lean manufacturing

A lean transformation is a cognitive transformation

FEATURE – By looking at two practical examples, the authors discuss the cognitive shift towards learning and continuous improvement that takes place in a lean transformation.

The gateway to success

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – By introducing flow in its processes and transforming its approach to managing the business, this French manufacturer of fences and gates is building a competitive advantage.

Kaizen all around

FEATURE – Two coaches from Italian company FPZ reflect on their role helping lean thinking spread across the company and its newly-acquired businesses.

Lean-n-food

FEATURE – The food industry is mired with problems all along the value chain. In this call to arms, the author explains why lean thinking is the only tool we have to transform it right now.

A journey of mind-blowing improvement

CASE STUDY – Seven years ago, this Italian manufacturer ran an experiment to reduce inventory in its warehouse. Today, lean thinking permeates every aspect of life at FPZ.

Leadership development at Volvo Cars

CASE STUDY – What is the approach to people development used at Volvo Cars? The authors explain how the organization has created a production system fully owned by operators and managers.

A sense of heritage in an uncertain world

FEATURE – In a market where products become obsolete very fast, this Toyota supplier has learned the importance of staying true to its heritage and developing know-how and people’s capabilities.

Cancelling the distance

CASE STUDY – What to do when you operate in a competitive market and are located in a remote corner of Europe, thousands of miles from your customer? One word: lean.

Learning at takt time in Thales

INTERVIEW – A former VP of Operations from Thales tells Catherine Chabiron how he and his team turned around their department by committing to lean thinking and focusing on people development every day.

Avoiding the most common mistakes with VSM

THE NAKED GEMBA – Value stream mapping is a fundamental tool in any lean transformation. The author takes us the most common mistakes companies make using it, so that you can avoid the pitfalls.

Blue-sky thinking

FEATURE – Successfully engaging people and building a solid daily management system is allowing a Velux factory in Poland to fulfill its strategic goals.  

Surviving an inflection point

FEATURE – The car industry is undergoing incredible change and ‘disruption’ is the word on everyone’s lips. How can companies survive it? Once again, Toyota shows us the way.

What a good supermarket looks like

THE NAKED GEMBA – Our new series goes back to basics to unlock the secrets of the gemba and tell us about some of the main tools and techniques we can use in a lean transformation. First up, supermarkets.

Supporting the Australian service industry

INTERVIEW – What skills do coaches need to successfully support lean transformations in the service sector? Our colleagues from Australia tells us about their experience.

The energy to get things done

FEATURE – When people become enthusiastic about improvement work, there's no limit to what can be achieved. Join the author on a visit to a Finland-based manufacturer, whose lean efforts range from production to customer service.

Detecting improvement opportunities

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – A culture in which problems are tackled as soon as they appear and the production and product development teams work closely together is helping this French healthcare technology company to thrive.

Monozukuri, Hitozukuri, Kotozukuri

RESEARCH – The authors present a new perspective on value creation. In addition to monozukuri (making things) and hitozukuri (making people), they discuss the idea of kotozukuri, making things happen.

Quality by kaikaku

CASE STUDY – This Turkish producer of sanitaryware has boosted its quality so dramatically it’s now a player in the German market. It did so by bringing drastic change to its production system.