Lean Manufacturing has always been known for ‘more enhancements’ and ‘less diminutions.’, But who knew that the theory could be applied to humans too?

Yes, Lean Production has played a crucial role in evolving and improving workforce productivity through its smart processes. 

Initially, the process of lean production was only applied to machines and equipment. Nevertheless, with time it began to enhance and improve workforce productivity in all spheres. While talking about the sugar industry, the process has proven to be of utmost importance to this highly labor-intensive sector. 

The Sugar industry

The sugar industry is prominent in the Indian economy as it provides raw materials to many other industries, including alcohol, paper, cattle field, and chemicals.  It mainly deals with the production, processing, and marketing of these resources and helps other industries grow. Manpower Productivity and Lean Manufacturing Techniques play a vital role in the industry as the industry highly relies on human resources to manage and handle the production process. However, lean production requires skilled and trained workers who are familiar with the industry and its technique of production.

Need and Availability of Human Resources in The Sugar Industry

Human Resource is one of the most important resources for the sugar industry as the industry provides livelihood to lakhs of people engaged directly and indirectly in sugarcane production. The increased demand for raw materials has led to an increase in production in the sugar industry, which in turn leads to an increase in the demand for labor. The industry is highly labor-intensive and hence, requires more and more human resources and manpower productivity. 

Currently, it is the second largest agro-based industry in India after the cotton industry. However, it requires 150-180 labor days per hectare in sub-tropical areas and around 250-300 days in the tropical south region. Since most of its cultivation is carried out manually, the labor and manpower productivity in the sugar industry is experiencing a rise every year.

Consequently, the industry experiences a periodic rise in the percentage of hiring of human resources, machines, and bullock labor. 

Lean Manufacturing and Manpower Productivity in The Sugar Industry

Implementing and Strengthening the Lean Production Process helps enhance equipment and labor productivity in all industries. The sugar industry, highly dependent on manpower productivity, is improving every day due to the enhanced productivity methods that are a consequence of Lean Manufacturing.

The Lean Process has enhanced manpower productivity in a number of ways. Over the years, it has enhanced product quality with a reduction in lead times and production costs. It is helping brands and industries to deliver value to customers and avail of supplies whenever required. It is helping develop manpower productivity by assisting them with –

  • Strong and healthy implementation of lean strategies that will actually help brands grow.
  • Proper management and execution of the workflow process and determination of the issues and inefficiencies. 
  • To design and implement how and what to remove in order to cut the inefficiencies in the production process

The sugarcane industry is responsible for the production of an important industrial crop that is grown in almost all states and countries. India is the second largest producer of the crop, and hence, technical and physical improvements have become an integral part of the sugar industry. The industry has lakhs of workers that belong to the rural areas and have the task as the only source of livelihood.

The Lean Production Process is helping the industry evolve by addressing some of its basic issues and helping people with lucrative solutions. The time-tested way of thinking and coming out with genuine and reliable solutions is known as lean thinking.

Lean Thinking Solutions, when applied to some of the major issues in the production process, can effectively bring out solutions. It helps eliminate issues like overproduction, defects, transportation issues, mechanical glitches, etc.

Lean Thinking smoothens the lean production process and finally helps enhance both manpower and technical productivity in the industry.


The sugar industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Lean Manufacturing and process improvement are contributing to its enhancement through its Lean Thinking solutions. The process is helping improve manpower and labor productivity over a longer period. The process helps eliminate the basic issues and brings some reliable solutions to help you grow and achieve the best results.