Lean Manufacturing in Pakistan – MIA?

Share this Article


I have had the chance to meet some manufacturers now in Pakistan, and have observed the supply practices of several companies, and I keep seeing a disconcerting trend.

Manufacturing operations here work quite the same way as IT software houses — entirely project-based, and quite unwilling to explore different supply models.

The factories would do nothing until they get a well defined order — “Give me 30,000 units in two months, here are the specs”. The factory would then plan, build capacity and execute the project. They would expect bulk payments, sometimes even in advance as a mobilization charge.

The term in the industry for this is “lag capacity”.

What concerns me more is the supply models used by companies: only build-to-stock manufacturing.

We analyse some examples after the link.

I want to explain the particular build-to-stock strategy used by businesses.

Small businesses do this : they would make a large purchase where they buy up a lot of inventory, and basically stop worrying about demand until they are about to run out, be it in 3-4 months or years. When inventory is running out they make another purchasing run. I would understand that this is because they dont have leverage to pull on suppliers.

However, ever larger players with more leverage do this. Keeping items in stock until basically they run out.

What is worse is that most of these businesses do not forecast sales even for stock levels. They are either dealing in areas where the products are too commoditized that the customers in general would not have specific preferences (e.g. office furniture) or dealing in products where the customer basically has no choice (lets say a WLL operator with only one choice of handset). Both of them wait long enough for their inventory to run dry, and then do another blind bulk purchase.

You also see this in companies like ChenOne that have to undergo costly end-of-season promotions to burn off excess inventories.

Master (of the moltyfoam fame) is making office chairs (great chairs for the back btw) which they claim to ‘assemble-to-order’ and deliver to you in 7 days if you are in Islamabad. I suspect they only ‘deliver-to-order’ from their warehouse in Karachi. I would be willing to guess that that they wait until the end of the week to send in a bulk order (3-4 days on average) and then have it delivered by land in 3 days.

So, does lean manufacturing exist anywhere in Pakistan? I would be happy if it does, so please let me know if you are doing it.

If it does not, then I think we should start discussing strategies for moving this country into it.

Facebook comments:


  • Hello,
    Sir I didnt find your name is thins whole article.
    This is really an interesting article, espacially for me as we are working to improve suply-chain in pakistan, and really working hard, implementing new process etc.

    Thankyou for your article

  • Hello,
    Hope you are fine and enjoying a healthy life.
    I am doing my final year project on Lean Manufacturing. it is case study based. we chose PEL( Pak elktron lim) for this purpose. Basically i am doing B.se(hons) Industrial Engineering & Manugement from Punjab University. we have done a lot of literature work on lean manufacturing.Now we are in a position to go to PEL and do our level best. We are interested for your kind help in this case because_ i know the human of this country have the potentional to work but the difficulty is we don’t have the right direction. so please Sir i request you to help us in this project so as we will make our country at level of the world. i am waiting for your e mail.. or kind help…

    with best wishes
    Zohaib Arif
    phonenumber +92+0321-4535612
    e-mail id zohaibyup@hotmail.com

  • ASALAM O ALAIKUM,i am interested in this,#0 3 2 3 – 5 4 7 3 1 9 8

  • I read your query regarding Lean manufacturing in Pakistan. Im Talha from Birmingham UK. Currently im doing MSc Engineering Management from Aston University here. Basically im from Lahore. Ive studied Lean and Agile manufacturing and my thesis is on Application of lean in manufacturing organizations. Im planning to do my thesis in Pakistan. Is there sufficient helo that i can find in Pakistan, from Universities or industries? Pls do lemme know. I would be thankful to you. Thanks.

  • http://www.greenwhite.org is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  • First reason is external to the organizations, out of their control. It has to do with market conditions. Build to stock is an old process, tried and tested, and it seems to work, well adapted to the current market conditions of uncertainty and unpredictability. Switching to a new SC model is always risky. In Pakistan, risk is a do or die situation, so people don’t try something different.

    Second reason is internal, has to do with capability of the enterprise itself. Lean manufacturing requires intellectual effort, skilled labor, and management. It depends on efficiency in processing, inspection, transport, and inventory. It requires advanced statistical analysis, and TQM techniques. A good number of manufacturing houses of Pakistan, with the exception of few, are being run by Seths. Most can’t understand what ANOVA, process capability index, or confidence interval means. It also depends on mature and stable supply and delivery infrastructure in the whole ecosystem. For example in Japan, where it originated, they have highly efficient transport infrastructure, which ensures supplies are delivered on time. Lean manufacturing is a culture, sustained by higher order brain functions, skills and training. In Pakistan, labor is cheap, mostly under trained, unskilled, and frankly not much capable of running a lean manufacturing system.

  • The CONCEPT OF lean and Six Sigma is totally unknown in the Pakistani society, as I am studying MSc Supply Chain and Operations Management from University of Sthrathclyde, Glsgow. And lean six sigma is ONE OF MY MAJOR SUBJECTS.
    It is a mind set, and the change comes only from the top management and it is the top management that first needs to educate themselves, otherwise these two concepts can not be implemented. I have worked as consultant with number of companies, in training the employees, but before we trained the senior management.

  • I am currently doing M.Phil Thesis on Lean Manufacturing, for that purpose i need a list of pakistani companies that have tried to implement lean manufacturing in their processes. can anyone mention the company names or can provide any help in this regard or can provide ULR link ?


  • Abdullah Najam Raja

    I was looking for Lean manufacturing in Pakistan, as I am working in Germany and our company practice lean and I wish we could have same in Pakistan. If you know some company in Pakistan going for Lean I would love to share my little knowledge with them. We need to do some thing for industry in Pakistan.

  • Hi, I am doing my master in engineering and management from Coventry university.I am also doing my dissertation on lean manufacturing. I would like to keep in touch with you guys so that in future we can implement lean techniques in Pakistan and can do something in industrial sector of Pakistan.
    email: hussain_ali828@yahoo.com

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    MeriTaleem.com aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan


    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11428177.htm


    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →