Vietnam’s inexorable march to progress is the key reason that management consultant Leanwares Industry Company is thriving in its particular space.
According to managing director David Huynh Thanh Trung, Leanwares, established in 2015, aims to help various industry neophytes navigate the challenges of launching and sustaining their operations for the long haul. It also trains others to re-structure and adapt to significant changes in the marketplace. As its Mission Statement declares: (we want to) accompany enterprises on the road to enhancing their competitive edge in the global supply chain and develop sustainably.
Candidates for Leanware’s assistance falls into sectors such as furniture, garment, footwear, machining, food processing and medical equipment and devices among several others.
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Leanwares, which started out with Trung and his partner/co-founder, has now grown to include a staff of 10 employees and six part-time “partners” after four years. Trung explains: “Since our launch, Leanwares has seen a significant development in our services offering companies a total solution to establishing updated operations systems and production engineering, which takes into account ERP (digital transformation) and follows the ‘do right from the beginning concept’ by Leanwares.
“Our relationship with partners and training of team members has imbued them with greater value and skills, which are now spread out in many industries.”
Trung is keen to take advantage of Vietnam’s now accepted reputation as a reliable and quality furniture manufacturing hub and has been focusing much of his marketing efforts on furniture exporting firms, especially those in Southern Vietnam, targeting the US and European markets.
“Furniture exports in the country have been increasing approximately 15 percent annually since 2000,” he says. “We just estimated that the number of new furniture factories have been growing about 10 percent per year. In 2019, there were about 4,000 of these in Southern Vietnam.”
Trung reveals that he often sources clients through direct marketing efforts in events such as trade conferences, seminars and industry association gatherings. Word of mouth referrals, as expected, still provide the best testimonies. When asked what exactly Leanware’s suite of services consists of, he says: “We emphasize the concept “do right from the beginning.” It is important that investors understand [immediately] Investors to the importance of right planning and design.
“Our foremost aim is to set up a new factory by supplying a total solution to its design, which includes simulating the production processes and 3D simulation. These are what investors need to confirm before committing their investment.
“Laying this kind of ground work affirms our reputation for integrity, professionalism and reliability.”
He also adds that each project demands customization and optimization. To maintain the quality of the work, “we offer many [other] supporting services, and we connect and cooperate with many international certification bodies, international NGO organizations and international investment organizations. Future services that can be contracted include consulting, training, coaching, technical service and equipment supply.
Trung cannot stress enough the essence of maintaining good client relationships “especially with the next-generation leadership of the firm” as well as with the community of industrial associations, investment fund agencies M&A investors and business groupings.
What does he observe to be the trend in client requirements for their factories?
“The automation and digital transformation of the factory set up,” he says. “They want it to comply with international standards in terms of quality, environment and social compliance and the like.
“They desire training and coaching activities to develop their human resources and build up the corporate culture.”
However, since the Leanware concept is still quite new in Vietnam and their young team lacking in experience to handle a big project, Trung admits that the a number of improvements and refinement has to be achieved before the right business model for the local market is found and clients are comfortable with it. “We have to keep studying and find the right business practices from developed countries such as Germany and Singapore and adapt them to our market situation.
“Then, we have to continuously update and keep up with international trends, standards and technology and adapt to clients’ expectations and requirements as well.”
Once Leanware’s goals of strengthening its core competencies are achieved, Trung vows to expand their consultancy to neighboring countries Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
For now, he says: “We have to change step by step the mindset of investors and get them to ‘do right from the beginning’ when setting up their factory.” With that kind of thinking, who can go wrong?
AA Tay Ninh Factory – A professional and efficient workplace
For the client, A A Tay Ninh – a furniture exporter located near Ho Chi Minh City – the brief was to set up world-class factory facilities. Work on the Phu Dong Factory commenced in December 2018 and was completed in March of this year.
Specifics of the project featured of a total factory land area of 54,200 square meters; factory production area of 27,000 square meters, able to produce a capacity of 150 to 200 containers a month and holding between 1,000 and 1,200 employees. The number of employees is expected to be an improvement of six to eight employees producing for a container a month as against the traditional production figure of 9 to 11 employees per container per month. Ecologically friendly design has been incorporated as natural ventilation on the roof and walls and solar roof panels.
Following the Leanwares manufacturing vision, Phu Dong Factory was conceptualized, says Leanwares managing director David Huyhn Thanh Trung, “with a continuous flow from incoming material to the finished goods.
“This means that transportation or movement of raw material, semi-products to finished goods between the workshops is kept continuously moving by belt conveyor, chain conveyor or robotics. This reduces any time being wasted during transportation between machines and workshops.” He adds: “We applied 5S & Visual Management techniques. VM to meet safety standards, working condition requirements, international standards to create a professional and efficient working environment for production employees.” The factory also applies ERP system of SAP software and data control center to collect and analyze the daily production results.