Sri Lanka business advised to ‘go lean’ in hard times

July 01, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka must now switch to an “investment driven economy” with businesses and people ‘going lean’ to survive and come out of the difficult times the island is going through, a productivity expert said. Lean production and working methods will help increase productivity and the standard of living as well as make the country more resilient to external shocks, said Sunil Wijesinha, chairman of tableware exporter Dankotuwa Porcelain.

This can be done by reducing working capital and inventory, the amount of space used and waste, and more flexible working methods.

The investment driven economy, which is the second phase of productivity, can be achieved through skills upgrade and capital investments in high output, modern plant and equipment and new technology.

Productivity, measured by the amount of efficiency (how well resources are made use of) and effectiveness (how well the objective can be achieved) enables a higher standard of living for the people in a country, he said at a public lecture on productivity.

From the national perspective, the measure of labour productivity is defined as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked.

However, workers and employers who have misun