These are some of the lean methods I use to train staff to be self-sufficient problem solvers.

Improving productivity/ capacity 20%

This objective requires observing & measuring the current state.  Identify people motion, waiting and rework wastes.  Determine the root causes and then develop countermeasures. Reducing non value adding work enables you to reduce cost, increase cross training, not replace identified vacated positions and alternatively, to use the improved productivity to increase capacity to increase output.


Work Center Team - Highly effective Daily Huddle

Solve coordination/ communication issues and implement daily accountability.  Morning meetings have the right stakeholders, an agenda focused on results and the appropriate metrics to track.  Visual management is used to track Safety, Quality, Delivery, Inventory and Productivity (costs) (SQDIP). Every work flow interruption over the last 24 hours is identified.  The problem is stated, the next step towards resolution, an owner, date when the owner will report back and the on-going status indicator.

Observe Analyze Improve process. 

I personally teach your staff to go to the process area (the gemba) and practice observing for the 7 Deadly Wastes, latent safety & quality issues and the hard work the staff is  doing.  After we document the observations we analyze the observations for the actual impact (significant or not) and prioritize them according to impact.  Finally we create improvement plans to make change by conducting Kaizen.


Problem Solving

I teach several problem solving techniques and coach your staff how to apply them on real issues.

"5 Whys," "A3 Thinking," "Fishbone Analysis". We need to find the root cause versus trial & error solutions.


 Lean Management System - System for Making Improvements

The most effective system consists of 3 basic pillars - Leader Standard Work, Visual Management and Daily Accountability.  Your team will be coached on the details.  Your leadership brings the will to implement the discipline/ practice to follow this proven template.  We typically execute this through the daily Work Center Team.  This may involve multiple tools and methods customized to your operation.


Value Stream Mapping of the process

We use a large white board or plotting paper with post-its to map out each step in your process from supplier to customer.  The flow of work and of information is included.  A data box is added for each step to show metrics like cycle time, number of operators, change over time, defect rate.  The last step is to identify all the current issues and opportunities associated with each step.  The amount of time adding value and time not adding value is calculated.  This becomes the blue print for the current state from which we project what we want for the future state.

The 7 Deadly Wastes

Understand and identify the 7 Deadly Wastes in your operation:  Excessive Motion, Waiting, Transportation, Over Processing, WIP Inventory, Defects and Finished Goods Inventory.

This is a two hour workshop guaranteed to change the way staff and managers see their process.  No improvements are made without improving one of these wastes - get good at seeing and attacking them.  There is a set of tools to see the waste and another set to attack them.


Declutter the area with 5S

Reduce motion waste, improve safety, remove obsolete materials, etc. by implementing 5S.  This is a well known process consisting of Sort out the stuff you don't need, Set in place the remaining materials with good labeling and locations, Shine (clean) the area, Standardize where materials are stored & how they are replaced, Sustain the improvements by periodic monitoring.


Standard Work

Identify the best practice way of executing a process with the least waste.  Document that process.  Create a plan to sustain the improvements through monitoring.  This could be a week long Kaizen event for a process area.


Quick Change Over to improve productivity 20%

Another proven method to reduce the time it takes to carry out any process or to reduce the time it takes to change over processes in the office or on the production line. We map and time each step in the process observed.  We separate the "line must be down to perform this step" from set up and clean up steps and rearrange to minimize the downtime. At the same time we identify and eliminate motion & waiting waste.



Many of our improvements use a method called Kaizen - make small improvements for the better.

We used our proprietary Team Leader Guide to Kaizen covers the step by step process for >100 successful implementations of change. Kaizens can range from an hour to a week in duration depending on the scope.


Kanban - No stock outs!

Optimize inventory levels and eliminate stock outs and wasted process time waiting and staff time to go get the material.  This is done in one of two ways.  A two bin system where we use up the contents of one bin and that is the signal to replenish before the second bin runs out.  The second method is to prepare a card for each item where it is stored.  The card had the part number, location and reorder quantity.  It is placed in the part storage location where when it is uncovered it triggers replenishment before the remaining stock runs out.