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    STUDIA NEGOTIA - Issue no. 1 / 2012  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:   The aim of my paper is to highlight the importance of assessing and comparing the lean development of companies. In order to survive in today’s hypercompetitive environment many companies are adopting lean techniques; the goal is to delight the customers and make a profit through the relentless elimination of waste from the operations. Lean thinking is the key not only for large companies but also in terms of SMEs. Introducing a lean management system is an unquestionable key for the companies to survive market competition. Today, I think, lean is not only a tool in order to gain competitive advantage; it is an obligation now, especially in the field of manufacturing companies. Due to the rapidly increasing number of the lean using companies, a comparison with lean assessment tools among these organizations would be very useful. The focus of this comparison is to create a system which takes into consideration a huge amount of characteristics about lean using companies. This lean assessment essentially has two purposes. The first is to enable the user to take an inventory of those lean manufacturing practices that could be missing from their lean management system, what should be upgraded, developed or planted. The second is to give a wider picture about the appliance of the lean management principles, techniques and tools. My plan is to assess and compare the level of lean management in the field of manufacturing, in the Hungarian or in the Eastern European region using lean assessment techniques. With lean assessment I try to examine all fields of the lean management in order to get a realistic picture about the level of each company’s lean performance. In my paper I introduce the research method through a comparison of two Hungarian companies; I show the criteria system and what I am expecting from the research. The results of the research show each lean field in case of the examined companies and through the radar diagram it becomes clear which fields requires development.

Keywords: Lean, research methodology, assessment, manufacturing firms
JEL classification: L60
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