lean services

The power of lean planning

FEATURE – A Dutch transmission system operator is using Lean Planning – built around the Last Planner System – to better manage its complex infrastructure projects.

Sorting out sourcing

FEATURE – The Sourcing team at insurance company SulAmérica tells us about how they were able to transform the process in their department in order to become more efficient in dealing with their workload.

Predictable vs unpredictable work

FEATURE – It is a common misconception that our work is too unpredictable to fit into a standardized approach. The author debunks this myth. 

Grievances first

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – How do you kick off a lean journey? This French company has chosen to begin by analyzing and tackling each customer complaint.

A 15-year journey of people engagement

CASE STUDY – Here’s the story of a mature lean company from Michigan. The author tells us about Zingerman’s Mail Order’s lean transformation, their challenges and their successes.

Extracting waste from our process

CASE STUDY – In a Brazilian insurance company, a team worked hard to streamline the revision of dental claims – a great example of Lean Thinking in an administrative process. 

Attorney at lean

CASE STUDY – A boutique law firm in Milan has initiated a lean transformation to turn around its processes, improve service to its clients and make life easier for the team.  

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.

Re-start with a clean slate

CASE STUDY – From client and supplier to partners-in-lean: how solving a problem together transformed the relationship between a Dutch hospital and the laundry supplying clean garments to it.

When lean takes off

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA – The author visits the Parisian airport of Orly to learn about a pilot project (pun intended) that aims to tackle the late departure of flights using lean thinking.

Moving forward

INTERVIEW – This moving company in Singapore has taken its first steps down the lean road, reminding us that translating your strategy into small, actionable improvements people can make at the gemba is the way to a transformation.

Leading large-scale lean change

INTERVIEW – Rose Keanly discusses the role of lean in a strategic business transformation in the financial services sector and the dos and don’ts of bringing lean to a large organization. 

Determination pays

CASE STUDY – This Dutch company awards social benefits to the unemployed. Thanks to lean thinking, they were able to radically transform the service they offer them.

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.

The Sunday-night barista

FEATURE – The author looks back at her time at Starbucks Coffee Company and reflects on the role of leadership in facilitating the spread of lean thinking across the organization.

Banking on hoshin

FEATURE – What a Brazilian bank has learned from its first few steps in adopting hoshin kanri through structured problem solving and people development.

Paying our dues

CASE STUDY – This Polish debt collection company is refocusing its work around true customer needs and increasing problem visibility by implementing hoshin kanri.

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.