This mini-series of presentations illustrates how three innovative manufacturers and Italian based market leaders: Bonfiglioli, Salvagnini and Vestas Nacelles, have successfully implemented lean strategies in their operations by redesigning the standard toolbox of tactics to adapt it to the individual contingencies. Each case study is explained by the same lean practitioners that guided the journey through their operational values streams. For Italian manufacturers, survival is arguably a balancing act.
With energy costs double those of North American companies, extremely high labour costs, limited access to operating capital and a cumbersome public debt, they continuously have to find new ways to stay alive. Yet, despite these challenging circumstances, Italian manufacturers, mostly SMEs, are weathering the storm and enjoying double digit export growth and enduring success in the global market. A victory most observers attribute to a refined mix of innovation, high craftsmanship and product quality, fair prices, speed and reliable delivery.
For many of these companies, the proverbial secret formula for success consists in an intuitive but consistent application of homespun Lean practices. A few among them, such as the companies featured in this mini-series presentation, took a more scientific approach to Lean whilst maintaining a very distinct Italian ingenuity. "The Italian Job: Old World, New Lean Tricks" presentation series was attended by over 100 North American manufacturers and organized by the Machines Italia and the Italian Trade Commission Office in Toronto.