Lean transformation at a leading manufacturing company in Middle East – A case study


From its modest beginning in 1987, Genco Group has emerged as a shining example of Oman’s entrepreneurial spirit and manufacturing prowess by becoming the leading company in engineering design and manufacturing in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. The multifaceted powerhouse has partnered with the best-in-class global leaders to offer a wide range of effective solutions to clients including ministries and government bodies, private sector giants and multinational companies across industries such as power & water (utility), oil & gas, construction, manufacturing, tourism, health, education, telecom, real estate, and retail, to name a few.

Genco manufactures an extensive range of power and distribution transformers, low voltage switchgear and packaged sub-stations using state-of-the-art technology at its manufacturing facilities in Sohar and Rusayl. With a capacity of 10,000 MVA, Genco has one of the largest facilities in the MENA region. The Group derives its competitive edge over other manufacturers from a highly experienced in-house design team, modern technology from global partners and a well recognized service capability for the products.

With an aim to tap into the burgeoning GCC and North African markets and to sustain its impressive growth trajectory, Genco decided to embrace Lean Manufacturing as a key strategic driver. The goal was to not only modernize its manufacturing facilities but also to bring about a culture of excellence and continuous improvement through Lean Manufacturing. This would eventually pave the way for achieving higher throughput, greater productivity, and employee morale, and superior returns for its shareholders. It is noteworthy that Genco is among the first few in the electrical engineering industry in the region to embraces Lean manufacturing and is therefore poised for significant competitive advantage in the years to come.

Introduction to Lean Manufacturing –  

Lean is simply scrapping out the waste. Lean aims at eliminating everything that doesn’t add any value to the process. Company that follows lean focuses on obtaining pace in operations from collecting the data on customer requirements to completing orders and reduce the manufacturing time by terminating prodigal activities. Lean manufacturing brings out substantial changes like prominent increase in productivity, reduction in lead time, greater customer satisfaction, higher return on investment etc. Categorizing the lean manufacturing includes organized attempt of examining the ‘current state value stream’. The ideal stage is wherein the information and material flow is quite smooth and achieving such stage has to be the aim of any organization. Lean explains the meaning of waste in numerous formats. To brief the matter, for eliminating the waste during manufacturing procedure with a systematized approach, Lean management in production is the only correct solution.

Genco’s Lean Transformation Journey-

Genco started its lean transformation process at its Medium Voltage Distribution Transformer unit in Rusayl. This provision enabled commercial production in 1983 and started manufacturing and marketing an extensive range of power, distribution and special transformers and provided distribution transformers up to 2500 KVA and 33 kV category. Favoring conditions and increasing demand because of series of investments across numerous fields in the area was the reason for selecting this factory. The approach was very straightforward. Lean was supposed to help this unit in strengthening its proficiency notably and equip it to obtain higher work flow without the load of capital expenditure. For accomplishing its lean transformation journey, Genco selected SSA Business Solutions, a world-class business consultancy firm.


Lean Deployment Strategy-

Lean in manufacturing- Process layout was a standard approach for administering the manufacturing tasks. Common activities are combined together in this format of operations. Though it provides economical balance keeps the machinery and manpower busy; it leads to programming complications due to diverse preferences. Lean clarified and organized manufacturing flow by generating focused product units wherein the products flow from first to last activity in a single series. Hence production lead time was prominently reduced and useless activities were minimized. Accelerating labor efficiency through systematic time and motion study, workflow simplification etc. helped to eliminate the non-value adding operations and minimized the load on the labors. This resulted in positive effect on workmen since they could now spend more time in the tasks that would nurture the growth of the company. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is the outcome of lean which stimulates the productivity of labors and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) was developed by methodologically studying the reasons for equipment break and eliminating the root causes.

Lean in support operations-   

The improvements in manufacturing and non-manufacturing flows were visible after its implementation. New manufacturing system was supported by streamlining the support activities like sales & marketing, design, procurement & stores. Finding the demands of customers was easier than never before with the help of Customer Relation Management (CRM). There was more order intake since the booking process was accelerated. The designing process was improved which minimized the non-value tasks and mistakes. Manufacturing disturbances that were taking place due to design errors were almost eliminated. A methodological forecasting system led down helped to foresee the requirements in an efficient manner and so correct administration and planning became possible. Incoming and procedural stages were improved tremendously through quality management system. All these measures helped to get better control over quality and obstacles in production were significantly reduced.


Delivery lead time got reduced from weeks to days after the execution of lean manufacturing system. Improved quality levels resulted in greater customer satisfaction. The reduction in manufacturing time enabled to incorporate more orders, lean displayed a capacity release of more than 35%. Their monthly sales statistics were evident enough to show their stimulated revenue generation. The dramatic reductions in lead time made the customers excited about Genco. Hence it had to raise its capacity to meet the constantly growing demands. They started getting more customer contacts and it strengthened their prominent position in the GCC market.

 What SSA is:    

SSA, a leading business consultancy firm provided the lean manufacturing process at Genco. Right from identifying the challenges in the current phase to structuring and improving the program, SSA collaborated with the Genco towards the voyage of lean manufacturing. SSA has successfully led its expansion across 15 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa till date and continues to flourish as a distinguished management consultancy. Three phases of engagement, i.e. Diagnose-Deploy-Scale up is SSA’s characteristic approach which guarantees the emphasis on high potential areas for their clients and from where instant profits can be drawn. They pursuit result-centric consulting strategy and provide crucial solutions capable of combating with challenging situations. They practice several thought leaderships like ISM®, Lean RMAOR® Methodology, Lean Supply Chain (SCM- Lean®) etc.

About the author

Ganesh Iyer is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from Bombay University. He brings with him over 14 years of experience in the IT industry working for companies like Tata Infotech, Infosys and Bearing Point in the US. Ganesh is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma Black Belt from American Society for Quality, and a certified Lead Auditor for Information Security Management System (ISMS). He has led a number of Change Management initiatives for clients across Asia Pacific and has trained more than 500 Lean Six Sigma Belts worldwide and coached over 300 breakthrough improvement projects. He is a certified assessor for Business Excellence conforming to EFQM model and a Certified Internal Auditor for TS 16949:2002 standard.View LinkedIn Profile

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