The 6th Baltic Lean Forum attended by 300 participants from Lithuania and neighbouring countries
The 6th Baltic Lean Forum took place on 3 April 2019 in partnership with “Verslo Žinios”. This year it was attended by 300 participants from Lithuania and its neighbours. During the event Lean implementation experience was being shared by already advanced companies and the companies that learned about Lean management system only last year.
The main topic of this year’s forum was the interaction of Lean philosophy with other management practices. Experienced consultants from international organisations such as Honsha and TWI Institute and a professor from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) shared their insight with Baltic entrepreneurs.
The forum participants were greeted by Ugnius Jankauskas, the director general of “Verslo Žinios”. “Verslo Žinios”, in cooperation with Lean LT team, organises this forum for the 6th year in a row and most likely shall continue doing so for 100 years to come as Lean is not a finite project, but rather a process of continuous improvement. The most important thing, however, is that after learning of different experiences and upon returning to your businesses you take it upon yourselves to implement real change,” Mr. Jankauskas said.
The event moderator, founder and head of Lean LT Vidas Petraitis, called on the participants to learn from success stories and draw experience from mistakes openly shared by the presenters during the Baltic Lean Forum.
“Success is a consequence of the approach taken to life and business, and each and every one of the organisations presenting this year are united by a clear knowledge of their priorities and goals. Improvement projects for these companies are not a matter of optional practice, but rather a quintessence of their activity, that’s why they managed to achieve such significant results”, Mr. Petraitis noted.
The Baltic Lean Forum opened with a discussion lead by the CEOs of the two well-known companies “Circle K” and “Schmitz Cargobull Baltic” – Skirmantas Mačiukas and Raimundas Petrauskas. Heads of the two successful companies shared their experience on how they learned about Lean and what financial and cultural benefit was brought by long-term application of Lean principles.
CEO of “Schmitz Cargobull Baltic” Raimundas Petrauskas said that Lean helped the company to increase the production volume almost 5-fold. And Skirmantas Mačiukas shared that Lean taught to evaluate all processes by primarily taking into account the clients’ demands. Both CEOs emphasized the importance of visiting different departments and paying attention to the company’s employees’ proposals. Today Lithuanian companies set a valuable example for their colleagues abroad.
This year the Baltic Lean Forum was honoured by a visit from a special guest – two-times winner of a prestigious Shingo award Patrick Graupp, senior instructor at TWI Institute. According to Mr. Graupp, the Training Within Industry system is especially effective when companies apply a combination of different Lean practices and seek the most efficient organisation of employee training, their engagement into the activity improvement and occupational safety.
Long-term consultant at the international organisation Honsha and book-author Darril Wilburn this year gave presentation on Lean transformation. “The Lean management system is the most effective in combination with other business management practices,” stated Mr. Willburn.
Marianne Wolff Lundholt, assoc. prof. of the Design and Communication Department at the University of Southern Denmark, shared her practical experience on what heads of companies should consider when implementing significant organisational changes. She said that the employee resistance should be regarded as a resource and an opportunity to understand which topics should be presented and explained in more detail.
This year already a number of companies shared their practical experience on what can be achieved during the first year of Lean application. CEO of CIE LT Forge Darius Masionis stated that he invested as much as 20 000 euros into Lean implementation, however the company’s generated benefit reached 130 000 euros the same year.
The 5-year plan of Žalgiris organisation that has started its cooperation with Lean LT last year is to pursue the most effective utilisation of the current infrastructure, employees’ proposals regarding activity improvement and immense support of their fans. Head of Žalgiris business development Unė Marija Jurkštaitė said that as early as during the first year of implementation the organisation noticed improved communication and better understanding of organisation’s priorities.
“Lean took our organisation to a higher level where we are able to measure, estimate and make necessary decisions today. Currently we are observing revenue increase by millions of euros and high level of savings. After we started applying Lean with the help of Lean LT team, we managed to resume profitable operation and earned a million euros of profit last year. This is a huge change that we can be proud of today,” shared CEO of KG Constructions Linas Karžinauskas.
Gediminas Mickėnas, pict. by Rytis Galadauskas, Verslo Žinios
Retail chain Ermitažas that has started implementing Lean last year currently measures the company’s activity by almost 200 indicators. Last year alone Ermitažas employees submitted as many as 394 activity improvement proposals, 142 of which have been implemented already. “We are applying several Lean methods and are assessing the impact of their implementation. For instance, the benefit generated from the latest project alone exceeds 40 000 euros, and we have a number of such projects awaiting their turn,” CEO of Ermitažas Gediminas Mickėnas said.
Head of Panevėžys-based IOCO Packaging Gvidas Drobužas stated that Lean implementation helps to take a fresh outlook on the company’s processes each time: “Currently we are digitalizing a Lean system and are starting to newly implement Lean. We are keeping an eye on all employees’ activity indicators in real time and I often inquire division managers on Lean methods they are applying in order to help their employees achieve better results.”
Gvidas Drobužas, pict. by Rytis Galadauskas, Verslo Žinios
The companies that most efficiently apply Lean methods were awarded during this year’s Baltic Lean Forum:
- Kaizen of the Year award was given to Šilutės baldai;
- Project of the Year title was granted to UAB Kurana;
- Discipline of the Year prize was awarded to Baltic Petroleum;
- Performance of the Year title was granted to Girteka Logistics;
- Engagement of the Year prize this year went to UAB Domeina;
- Start of the Year nomination was awarded to Baltic Food Partners.
The prize for the Start of the Year in foreign countries this year went to Eco Baltia Grupa from Latvia.