"Implementation of lean management in european companies" Benchmark internship for a group of managers of the United Metallurgical Company

Area : benchmark training, interntional internships

Customer’s profile

United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK) is one of the leading Russian manufacturers of metal products for the top energy, transport and industrial companies. OMK is a comprehensive supplier of machinery for the extraction and transportation of gas and oil. The company produces steel, rolled products, pipes, pipeline valves and fittings, railway wheels and automotive springs.

OMK consists of five large metallurgical enterprises: Vyksa Steel Works, Almetyevsk Pipe Plant, Trubodetal, Blagoveshchensk Valves Plant and Chusovoy Metallurgical Works.

The company consistently implements a strategy to increase operating efficiency and a unified production system is being built. Business executives learn from the best international experience and share their finest practices with domestic manufacturers.

Vyksa Steel Works was the first metallurgical enterprise in the world to be awarded the Toyota Engineering bronze and silver medals, praising the development level of their production system.


We were asked to develop and conduct a benchmark internship for the managers of OMK enterprises. The purpose of the internship was to study the prime practices in building a production system, improving operational efficiency and safety, attracting and training production personnel. It was also necessary to organize a workshop with specialists of enterprises at which the industrial tours were conducted. The main challenge we have come across was that most of the participants were experienced lean management experts.


In accordance with the task, a six-day internship program has been developed. The enterprises that were included in the benchmark internship were selected based on their outstanding performance in some particular aspects of lean management.

OMK managers have been introduced to the history and dynamics of the production management development in Czech Republic and learned about the experiences in building a production system at ABB and Škoda enterprises. They have also been demonstrated the power of visual management and the practice of involving personnel in the continuously improving system at Alfmeier along with the practice of equipment efficiency management at Kovosvit. In order to improve the manager’s skills of attracting children and youth to technical specialties, a workshop was organized with the director of the Techmania Scientific and Technical Center. At the Volkswagen-Škoda lean center, the participating managers of OMK were introduced to modern and interactive methods of training in working operations and lean management methodologies. In addition, the specialists of Škoda company shared their experiences in the development of industrial tourism.


After a very successful internship, the learning outcomes have been discussed at the respective OMK enterprise sites and ways for the application of the accumulated knowledge and experience were developed. The managers of OMK's companies highly appreciated the methodology and organization of the internship and set a new task for us - to develop and organize a benchmark internship for the managers of HR Directorate and for the managers of social projects. The program for this internship has been developed and successfully carried out a few months later.  


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