White Papers, Case Studies, and Articles

White Papers

Andon Applications and their Integration with Lean Operations Systems
Andon applications are now commonplace throughout the automotive industry. First widely used by Toyota Motor Corporation, the boards were studied and implemented in a variety of styles worldwide. However, the implementations have not always achieved the expected results in improvements in cost, delivery, and quality. Click here to read more...

Case Studies

Lean Transformation Case Study – Applying Lean / TPS Organization Principles in a Launch Scenario

An industry leading auto manufacturer wanted to improve its new product and plant launch performance to meet or exceed that of the competition. The manufacturer was looking to achieve a faster launch to full volume, significant improvements in finished vehicle first pass yield and product quality, and more competitive labor costs. Read the Lean Manufacturing Launch Organization Case Study Overview to learn about the approach.

Lean Manufacturing Case Study – The Value Proposition for Lean (with Case Study Summaries)

The essence of Lean Manufacturing and TPS cannot be ignored: Lean Transformation activities must sustainably improve performance. Without a Value Proposition, without a clear focus on the target condition, lean activities can quickly become unsustainable 'window dressing', requiring massive efforts while bringing minimal returns. Read here to review highlights of Lean Transformation cases that led to significant and sustainable improvements in Quality, Lead Time, and Cost. 

Lean Manufacturing Case Study – Powered Wheelchair Manufacturer

A leading US manufacturer of powered wheelchairs wanted to see improvements in its manufacturing processes. This manufacturer prides itself on its ability to produce powered chairs customized to meet the widely varying demands of its customers and deliver them within a short lead time. However, due to increased competition and more particular customer demands, what was once thought to be a short lead time and a competitive advantage turned into average performance at best. Learn how they improved here...

Lean Manufacturing Case Study – Engine Manufacturer Quality Improvement

A premium engine manufacturer in the UK wanted to achieve world-class results in First Pass Yield and significantly reduce rework. By applying proven lean quality methods, making quality performance and problem solving more transparent through visual management techniques, and organizing the right team of people to attack problems at the root cause, the manufacturer achieved excellent results. Read here to see how they achieved them...


Performance-Based Problem Solving for Everyone

You don't have to be a black belt, green belt, or even own a belt to be an effective, data-driven problem solver. Significant kaizen ideas don't require someone to be a mathematician, statistician, or computer genius; improvement ideas that come from the people who live with a process and its problems every day are a vast, and unfortunately seldom tapped, resource for amazing process improvement ideas. Given the right set of simple, visual tools and methods, virtually any team can effectively attack most of their performance issues. Read here for more... 

Foundations – The ‘Mindset’ Behind Successful Lean Transformation

Years of experience in lean transformation has led to some observations about the mindset and behaviors that are seemingly always present in world-class lean operations. Click here to read more about the observations...

Operational Excellence Through Lean Transformation

World-class manufacturers stay ahead of their competitors by applying world-class tools, methods, leadership skills, and organization development principles that lead to building a sustainable, continuously improving manufacturing enterprise. Read more...

Transparency, Part 1

Keeping employees informed of what's going on in the business is only a small part of transparency. Using transparency to drive daily problem solving and improvement activities from the value-adding part of the organization is an invaluable part of any lean transformation. Read more...

Pat's World

As an employee at an operationally excellent, world-class lean company, Pat and her colleagues have an integral role in the success of the business. Read here to learn how Pat, her colleagues, and other key players in the organization drive significant improvements in their work area.

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