A large number of representatives from companies that have received services from the Lean Institute were present at the event, at which President Yalçın İpbüken made the opening speech. İpbüken told the story of the institute from its establishment in 2002 and its evolution over the ensuing decade. Particularly in the last three years, İpbüken noted, the development of the institute has accelerated, serving a variety of public and private companies in sectors from construction to insurance, vocational schools to banking, shipbuilding to the Turkish military, as well as municipalities.
Informing the audience that Havaş A.Ş. was the institute’s first client in 2006, İpbüken explained that there are 54 projects currently on foot, serving 54 companies and institutions. Among these, the project at Bursa Uludağ University’s Faculty of Medicine is the institute’s most important to date, he said, adding, “We hope for Turkey to reach its target of $500 billion of exports and $2 trillion gross national product [GNP] by the year 2023, and aim for prosperity to spread to all parts of the country by taking place in a variety of sectors.”
İpbüken stated that in the past 10 years the Lean Institute has contributed TL 6 billion in savings to the nation’s economy, working with 450 companies, including prominent ones such as Bosch, Vestel, Borusan and İstikbal. Noting that the institute generates added profits for clients by implementing policies and procedures to prevent unnecessary consumption, he called on Science, Technology and Industry Minister Nihat Ergün for support in encouraging more Turkish firms to embrace lean thinking.
Speaking at the event, Dr. James Womack, founder of and senior advisor to the Lean Enterprise Institute, congratulated the Lean Institute Turkey for its contribution to the economy. He recommended the institute concentrate on supplier management and customer support, in addition to developing its products to expand its production focus. “Lean groups can create a better world by focusing on lean thinking, and the Lean Institute can help achieve this goal,” he said.