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Evaluating the implementation status of lean production systems at MAN truck & bus Pinetown assembly plant.

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Global competition, advances in manufacturing, latest technology and customer demands has forced optimization of processes by product manufacturers and service providers. Lean philosophy originating from Toyota Production System (TPS), has become one of the initiatives that many organizations have adopted with the aim to streamline their production processes and realize optimization of resources. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation status of lean production systems at a Truck and Bus assembly plant in order to determine effectiveness, establish challenges, identify benefits and make recommendations for future improvements. Due to the nature of the study, a descriptive research strategy was adopted in order to fulfill the purpose of this research. This study used a quantitative approach with a view to identify the impact of the topic within the organization. Research survey was used as a data collection tool to assess respondents opinion on the study. The study was conducted within the work environment and adopted a probability sampling method, where every member in the organization had a chance of being selected as a subject; therefore a sample of 103 employees was used for the study. The findings of this study indicated that lean production methods have been adopted throughout the organization although there are areas that require further interventions. The study identified areas such as; communication, leadership and training. It was observed that lean implementation requires a good knowledge of the principles and therefore management needs to ensure that comprehensive training and education programs are available. Support by management and proper communication platforms are crucial towards achieving a common goal. Management needs to be well knowledgeable about lean methods in order to be able to provide the necessary leadership that will facilitate sustainability of the system.


Master’s degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.