SUSU International Students Took Part in Lean Manufacturing Training

Research and Educational Centre of Business Development Technologies held a basic training on lean manufacturing for international students of the School of Economics and Management.

Master’s graduate students of the Department of Management majoring in the Strategic and Innovative Marketing and International Business programmes from Yemen, China, India, Ghana, Cameroon, Botswana and Iraq took part in the training.

Within the framework of the training, the students learnt about the main principles of lean manufacturing. Besides theoretical knowledge, the students discussed two business cases in groups and played an imitation game at a process factory, where they had to organize a manufacturing process (starting from warehouses to communicating with customers), to conduct a meeting, to make personnel and administrative changes.

“The main distinctive feature of such an event is that all the knowledge and tools obtained during the theoretical part can be instantly used in practice. In addition to learning about the principles of lean manufacturing, the students tried to work in multinational teams in the conditions of uncertainty. At the training, the students were introduced to philosophy and basic parameters of lean manufacturing, examined the values and losses of organization processes and in real life. Although the official language of the training was English, the students switched to their native languages in the course of the discussion. At some point, when they were making changes, the discussion was held in Arabic, Chinese, English and Russia,” notes Anna Dolinskaya, coach and junior research fellow of the Centre of Business Development Technologies.

This is a basic training aimed at involving students into the lean manufacturing process. But it is made in the way that further discussion is possible for those who major in the fields of Economics, Logistics, Management in the Master’ programmes on Strategic and Innovative Marketing and International Business.

“This has been a very eventful experience for me and for the students. They opened up from a new side! At the lessons, they are usually low-key and diligently do their tasks, but here I saw their different features. Some of them showed themselves as leaders, the others demonstrated coherent team work, which is not an easy thing to do: to unite students from different countries into one team for a short period of time. I was surprised to see how quickly they got into valve manufacture operations,” notes Yana Dobrynina, Associate Professor of the Department of Management.

“This has been a really enriching session, which helped us to understand the concept. When I was a student of the Faculty of Management, I studied the concept of lean manufacturing, but this training gave me an idea of putting this knowledge into practice in an industry sector. The session included a brief introductory part for 1 hour, that was followed by 2 hours of practice, where our whole class was divided into groups, and each student was assigned duties as a chief product officer, a production manager, a logistics manager, or a supervisor. Practical trainings helped us to get a better understanding of involving each employee into the process of continuous business improvement, as well as their readiness and ability to solve more and more complex problems. This was a really inspiring and enriching experience. I want to thank SUSU for organizing such workshops, and I cannot wait to attend such sessions in the future,” says Upasak Bose, a student of ЭУ-228 group.

“It is extremely important to provide students with the opportunity to obtain not only theoretical, but also practical skills in the field of business process optimization. A head of a commercial enterprise is more likely to hire a candidate, who has applied skills and has been inside the real business processes, and not the one who knows the theory perfectly. That is why, when working with Master’s students, we actively introduce interactive teaching methods, including imitation, training and Smart games,” says Аlena Levina, Head of the Department of Management.

“As part of the training, an educational workshop that imitates the real working activity according to the lean manufacturing principle was held. The site represented a workspace with a workshop, a warehouse and an office. First, the students were provided with some necessary theory. Second, they were divided according to job positions (leadership, working class, storekeepers, quality division) and given a production schedule, and a stopwatch was started. Then an error correction was made, and certain recommendations for improving the activity were given. This educational quest helps to see in practice, how cutting-edge technologies of lean manufacturing reduce financial and time costs, eliminate product defects and engage all employees into improving production efficiency. Besides, such change in regular activities helps students not only to gain benefit, but also to enjoy the learning process!” says Sergey Kalenteev, business coach and teacher of the Department of Management.

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