AFRASO Lecture by Wegene Demisie Jima (Leather Industries Development Institute, Addis Ababa): "Kaizen in Ethiopian Industries: The Case of an Ethiopian Leather and Leather Product Manufacturing Company"

We are delighted to invite you to the upcoming AFRASO Lecture: "Kaizen in Ethiopian Industries: The Case of an Ethiopian Leather and Leather Product Manufacturing Company " by Wegene Demisie Jima (Leather Industries Development Institute, Addis Ababa). The lecture will take place on June, 26th in room SH 0.106 (Seminarhaus, Campus Westend) from 4 pm - 6 pm.

Kaizen manufacturing processes created in Japan to reform the way enterprises deliver products to their customers. Many manufacturing enterprises in Ethiopia dream to build a culture of continuous improvement similar to Japan enterprises to retain their market share by satisfying their domestic market and explore and expand to global market. Ethiopian leather and leather product manufacturers are disadvantaged to compete in global market due to technological gap as well as lack of knowledge in key managerial methodologies like kaizen. Engineering capacity requires resource and time to catch up. However, managerial capacity can be improved quickly since kaizen tools are developed in a way to be appreciated by all the workers, and its fundamental methodology is not very complicated. The government of Ethiopia introduced kaizen as management tool with assistance of Japan international cooperation agency (JICA) by requesting to the government of Japan for kaizen technology transfer to Ethiopia in 2009. At the beginning of kaizen philosophy implementation in Ethiopian, kaizen is hot talking issue in society due to high promotion and news through government media. It has been reported that as high as birr 1.2million is earned in one company by implementing kaizen tools. However, while some educated people started complaining the reported quantitative results, others accepted kaizen as improvement tool that create clean work environment. The effective implementation of kaizen methodology will lead to the success of the organization by employing 5S, quality control circle (QCC), operation standard, time study and elimination of wastes. Furthermore, correctly introduced and implemented kaizen policy in some industries in Ethiopia was found increase in productivity of labour by reducing time to search tools, improved defect ratio and lead time while improper implementation of kaizen creates instability and wastage of resources. There are few challenges in implementing kaizen in Ethiopian industries. Firstly, power concentration in top management. Kaizen is empowering the worker in work floor. Hence, it requires top management change and changing workers attitude and trusts the workers in work floor. Secondly, employees didn’t have the full capacity to accept the kaizen management system especially in case of Ethiopian leather and leather manufacturing industries. Here, I report kaizen in Ethiopian industries through analysis of successful implementation of kaizen strategy and reasons of kaizen implementation failure.

Mr. Wegene Demisie Jima is a senior researcher at Ethiopian leather industry development institute (LIDI) with responsibility for conducting consultancy and research. His research focuses on smart material development and nanotechnologies. He published work deals with generating conducting leather used for smart product application such as glove used for operating touch screen devices during heavy winter season. Jima has served as consultant to leather product sector and Ethiopian power engineering industry in system improvement since 2010. His academic qualification is Bsc in Industrial Engineering from Bahirdar University, Ethiopia and M.Tech in Machine Design from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Anantapur, India

26. June 2017