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Russia Is Waking Up to Lean Manufacturing

It looks like Russia is turning into an important player in the world economy. In addition to successes and advances in the national economy based on gas and oil, Russia is thinking about improving its competitiveness by banish wastes from processes in industries and organizations.

Proof to that is the First Russian Lean Forum that was held the city of Yekaterinburg in the industrial heart of Russia, in the Urals. More than 250 top managers from such industries, as metal (ferrous and non-ferrous), automotive, chemical, mining, aviation, machine building, medical equipment, consumer goods, insurance, research institutes and others gathered in the brand new conference halls of the World Trade Center in the Russia’s Federal District capital.

Lean Manufacturing experts from the USA, Japan, Italy, and Turkey made presentations. Ukrain and Kazakhstan sent representatives.

According to the hosts and main sponsors of the Forum, a Yekaterinburg based company OrgProm LLC, this Forum will be an annual one with venue in Yekaterinburg as one of the most important regions in Russia, a large railroad and air hub. Present were representatives from such Russian and international companies, as the “GAZ Group” (automotive), Russian Aluminum (RUSAL), KUMZ (aluminum), EvrazHolding (steel), KAMAZ (heavy truck producer), VSMPO-AVISMA (titanium), ZMZ (car engines), URALMASH (machine building), Boeing, the European Bearing Corporation and many others.

“It was very important for us to establish contacts with companies who implement Lean manufacturing, even if they operate in a different industry. It is always better not to learn from your own mistakes, but to share knowledge with colleagues from other producers”, says Valentina Sizikova, Manager of the Lean Manufacturing Office in the Department for Development of the RUSAL Business System.

“Today Russia sees a rapid spread of the Lean Manufacturing concept. Dozens of the most active companies implementing Lean Manufacturing were represented at the Forum, but thousands of other companies across Russia are ready to use this production system”, says Mike Wader, President of Leadership Excellence Company from Colorado, USA.

Ernie Bashkardin

Chief Editor “The Lean Bulletin”

Orgprom LLC

Yekaterinburg, Russia
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