What is Lean?

Lean is many things, so that's a hard question to answer in a short space. So, in brief, Lean is a way of learning to solve problems by identifying and removing wasteful activities, but in so doing you improve your bottom line, your capacity and opportunity, and your people (by teaching them to solve problems too).

Where is Lean used?

Lean is a derivative of the Toyota Production System. Seeing the amazing results that Toyota was having, Western firms began studying their system and applying it to their own businesses. The term Lean was used in the book Lean Thinking which described the system in great detail. Businesses of all kinds now use Lean techniques to remove waste from their companies

Is Lean expensive?

No. Lean is inherently modest in terms of investment. It emphasizes creativity over capital, using existing assets over buying new ones, and successful improvement activities pay for themselves many times over.

Why doesn't everyone just do it?

Good question. It's simple, doesn't need lots of new equipment, and has enormous benefits. Mostly, the reason is that Lean requires a shift in perspective, a change in mindset, and often seems counter-intuitive. It's hard for people get past that.

How do I learn more?

You've come to the right place! In our blog are many links to other informational sites, explanations of why and how Lean works, and recommended books about Lean. You can also just email us and we'll tell you everything we know and point you elsewhere if we don't have the answer.

Do you offer Lean certification?

No, but we do offer a recommendation for those seeking Lean certification: get it. Furthermore, if you're in the Buffalo area, get it at the The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), part of SUNY Buffalo The program is excellent, challenging, and project based. It also pays for itself. Going through the program, our project saved more than 20x the cost of tuition. We cant imagine a better value in education.