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Lean Training

“Wherever you work, your job as a manager is to make your people be the best they can be – and usually they don’t know just how good they could be. It’s individuals that make the difference”. Sir Alan Jones, Chairman Emeritus of Toyota UK

At Toyota, this approach is not based on altruism – though it is based on a profound respect for its members. It is predicated on the firm belief that the most valuable asset the company has is its people, and that enabling them to have an intellectualand emotional relationship with their work, as well as a inancial stake in the success of the company, is the key to continuous product and productivityimprovement from the shop floor to the boardroom. Toyota’s people are their competitive advantage. (nationalarchives.gov.uk)

Lean means making better use of time in processes, making small, planned changes, and summing them up, whether on the shop floor or on the cutting edge of production.

The global crisis along with increased FX exposure has put increased pressure on Margins.  Consumers have become wiser and are no longer willing to pay for waste. Change and adaptability is now at the forefront in the race to survive and take opportunities to expand in today’s environment.  Those who respond fast are better able to preserve cash, spend more time on what customers value and innovate, emerging even stronger.

Since 1999, International Class consultants have been guiding firms to above average performance, sales growth, higher margins and superior profitability.  Our team works for manufacturers, continuous process companies, and service firms during both periods of high growth and harder economic times.

We are able to do our part in balancing the need for restructuring and cost cutting, capture efficiency gains, and stay focused on customer needs so you can capitalize on new opportunities. We leverage lean tools and processes through our change approach to drive flexibility, control and responsiveness. The goal must be speed and agility as well as doing more with less, starting with harnessing the intelligence and ability of our associates.

There's nothing like a crisis to stimulate change.  The hard times won't last forever, but with our lean training you will stand a better chance of coming out on top.

International Class is different from other consulting firms:

  • Greater return on investment — Results often exceed a minimum of 4 x annual return on your consulting investment, and we frequently return cost savings and opportunities in excess of 9 fold or more.

  • Global network — To help our clients roll out a standard yet unique approach. We work together with partners in Holburn London, Prague and Calgary, Canada

  • Holistic Approach — To help our clients implement Lean tools as part of a holistic improvement plan. A factory with U-shaped work cells, swift machine changeovers and a good 5S program is only as useful as the business benefits delivered.

  • Strategic Roadmap — We work alongside your leaders to develop a sound roadmap for improvement that links to quantifiable business objectives.

  • Knowledge Transfer — Using our Kaizen Breakthrough Methodology and through the offerings of the Lean, we emphasize the transfer of knowledge and provide the tools, discipline, and hands-on experience for you to support your transformational activities internally.

  • Guarantee — Our work is guaranteed. If you are not satisfied, we will rework the specific intervention.  We offer a money back guarantee.

Contact us to discuss how we can increase your chances of survival and gain a larger competitive advantage with minimal investment.

For more than 13 years, we have helped our clients achieve immediate, sustainable improvement throughout their production and business processes – and translate that into continuous sales and earnings growth. Our heritage in Lean manufacturing, learned firsthand from Toyota Production System pioneers, has evolved into time-based principles we teach and implement for discrete manufacturers and continuous process companies worldwide. The result is unprecedented power to rapidly eliminate waste and achieve substantial cost savings and bottom-line improvement.

A Different Type of Consulting Firm

Through more than 13 years of growth and evolution, International Class’ fundamentals have remained unchanged:

  • All of our work is unconditionally guaranteed

  • Speed and action are the mandates behind everything we do

  • We believe that creativity, not additional capital, generates the most effective solutions

  • Every consultant is a highly experienced professional, with at least ten years of hands-on experience

  • We use plain language at all levels of our consultation

  • A critical part of our mission is building acceptance and energizing employee teams

  • We do not withhold information for a later date. We share all we know.

Benchmarks of Lean Leaders

  • Customer service levels: more time with customers

  • Lead times: as little as 25% industry average

  • Productivity/throughput improvement: 15+% per year

  • Sales growth: 3-5 times your industry average

  • Earnings growth: 2-4 times your industry average

  • Staff retention improvemnets


Our lean Instructors:

Our lean consultants are expert in lean operations in the retail and manufactruing industry. We are passionate about people.

Our consultations are available in a number of languages including English, French, Japanese, Hungarian and other world languages.

At IC, we know what it takes to outperform the competition and deliver ROI at multiples of your investment.

This course will introduce professionals to lean principles and practice. Managers, Sales managers and Engineers and others responsible for continuously improving operational performance must develop systems that are fast, flexible, focused and friendly for their companies, customers and production associates.  The course will provide the student with an introduction to lean production describing the background behind its development and how evaluations and assessments of production systems are performed.  Lean production tools and techniques will be described and in some cases demonstrated in simulation exercises. Issues relating to employee involvement, improvement teams, training and culture will be presented. Planning for lean process implementation and the necessity of sustainable improvements will be discussed.  Examples of applications in manufacturing and business processes will be presented.

Prerequisites: The course is open to all employees of the company with a maximum group number of 12 students.  No prior background in lean management will be assumed.

1. What is lean? – Introduction, background, and lean thinking. 
2. Importance of philosophy, strategy, culture, alignment, focus and systems view. Discussion of Toyota Production System.
3. Lean preparation – System assessment, process and value-stream mapping – Sources of waste. 
4. Lean production processes, approaches and techniques.—Importance of focusing upon flow.

Tools include:

a. Workplace organization – 5S.
b. Stability.
c. Just-In-Time  (JIT) – One piece flow – Pull.
d. Cellular systems.
e. Quick change and set-up reduction methods.
f. Total productive maintenance.
g. Poka-Yoke – mistake proofing, quality improvement.
h. Standards.
i. Leveling.
j. Visual management.

5. Employee involvement – Teams – Training – Supporting and encouraging involvement – Involving people in the change process  -- communication -- Importance of culture.
6. Startup of lean processes and examples of applications.
7. Sustaining improvement and change, auditing, follow-up actions.


As textbooks for the course students may wish to choose to use one or both of
the following two books:

The Toyota Way Fieldbook, Jeffrey Liker and David Meier, McGraw-Hill, 2006.
Lean Production Simplified, Pascal Dennis, Productivity Press, 2007.

A book report will be assigned. Books must be drawn from a book list distributed
at the beginning of the course.  An application project may be elected for extra

Other References:

Lean Thinking, James Womack and Daniel Jones, Free Press, Revised Edition,
2003. The Machine That Changed The World, James Womack, Daniel Jones, and
Daniel Roos, Rawson Associates, 1990.

The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker, McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Value Stream Management, Don Topping, Tom Luyster, and Tom Shuker,
Productivity Press, 2002.

Course Requirements:


There will be an assigned book report.  Some students may elect to complete a
project during the course for extra credit.


There will be two quizzes during the course and a final exam.


  Book report   35 %
  Quiz               30 %
  Final Exam    35 %
  Total             100 %

For participants that choose to complete a project, an  additional 10
percent may be added based upon the quality of the project report.

Course Objectives:

1. You will learn a brief history of manufacturing approaches employed and the background and philosophy of lean production.  You will also learn the concept of waste and that the quest for truly lean production is a journey
and not a destination. 

2. The need for strategy, alignment with other corporate or plant objectives, and preparation for lean production will be presented.

3. You will learn some evaluation techniques that one can use in preparation for and use in learn production activities.

4. You will learn a set of approaches used in implementing lean production in production operations.  While these tools are often useful, they are not an end in themselves and they are not necessarily the  essence of lean
production either. 

5. Concepts as workplace organization, pull production, cellular arrangement and layout improvement, visual management, quick change, mistake reduction, employee involvement, need for employee  creativity  and motivation for lean implementation will be discussed and examples will be given.

6. Methods for promoting success in implementing lean transformations will be discussed.

7. The change process, why some change processes fail and the importance of culture will be presented.

8. You will have an opportunity to enrich the learning of yourself and others by completing a book report and a possible project report.


Copyright since 1999 International Class. All Rights Reserved.