The application of lean concept at Mombasa technical training institute
The service sector contributes a great deal to the economy of any country’s Gross Domestic Product. In Kenya, the education sector alone contributes a great deal to GDP. At the same time, massive resources are invested to the same sector. Kenya’s Vision 2030 indicates government’s expenditure on education is equivalent to 7.0% of the country’s GDP. This translates into one of the highest expenditure levels per student out of the education GDP in Africa. As the total expenditure for education rises, other challenges like improving the overall efficiency of the sector come to the fore. This amount of resources expended to the sector, forms the basis for this research inquiry into the TIVET sub-sector in a technical training institution with an aim of determining the extent to which lean concept, as a management tool, is applied to eliminate wastes at Mombasa Technical Training Institute. Lean thinking has been widely used in the manufacturing sector and now is getting increasingly useful in the service industry. A detailed literature review was done that revealed the use of lean concept in other sectors. A case study methodology was used in which the heads of departments at the institute were interviewed to obtain the required data. A case study methodology is of particular relevance in new or emerging situations where not much is known about the particular area under study. Content analysis was used to analyze the data that was collected. This project’s findings indicated that indeed there are various types of wastes in the TIVET education programs that led to inefficiency in the system. The discussions in content analysis however, revealed the application of lean concept to a considerable extent at the institute thereby answering the research question, though direct reference was not made to lean concept itself. Recommendations to managers in the service industry as well as policy makers include reducing waiting time for examination results and reviewing the curriculum to make the content manageable within a given period.