lean manufacturing

Lean in internal supply logistics

CASE STUDY – The implementation of lean in the internal logistics of a pharmaceutical company in Brazil proved key to increasing productivity and quality in the organization.

Four types of problems, in the management system

FEATURE – A lean management system is necessary to effectively run a business. Can Art Smalley’s four types of problems framework help such a system to focus on what’s really important?

Facing the crisis with an appetite for improvement

NOTES FROM THE VIRTUAL GEMBA – Despite a 40% drop in sales and the looming prospect of having to furlough part of its staff, this French company is finding in lean manufacturing an ally to fight the current crisis.

Lean thinking for more resilient supply chains

FEATURE – The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed all the shortcomings of our current supply chains. Lean Thinking can make them more agile, aligned and adaptive.

Facing the emergency

NOTES FROM THE (VIRTUAL) GEMBA – In this new series - one new article every week during the Covid-19 crisis) - the author asks companies how they are reacting to this health emergency. First up, Proditec.

Harada-san and the steps to better Jidoka

FEATURE – In the first piece of a series on Takehiko Harada’s contribution to TPS, the authors discuss the Nagara Switch and how it helps to achieve better Jidoka.

Immunity

CASE STUDY – This Italian manufacturer has found in lean a way to ensure business continuity and provide support to a distraught workforce in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Learning to be lean chameleons

FEATURE – In this candid, personal account, the author shares her experience as a lean coach, her challenges and success, and how she adapts to different situations.

Half the bad, double the good

CASE STUDY – The story of this Norwegian window and door manufacturer shows how a deep and ongoing commitment to a lean transformation can help a company thrive against all odds.

Centerlining: what it is and how it works

FEATURE – In this compelling read, the author explains how “centerlining” tools and settings can reduce variation in a process and avoid having to constantly seek adjustments à la McGyver.

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.