Integration Of Lean And Sustainability In ISO 9001:2015 Certified Smes In India
Leanness and sustainability are organizational approach ideas for increased competitiveness and more efficient activities. Literature review showed that prior to 2012, most of the research presented that lean and sustainability benefits were particularly limited to environmental responsibility. Post 2012, research into an integrated approach of the two concepts began to increase. This paper presents a case for integration of lean and sustainability in the context of SMEs in India. Empirical evidence was gathered by collecting data from 400 SMEs. A comparative group approach was used. The 400 SMEs bifurcated into 2 groups - ISO 9001:2015 certified SMEs and non-ISO 9001:2015 certified SMEs. Eight manufacturing parameters were measured for both the group of SMEs. Eleven lean-sustainability constructs were also measured along with assessment of competency of the two groups on seven manufacturing parameters. Results showed that there is a strong positive correlation between the scores of the lean-sustainability constructs and scores for the manufacturing parameters including their competency. At the same time a significant difference was found between the two groups for mean scores of all the three variables - manufacturing parameters, lean-sustainability constructs and competency for manufacturing parameters. It was concluded that there is a strong case for integration of lean and sustainability in the context of SMEs in India. Those who are already ISO 9001:2015 certified are better placed to do the integration as compared to the non- ISO 9001:2015 certified SMEs. The article also takes a brief review of European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model as an enabler for the integration of lean and sustainability.