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Monday, April 12 2021

Ask the Lean Expert

Do you find meeting customer needs is becoming more challenging every day? Are you faced with increased expectations for providing 100% on time delivery in shorter time frames with perfect quality? Are you trying to meet these needs without increasing costs?

These are common concerns for manufacturers across the state. To address these issues, a key strategy many of our clients have employed is the utilization of the mindset, culture, and tools of Lean manufacturing. Companies such as Toyota have employed Lean concepts to address the need for both continuous and dramatic improvement.

Perhaps you’ve heard the promise of Lean, or maybe you’ve even tried it in the past. Many have had successful implementation, however, many haven’t. There could be a multitude of reasons why Lean just didn’t sustain, so we have created a series that outlines the keys to success for implementing, sustaining, and applying Lean throughout your business. Sessions will be led by our industry experts, addressing topics that are designed to grow, enhance, re-energize, or restart your Lean efforts. 

This free series was developed as a way to learn about a variety of Lean tools and to help build your company’s Lean toolbox.

These sessions will be led by Brent White, Purdue MEP Consultant, alongside Purdue MEP Lean experts. Brent has over 30 years of experience in applying both Lean and Six Sigma. He also has over ten years of experience focused on the application of Lean in areas outside of manufacturing (sales, marketing, finance, etc.).

We hope you’ll join us in these upcoming webinar sessions. Each event will feature a discussion on a topic designed to meet your needs. You’ll walk away with ideas to grow your business without increasing costs! 

All sessions will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET online via Webex. These sessions are free.


Topic: Date/Time: Description:

Growing Revenue through lean: Applying lean to grow the top line

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May 10th at 12 PM ET

Perhaps you’re like most of us: we started Lean on the shop floor. We were able to identify wastes, and we’ve tried/applied some of the “tools” of Lean in our continuous improvement efforts. 

Have you ever considered the application of Lean in areas outside of manufacturing? Have you looked to apply Lean to your revenue cycle in areas pre and postproduction? 

In this session, we will look at how Lean applies to product development, sales, and marketing - the front end of the business. These areas are typically prime for process improvement initiatives that can aid in growing the top line without dramatically increasing cost.

How do we overcome resistance to Lean?

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June 14th at 12 PM ET

The promise of a Lean implementation is that we will be able to survive and thrive in a world of continuous improvement. Quality, costs, delivery, and inventory positions will improve; we will be able to do more with less. What’s not to like?

Even with these potential benefits from a Lean transformation, many organizations find that not everyone within the organization is excited about the possibilities of Lean. Without buy-in and support from within, Lean may fail.

In this session, we will examine the most common and predictable reasons for Lean resistance. By attending this session, you will be able to identify the reasons why individuals resist, and most importantly, examine what can be done to establish a culture of continuous improvement.

Lean Sustainment:  Holding on to the gains we’ve made


July 12th at 12 PM ET

So, you’ve had some success in the past with Lean and continuous improvement. However, it seems as though you haven’t been able to hold on to the success. One of the most difficult challenges of Lean and continuous improvement is to establish a framework and a process to maintain the gain and continue to grow.

In this session, we’ll discuss what can be done to sustain our efforts and eliminate backsliding by establishing a process and a culture that strives for sustained improvement.

How do I rejuvenate Lean/continuous improvement?


August 16th at 12 PM ET

We did all the right things in our implementation of Lean: we learned the tools, trained our people, and set off for success. If I take a walk through the business, I’ll see all the remnants of past Lean efforts - 5S boards, daily management boards, etc.  Where did we go wrong?

In this session, we’ll explore how to re-start/rejuvenate Lean. It worked in the past; let’s look at some ideas to get it moving again!

The role of leaders in a successful lean transformation


September 13th at 12 PM ET

I’m confident that the grass roots of the organization are excited about participating in Lean. I’m not so sure where my leaders stand. Will this transformation impact the way my leaders lead throughout the organization? Will our leadership style need to change?

In this session, we’ll look at the critical role of leadership from top to bottom in your organization. We’ll also look at Toyota’s approach to Lean leadership, and examine what, if anything, we might learn from their approach to Lean leadership.

How does my organization’s culture affect lean success?


October 11th at 12 PM ET

Most would agree that culture plays a significant role in a successful Lean/continuous improvement process. However, we often spend a great deal of time learning the tools, but very little time in addressing the cultural aspects of a successful Lean implementation.

In this session, we will focus on the critically important role that culture plays in establishing a positive outcome for the long haul with Lean. We will discuss what culture means and how to identify what your company’s culture is. You’ll leave with a set of ideas that will enable you to measure, accelerate, and sustain the process of change.

Lean, cobots, robots, and automation:  can they all work together?


November 15th at 12 PM ET

Perhaps you’ve recently embarked on a digital transformation within your organization. If so, you’ve most likely heard of the promise of bots, robots, cobots, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.  Automation has been with us for some time and still carries the promise of making tasks happen better, faster, and cheaper.

Where does Lean fit into this new world? Will Lean go away? Or will it be needed more than ever?  Come explore this topic as we take a glimpse at how these technologies and mindsets might interact to achieve the best result.

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