Lean manufacturing practices and performance of large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya
The general objective of the study was to investigate lean manufacturing practices and firm performance of large scale firms in Nairobi, Kenya. Specifically the study aimed to; determine the lean manufacturing practices commonly implemented by large manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya and establish the relationship between lean manufacturing practices and firm performance in Nairobi, Kenya. The study was underpinned under three theories which are; systems theory, resource-based view of the firm theory and information theory. This research problem was studied through the use of a descriptive research design. The target population of the study was all large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya. 655 firms were categorized as large scale manufacturing firms. Ten percent of total population (10 percent of 655) was approximately sixty six (66) firms which were above thirty making 10 percent a sufficient sample for the total population of large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya. The researcher used a questionnaire to collect primary data. The research was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. The researcher employed multiple regression models to study the factors influencing firm performance of large scale manufacturing firms. According to the findings lean manufacturing practices ensured performance of the firms to a great extent. Majority of the firms employed Continuous Improvement Practice. According to the findings lean transformation practices were implemented to a great extent. Use of lean transportation practices implementation in their firm was rated to a great extent. Environment lean practices implementation by the manufacturing firms was rated to a great extent. On evaluating the extent to which the firms used other lean manufacturing practices the study found that it was to a great extent. The study concludes that lean manufacturing practices are evident among the manufacturing firms in Kenya. The study further concludes that lean procurement practices influences the firm performance of large scale manufacturing firms most. The study further found that taking all other independent variables at zero, a unit increase in lean procurement practices will lead to an increase in the scores of the firm performance. The study finally concludes that there was a significant relationship between firm performance of large scale manufacturing firms and lean manufacturing practices. This portrays that when the lean manufacturing practices studied are jointly applied, they would increase firm performance of large scale manufacturing firms in Nairobi, Kenya. The study based on the findings recommends that the implementation of lean manufacturing practices should support the firm’s business strategy. The study recommends that large scale manufacturing firms in Kenya need to give attention to the implementation of all the key areas of lean manufacturing practices from a holistic perspective in order to reap the full benefits of lean and significantly improve their operational performance; more specifically factory time efficiency.