The increase in World Trade has led to significant growth in world GDP over last 100 years particularly. Supply chains have become the major enablers of world trade and the world is connected through supply chains. Any disruptions in any part of the world has led to disruptions in supply chains and economic recessions. Crisis like Tsunamis, earthquakes, 911 terror attacks, epidemics/pandemics like COVID-19 etc. have affected the businesses worldwide. COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated economic crisis due to disruption of supply chains and suppressed demand for many products and services worldwide. International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected global economic growth to be negative 4.9%. This economic crisis has resulted in substantial erosion of market capitalization across the globe. The impact of COVID-19 is very significant on both health of the people and economy worldwide. Almost all businesses and governments are trying its best to save people from health and economic crisis. This requires rebuilding of supply chains through appropriate configuration with reliable sources of supply, collaboration, manufacturing and distribution of goods and services. Sectors like essential items, pharmaceutical, e-commerce have started early recovery of economy. However, other sectors require suitable interventions from government, business organizations in their policies and practices and use of digital technologies for economic recovery.
Application of lean principles in manufacturing as well as services has been revolutionizing the operations for more than five decades. Many large as well as small enterprises have implemented lean and reported benefits in both direct and indirect activities of business. Due to advent of digital technologies and better understanding of process improvement approaches made lean much more effective across many sectors. In this chapter, we highlight various elements of lean and its application to a small enterprise in food processing sector in India. We draw some useful insights based on the implementation of lean and challenges faced by SMEs.
Part of the book: Lean Manufacturing