Lean and operational excellence in the era of Industry 4.0: the case of Smartech Italia

Which is the main characteristic of a successful company? To put into action the lean processes and, by doing so, to reach the operational excellence: a new fundamental stage of auxiell journey in 10 Topics about example companies. We are used to working in the genba, the place where value is created: this is the obvious starting point for the transformation which can make processes leaner and more efficient. 

“Being lean”, however, is very different from “doing lean”. Those who “do” lean are the ones that just apply one or more techniques, without making any deep change to the ways processes in the organization workTo be lean you need to go a step further: to understand the principles at the base of the lean system and to let them guide you into a deeper transformation of the processes. Proof of this are the stories of many companies that have been supported by auxiell in their path and which today are examples and inspiration for others. 

Smartech Italia: creating value for the customer by reducing the delivery time

To tell a real story of successful lean transformation and operational excellence, we bring you to Azzano Decimo, small town in Pordenone area, deep Italian North-East. In 2001 the entrepreneur Roberto Badin founded Smartech Italia, specialized in the production of fry tops cooking plates for professional use and catering industry, becoming technological partner of big corporations such as Electrolux Professional.  

Being enthusiastic and curious, thanks to a training course about the lean system Badin understands the importance of creating value for the customer. When Electrolux Professional asks for a discount on the supply of barbecue plates, the entrepreneur decides to raise the stakes. He offers a higher price for the same number of items but grants to provide them in a time reduced by 20%: 4 instead of 5 days. Shorted delivery times mean smaller storage volumes in Electrolux warehouse. Smaller stocks mean lower costs. Lower costs translate into higher value for the customer. The common win-win situation. 

From the analysis to the performance improvement: an awarded excellence 

Badin’s vision is built on analysis and the improvement of operational performances: 

  • value streams productivity; 
  • delivery time; 
  • flowspare supply days or stock rotation; 
  • quality: reduction in manufacturing reworks and repairs. 

Thanks to the improvement of operational performances, Smartech Italia can shorten the lead time from 3 weeks to 3 days, this is the time between the arrival of an order and the delivery of the finished product. 

Increasing the value for the customer, Smartech Italia receives a higher volume of ordersgetting honoured with the Electrolux Supplier Award, which is reserved to the best among the over 16 thousand suppliers of the multinational corporation. The company, after the complete transformation of all the processes, was equipped with new tools, like a software that monitors the flows indexes in real-time. An example for small and medium enterprises, an organization that shows how to successfully apply the lean system, getting to top performance levels and working with a value creation logic both for the company and for the customers.