Does anyone on the forum have experience of implementing LEAN in a service organisation? If so, are there any Learning tools / techniques that you would recommend (or suggest are best avoided!)?

Also Toyota are acknowledged to be the forerunners for LEAN - does anyone know whether they still explicitly train LEAN in their organisation or is it just an implicit component of what they do?

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Hi Dawn,

The most work done in lean application to service organisations is through Vanguard and they offer training and consultancy  John Seddon their founder is a very difficult man though and can be quite challenging to work for.


Lean is the academic name given to studies of what Toyota do, they call it the toyota production system and is obviously very much geared to their systems and processes and a manufacturing process rather than applicable to service organisations so its more an implicit component of what they do, which is the ultimate objective of any lean course anyway.


Hope this helps




Hi Dawn,


I've put elements of LEAN into service organisations, although to be honest we were not cleaver enough to call it LEAN at the time!  I'd prefer not to go into details of what we did here due to client confidentiality but if you want to contact me then I'm more than happy to let you know some of the challenges we faced and the successes we achieved.


In the meantime I would thoroughly recommend a book called 'LEAN Thinking - Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation' by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones.  You can read a review of the book here:


Hope this helps and best wishes.





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