Staying Lean: Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Staying Lean: Thriving, not just surviving has just been awarded a Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence 2009, in the Research and Professional Publication category. The book draws on the story of a multi-national company that has successfully implemented Lean in its manufacturing and commercial areas to help turnaround the organisation s financial performance.

The story is based around the Lean Iceberg Model of sustainable change and addresses the often invisible, and hard to copy, enabling elements of successful Lean Management in manufacturing organisations: Strategy and Alignment, Leadership, Behaviour and Engagement as well as the more visible features: Process Management and the application of Lean Technology, Value Stream Tools and Techniques. Staying Lean is designed to be used as a practical workbook to guide practitioners along their own Lean journey so that Lean becomes embedded in the organisation and sustains the performance improvements over the long-term; often enabling them to outperform low-cost economies and thus compete in a global marketplace.

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Lean Evolution: Lessons from the Workplace

Lean thinking is a powerful method that allows organizations to improve the productivity, efficiency and quality of their products or services. Achieving these benefits requires good teamwork, clear communication, intelligent use of resources and a commitment to continuous improvement.

This 2006 book shows how lean thinking can be applied in practice, highlighting the key challenges and pitfalls. The authors, based at a leading centre for lean enterprise research, begin with an overview of the theory of lean thinking. They then explain the core tools and techniques and show how they can be applied successfully. The detailed implementation of lean thinking is illustrated by several case studies, from a range of industries, in which the authors had unprecedented access to the management teams. With its focus on implementation and practical solutions, this book will appeal to managers at all levels, as well as to business students and researchers in lean thinking.

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The 8 Principles of the Lean Business System

In this paper Professor Peter Hines revisits at the well-known five lean principles: value, value streams, flow, pull and perfection. While the principles proved highly remained robust in many ways, it may be time to take a fresh at these principles not least because our thinking has moved on since they were first proposed in Lean Thinking (1996). For example the environmental imperative is far more resonant for organisations today than it was then. At the same time, our understanding of the ‘people side of lean’ has taken shape with the benefit of hindsight.

Professor Hines suggests that we should now be thinking about our organisations in terms of the eight Ps: purpose; process; people; pull; prevention; partnering; planet; and, perfection. He goes onto examine each of the eight principles in turn. He proposed that one way to approach lean is through the development of a lean business system. This approach ensures that an holistic view of lean is taken which embraces each of the eight principles and avoids some of the pitfalls commonly encountered in lean implementation.

Don’t be afraid of SMED, try SHED!

Creating Flow is one of the fundamental principles of Lean thinking, disruptions to Flow often come as a result of a product changeover which not only halt production for the changeover process, but often drive large batch sizes. This in turn can promote high levels of work in progress (WIP) and finished goods which occupy excessive amounts of hard cash.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, what an achievement it would be to reduce the changeovers to less than an hour! Hence adopt the approach of Single Hour Exchange of Die (SHED), What a difference a word made!