lean transformation

levelled production eliminate the blues

Eliminate complexity in raw and packaging materials

FEATURE – There is a form of waste – complexity in raw and packaging materials – that adds costs to manufacturing without creating value, but it is often overlooked. The author explains what it is and how to banish it.
SNCF train maintenance

Follow the gemba walk in a SNCF train maintenance center

NOTES FROM THE GEMBA - We follow the author on a visit to a train maintenance center in France. Through practical examples and pictures from the gemba, she explains how the center is transforming itself.
palo alto hospitals sustaining results

A California lean hospital on how to sustain results

FEATURE – The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has used lean to redesign workflows in its primary care clinics since late 2011. With changes now spread to a total of 17 facilities, the team started to analyze what it took to sustain the results achieved.
Wells Fargo scandal lean culture

The Wells Fargo scandal teaches us lean must be nurtured

OPINION – The latest banking scandal had us all wonder whether Wells Fargo has lost its way. But how does a pioneering bank that once had lean at its heart betray its core values so profoundly?
end of work womack

Work as we know it is disappearing; how can lean adapt?

WOMACK’S YOKOTEN – The rise of the robots may still belong in sci-fi books, but there is no doubt that work as we know it is fading away. What is the role of lean thinking in this world of drones and driverless taxis?
most satisfying moment lean journey

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #6

ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – Change might be scary but, when things do work out, it also brings us incredible pride and sense of accomplishment. We asked five practitioners to tell us what the most satisfying moment in their lean journey was.
ACS lean engineering

The incredible lean turnaround of an engineering department

FEATURE – A French automotive supplier has been applying lean principles to transform its engineering department with great results. In the process, they have realized they could put in place a really effective system to build innovation.
financial performance lean SMEs

The impact of lean on the financial performance of an SME

RESEARCH – What kind of financial results can a SME owner expect from a lean transformation? To find out, the author of this interesting research analyzed the performance of 100 Italian small and medium-sized companies.
Glenday small problems

Why fixing the little problems should not be discounted

FEATURE – A broken phone or a clock showing the wrong time may seem small details to you, but they actually make people's jobs more difficult. Fixing these issues improves work and boosts morale... It also says a lot about you as a company.
Stork train bogies

Applying lean thinking to the maintenance of train bogies

FEATURE – A Dutch company that maintains and overhauls train bogies has realized that in order for lean to work, a focus on continuous learning must be established. Here is how they are trying to get there.

Knowledge-building for lean: a profile of Sari Torkkola

PROFILE - When years of hard work to re-organize Patria's IT operations led to disappointing results, Sari Torkkola didn't throw in the towel. Instead, she started to build her department's understanding of lean.
Unilever scandal cereal israel

The importance of transparency: lessons from a food scandal

OPINION – When do our mistake become an ominous sign that we are giving up on our customers and people? Following the salmonella contamination in cereals in Israel, the author reflects on business purpose and the importance of transparency.
one question idea learned sooner

Five lean practitioners answer the same question #5

ONE QUESTION, FIVE ANSWERS – With this month’s question we try to understand what lean idea or principle our interviewees would have liked to learn sooner or better in their journey. So, heads up… You might be in a similar situation.
Jim Womack on lean and taylorism

Jim Womack takes on the legacy of Taylor and Ford

WOMACK'S YOKOTEN – The author reflects on how the legacy of Taylor and Ford still poses challenges to the lean movement, and why critics should move past a simplistic view of lean as mere standardization.
womack and jones lean thinking

Writing Lean Thinking – the authors look back

INTERVIEW – Twenty years ago a book started a movement that is growing stronger every day and that has changed the world in many ways. We caught up with the authors to sneak a peek behind the scenes.
levelled production low sale products

To be leaner discontinue high-volume low-sale products

FEATURE – We often think that making every product customers might want – no matter how little they sell or how much complexity they add to our schedule – is inherently lean. As Toyota understands quite well, however, it is quite the opposite.
lean accounting orry fiume

Lean accounting: a few key lessons from Wiremold

INTERVIEW – In this interview, the former CFO of uber-lean company Wiremold explains why our finance people hold the key to our transformation and gives us the lowdown on lean accounting.
lean in myanmar

Lean project boosts sustainable development in Myanmar

FEATURE – A group of Italian researchers and professionals partnered with a NGO to prove how lean thinking can pave the way for the competitiveness and sustainable development of SMEs in Myanmar. Is this a new model for the developing world?