Kart assembly.

The preparation and support system of the organizers are highly appreciated.

The resource persons are more than knowledgeable, though they have different approaches. The workshop method of Dr. Lee help me understand and guide me in analyzing and plotting value stream mapping, fish-bone diagram and implementation plan.

Though I learned so much from the two weeks, I felt that it’s not enough. I need to digest more, I need to know more about its details. I felt the need to communicate to the resource speakers as the need arises with regards to the application of lean to my own organization and in my country.



My heartfelt gratitude to Asian Productivity Organization for organizing the said training course. It was an eye opener for me of the possible big impact of Lean principles once it will be applied in my own organization and to other organizations as well, either private or government. No doubt, it will boost our country’s productivity in general. I therefore recommend that APO shall continue to support the participants of said training in their actual implementation of said principles. The support may include consultancy access to the resource speakers, to check and assess the actual implementation of lean in their respective organizations. This will also help the participants to learn while doing. I also recommend for an upgrading training in this subject matter especially with regards to Lean Six Sigma.

My humble request to APO to include me in similar or related upcoming trainings to develop myself as a PRODUCTIVITY EXPERT.


Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) for sending me to the said training. I highly recommend to DAP to utilize me to generate multiplier effect on the impact of Lean principles in the country. It would be my privilege to speak as a resource speaker to any DAP organized seminars/trainings with regards to Lean, on agreed schedules.

I also recommend to DAP to widen their scope from an academy institution to a Philippine Productivity Center (PPC). Or a creation of such Center in cooperation with DAP and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). PPC shall provide support not only to training/education but as well as providing support to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in terms of productivity, quality, competitiveness and innovation towards global competitiveness. It will also serve as a regulatory review body of modernizing business regulations especially those that will create impact to the growth of MSMEs, in order to enhance national productivity and innovation. It shall also serve as a certifying and recognizing body in giving certifications and recognitions to MSMEs who are able to achieve certain standards and ratings such as 5S. This will greatly help our MSMEs and will create a positive growth on our country’s economy, noting that MSMEs is one of the major driving force of our economy. The PPC would be similar to Malaysia Productivity Center (MPC). I observed that the functions and role of MPC has been giving big contribution to Malaysia’s productivity growth.

Furthermore, I recommend for the creation of an extension office of DAP in our region to help facilitate the implementation of Lean and improve the productivity of the region.


I have two major action plans, first to implement lean principles in my own organization, and second to share the Lean Principles to other MSMEs and other interested organizations and individuals.


I will certainly implement the Lean principles that I have learned to my own organization, the GREENPASTURES CORPORATION. Implementing Lean to my organization will serve as my experimental application of Lean. My objective is to make my organization a benchmark, among MSMEs, in the practice of LEAN. Though, I see some challenges that will come along during the implementation process, but I will do my best to make the application of Lean in my organization successful. After all, Lean is about continuous improvement.


I plan to create LEAN PRODUCTIVITY ORGANIZATION in my locality. I need the help and support from DAP and/or DTI Misamis Oriental Office, and from the private sector such as the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the creation of this body. The primary objective of said organization is an advocacy of the promotion of Lean Productivity in order to create a multiplier effect of what I have learned. The organization is open to all companies/organizations and individuals who are interested to know about Lean and its application. The said organization in cooperation with DAP or DTI will promote and educate the public about Lean in organized fora.
Eventually, the said organization will serve as an avenue for its members for continuous improvement and upgrading through sharing of ideas with regards to the application of lean in their respective organizations.


President and CEO
GreenPastures Corporation


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