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A lean organisation



THE global environment is changing at a faster rate. New companies that have sleek production processes or companies that provide better service are coming on the scene.
An organisation that fails to adapt will soon be relegated to the dump.
Companies are implementing lean management systems. These techniques enable companies to compete effectively on price, quality, delivery and overall customer service.
It is therefore important for organisations to adopt these management techniques.
The lean management philosophy is an approach that supports the concept of continuous improvement, where over a long term an organisation systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

The main objective of the philosophy is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.
The whole idea is to aim at creating more value for customers with fewer resources at minimal waste.
A lean organization understands that a customer will pay for value and therefore it focuses its key processes to continuously increase customer value. Customer value has two aspects to it: desired value and perceived value. Desired value refers to what the customer desires in a product or service while perceived value is the benefit that a customer believes she received from a product after a purchase.

Provision of customer value ensures that an organisation has an edge over its competitors. The lean management technique focuses more on optimizing the flow of products and services through the entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers.
The goal for all members of an organization that utilizes a lean structure is to constantly find ways to improve the processes of the organization and to make it more efficient.

Any activities that do not add value to the product or service should be removed. The end result is that customers benefit from the changes.
The introduction or adoption of lean management techniques will result in elimination of waste along the entire value streams thus creating processes that need less human effort, less space, less capital, and less time to make products and services.

Companies should be able to respond to changing customer desires with high variety of products, high quality, at low cost, and with very fast throughput times.
The concept of lean is not only applicable to manufacturing processes, although it was started in a manufacturing environment in the Toyota production process.
The lean philosophy applies in every business and in every process. It’s more a way of thinking and acting of an entire organization than a tactic. You will find that businesses in all industries and services, including healthcare and governments, are using lean principles as the way they think and do.
Adopting the lean philosophy requires a complete transformation on how a company conducts business so it’s not a program that you adopt and expect to reap massive benefits in a very short time. It takes a long-term perspective and a lot of perseverance.

Managers that are embarking on lean transformation should think of three fundamental business issues that should guide the transformation of the entire organization, namely, the purpose-what customer problems will the enterprise solve, process-assess each major value stream to make sure each step or activity is valuable, capable, and adequate and lastly people- every important process should have someone who is responsible for continually evaluating that value stream in terms of business purpose and lean process.

A value stream is the sequence of activities required to design, produce and provide a good or service. Members of lean organizations are taught to view the value that their organization produces from the customer’s point of view. They are encouraged to find ways to improve the value enjoyed by their customers.
Lean management does not only deal with manufacturing or service processes but it looks at the organisation structure as well. An organisation structure should be lean so that the management layers are reduced to avoid redundant layers which only help to bring bureaucracy.

There are a number of benefits that accrue from implementing lean management techniques.
Firstly, there is improved productivity as a result of improvements in efficiency. An organisation will be able to produce more goods or provide better service for the same overheads and resources.
Secondly, there is a reduction in waste since this is the main aim of the lean management technique-to prevent and eliminate waste in processes. Waste is anything that does no add value to a product or service. Waste could accrue from transporting materials, build up in inventory, costs related to moving goods from place to place, waiting time for materials required in production, over-processing of goods, overproduction, and defects.

A lean organisation has processes that are able to quickly respond to customer demands. The processes also ensure timeous availability of the product on the market.
Because the concept of lean management embraces the philosophy of ‘just-in-time’ it means there is less stock pile in the form of inventory of finished goods. This helps in reducing the cash tied up in stock. An organisation will therefore have no need to borrow to finance stockholding.
The other benefit is that there will be an improvement in customer service. This is achieved through delivering exactly what the customer wants on time- delivering the right product to the right customer at the right place and at the right time.

This will ensure that you will have satisfied customers that are going to keep on returning to buy from you allowing you to maintain and even grow your business.
Therefore, implementing lean helps the organization to remain competitive both in terms of price and effectiveness of the services offered. It enables the organization to win more business and grow at a rapid pace.

A lean organisation results in higher profits and more business for your organisation.
The global market is changing. You can choose to stay put and hope that no one out there makes better, cheaper products that better meet your customers’ needs.
The reality however is that someone out there is looking at your share of the market and working out how to win it from you. So you better evolve, and revolutionize your industry, if you have to be the first in your industry. Jim Collins said, “Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.”

l Jakarasi is a business and financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy (ACCA P3), advanced performance management (P5) and entrepreneurship. He is the Managing Consultant of Shekina Consulting (Pty) Ltd and provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, corporate governance, preparation of business plans, tender documents and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.

For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts:, call on +266 58881062 or WhatsApp +266 62110062 .

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Jobs galore for Lesotho



94 000 jobs.

That is what the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-Lesotho) will create in the next 10 years, according to Prime Minister Sam Matekane.

The MCA-Lesotho was created by the Lesotho parliament last year after the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) found Lesotho eligible to receive development funds.

The MCC gives development grants to poor countries that respects democratic principles and human rights.

The MCC has unlocked a staggering US$322 million (over M5 billion) to the government of Lesotho after the country enacted three laws the protect people’s basic rights this week.

Matekane advised youths to visit MCA-Lesotho offices to understand how best they can benefit from the fund and the projects that will be financed.

The MCC’s investments are aimed at increasing the availability of water for household and industrial use, enhance watershed management and conservation methods, rehabilitate health infrastructure and strengthen health systems, and remove barriers to private investment.

The MCA-Lesotho’s Health and Horticulture Compact seeks to assist the country in unlocking equitable and sustainable economic growth in partnership with the private sector by addressing key constraints to growth.

Matekane said the job creation potential of the horticulture project alone is estimated at 4 000 jobs.

This excludes indirect jobs that will be created through packaging supplies, logistics, cold chain activities as well as the processing of the output.

“Let us all be ready and ensure we spend all the funding that is available,” Matekane said.

He said the money is going to be invested in agriculture, trade and industry, value chains, infrastructure development, tourism and creative sectors.

“The Compact has come at a critical time when the country is in dire need of financial injections to revive the economy,” he said.

“This second Compact forms the core of Lesotho’s private sector-led economic growth, recovery and job creation agenda.”

He said the MCA staff should work diligently, to implement this Compact.

“There are several Basotho businesses out there that are eager to seize the opportunities that the Compact brings,” Matekane said.

“Serve them with integrity, accountability and dedication.”

Matekane said the government has established the Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Compact which is under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Nthomeng Majara.

The sub-committee is mandated to ensure that the government provides overall oversight, strategic direction and support for successful implementation of the Compact.

He said he expects the MCA-Lesotho to ensure the full implementation of the project within the next five years.

“Our economy needs this capital injection to boost productivity and job creation,” Matekane said.

Matekane said the government had to enact three pieces of legislation which were necessary to support the investments that the MCC is making.

The enacted laws are the Labour Code Amendment Bill, the Administration of Estates and Inheritance Bill and the Occupational Safety and Health Bill.

Majara Molupe

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Bank spearheads career expo



Standard Lesotho Bank will tomorrow host a career expo at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre for high school students who will sit for their final exams this year.
The 14th Annual Standard Lesotho Bank Career Expo was launched in Mokhotlong on Monday where the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) welcomed students in areas around the Polihali Dam construction site.

On Tuesday the expo was at the Butha-Buthe Community High School, yesterday it was at Assumption High School in Teya-Teyaneng while today it is in Quthing at Holy Trinity High School.

The five-day nationwide event is dedicated to connecting ambitious Basotho youths with exciting career opportunities.

Standard Lesotho Bank says it’s career expo “is a cornerstone of the bank’s commitment to empowering Basotho youth and shaping the future of Lesotho’s workforce”.

The 2024 edition of the event is the 14th where the bank is now the headline sponsor of this important expo that reaches about over 10 000 students countrywide.

The expo promises to be an even better offering where over 35 institutions of higher learning from Lesotho and South Africa as well as professional bodies will explain different career options to Basotho students.

Standard Lesotho Bank communications manager, Manyathela Kheleli, said students in Mokhotlong did not only learn about different engineering disciplines but got to appreciate engineering in action at Polihali.

He said it was a lifetime experience for students from Mokhotlong, “thanks to the collaboration with LHDA, who are fully responsible for the Polihali leg of the event”.

There were also motivational speakers from different professions in the bank and other selected institutions.

Key influencers in the football fraternity, former Likuena captain and now Corporate Responsibility Manager at Letšeng Diamonds, Tšepo Hlojeng, and former Orlando Pirates dribbling wizard, Steve Lekoelea, are among the influencers that have been invited to address the students.

The event is a sponsorship initiative under Personal and Private Banking that is open to all youths, communities, and individuals, where the bank intends to use this event to drive the new Youth or student Customer Value Proposition and attract high school students to open accounts ahead of their enrolment into tertiary institutions.

The objective of this sponsorship is to first create an environment where future leaders of Lesotho will be nurtured and informed of top career choices that demonstrate various skills requirements for the growth of Lesotho’s economy.

Secondly, the career expo is a clear demonstration of the bank’s intention to put youths at the centre of its initiatives.

This position is shown by the bank’s initiative to not only develop special products for youths, such as the Youth Account but also through several initiatives that promote youth empowerment. These include the bursary scheme and the Bacha Entrepreneurship Project.

“We are more than a bank for our youths, but a good corporate citizen and a partner for the education for Basotho,” Kheleli said.

“We believe that as we grow our youths, they will become assets to this country and by extension, develop into a feeder market for our banking products when they enter the job market,” he said.

The bank has invested M150 000 towards sponsorship of the annual Career Expo.

Staff Reporter

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Ministry launches fresh industrialisation drive



A new policy to drive industrialisation in Lesotho was launched in Maseru this week.
The Lesotho National Industrialisation Policy 2024–2028 is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade.

The ministry says the policy seeks to accelerate economic diversification in the industrial base, enhance productivity and productive capacity for industrialisation and advance domestic and regional value chains for industrialisation.

It also seeks to promote and develop industrial clustering, promote inclusive industrialisation, support entrepreneurship development and strengthen business linkages.
The new policy will also seek to enhance energy efficiency and sustainability, promoting technology adoption and innovation, services-based industrialisation, and stimulating agro-based industrialisation.

This is not the first time Lesotho has launched an industrialisation policy. Previous policies have all failed.

The first attempt was the 2015–2017 industrial policy, whose aim was to accelerate the industrialisation agenda and address key challenges facing the country.

The second one was the 2018–2023 policy, which after its unsuccessful execution during the three years of implementation, the government extended it to the National Strategic Development Plan Strategic Focus (2023/24-2027/28).

The new industrial policy’s target is set to activate implementation on innovation to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic industries, create decent jobs and improve the welfare of Basotho.

Thabo Moleko, the Ministry of Trade Principal Secretary, said the implementation of the new policy is set to deepen economic growth, promote industrialisation and enhance competitiveness.

“The plan includes greater investment in industrial development with the intention to create employment and incomes while building on maintaining the existing industrial trade,” Moleko said.

Mamello Nchake, a consultant for the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA), said the development goals of the industrial policy are set to ensure an achievable inclusiveness and equitable growth as they aim to create sector-led quality jobs for Basotho.

Nchake said the goals are meant to “develop and maintain enabled infrastructure that is critical to the private sectors and also to promote gender equality, environmental and climate risk management”.

“Moreover, the policy (will seek to) harness the collaboration with private sector firms to address common challenges and promote industrialisation,” she said.

The workshop discussed constraints that hindered the implementation of the 2018 – 2023 policy that undermined investment and trade opportunities.

The constraints include access to land for investment, inadequate provision of infrastructure, an outdated and a lack of appropriate regulatory environment, low productive capacity, market size and topological constraints, unstable macroeconomic environment, external factors, and over-dependency of trade preferences.

To address the strategic objectives, the previous industrial policies had proposed tax incentives for industrial development, trade policy and regional integration as the main vehicle for industrialisation and structural transformation.

They had also proposed mechanisms for policy coordination and implementation, institutional alignment and linkages.

However, several key challenges were identified in the implementation of the 2015-2017 industrial policy.

They included limited financial and investment capacity to effectively implement the industrial policy actions.

“Financing instruments are not aligned with the level of development needs of the private sector,” stakeholders heard at the workshop.

They also heard that there is “persistent dependency on few industries that poses risks in the face of global economic uncertainties and ever-changing consumer preferences”.
Another identified problem is limited investment climate that makes it costly for foreign firms to invest in Lesotho.

It was also observed that a shortage of specialised education and skills crucial for growth of industries impact the ability of firms to adopt advanced technologies and improve productivity and the productive capacity.

Stakeholders also heard that there is limited global competitiveness and access to global markets.

Lesotho’s industries, they heard, particularly textiles and garments, face competition from other low-cost manufacturing countries.

The country is also spooked by poor coordination between the implementing agencies due to a lack of a clear implementation framework.

Khahliso ’Molaoa

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