Applicability of the lean concept to the management of small-scale manufacturing enterprises in Serbia
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Lean management (LM) is a set of procedures and principles used in industrial processes for finding and eliminating useless activities. This paper presents the analysis of business practices in small-scale manufacturing enterprises in Serbia in comparison with defined LM principles. The aim of this study was to determine differences between the business practices in small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in Serbia and LM standards in order to provide recommendations for improving business performance and production. Application of LM standards to reduce waste and optimize production in SMEs in Serbia has not been investigated before, although this practice has been successfully used in neighboring countries, such as Slovenia, Romania and Macedonia. The importance of this new approach is directly related to the benefits that can be achieved to improve business practices in SMEs in Serbia. This study shows that enterprises lack a system which ensures that the customer gets a quality product ...on time, the optimization of production and resources are limited, standard procedures are not sufficiently implemented in micro enterprises, and a significant difference exists between job requirements and skills of the employees. The recommendations to improve operations in accordance with the LM principles include introduction of a monitoring and control system to ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction, tools introduction such as 5S, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), inventory management, and Kaizen as a philosophy of continuous improvement.
Кључне речи:lean manufacturing / manufacturing improvement / small-scale production / tools / waste