Inside the Alcoa Business System (ABS)

The Alcoa Business System, or ABS, is an integrated set of principles and tools used to manage Alcoa businesses. The three overarching principles of ABS are:

  • Make to Use,
  • Eliminate Waste,
  • People Linchpin the System.

Make to Use

The Make to Use principle begins with Alcoa customers and is based on the ideal of:

  • Single-piece production
  • On demand
  • Defect free
  • At the lowest possible cost
  • Made safely

The principle is based on customer usage, as opposed to making to inventory.

Eliminate Waste

The Eliminate Waste principle is our drive toward the ideal of exposing and solving problems, when and where they occur, to continuously improve the cost, quality and speed of all our manufacturing and business processes.

People Linchpin the System
This third principle is the drive to create the people environment, engaging all our associates in identifying and solving the problems linked to our transition from "make to inventory" to "make to use" and the continuous improvements in costs, quality, and speed.

ABS and Cost Savings
ABS has helped to deliver substantial savings, and there are significant opportunities ahead in both savings and in extending the entire business system of the company. Alcoa will continue to use our years of experience in applying ABS and systemically capturing improvements faster and transferring knowledge across the organization more quickly.



Lean Manufacturing Training

September 30, 2008 – Samara Metallurgical plant opened Alcoa’s Center of Excellence to train Alcoa Russia employees in lean manufacturing, i.e. Alcoa Business System (ABS).


The Center also provides consultative services to other organizations on ABS methodology.


The students of the Center will obtain theoretical knowledge and tour production areas of the plant shops to estimate and apply ABS tools. The first training course encompasses six out of seven ABS stability tools – Daily Management, Problem Solving, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and 5S, Suggestion System and Communication. After completion of the first course the students will get a task that involves implementation of the methods they have studied in the Center.


On March 10, 2009, the Center launched training on Kaizen tool that is a regular systemic organization of events with involvement of all employees. The event aims at identification and elimination of waste within operational and administrational processes, as well as performance improvement through creation and application of new production standards. This training is open to the students who have completed the task of the first course.


The Center of Excellence is situated on the territory of Samara Metallurgical Plant.


Please refer your questions on the Center to Head of Center of Excellence

Dmitry Pogrebickiy

Phone +7 846 278 30 82