Lean Foundations Training Now Available On-Demand

The Peters Company today announced the first on-demand release of their most popular training for industry professionals, “Lean Foundations.” The course is available in a new learning management system at https://learn.petersco.net.

The course was reviewed by more than a dozen volunteers from a range of industries—including several leaders with the Oregon Lean Consortium. 

“We could not have reached this milestone without the exceptional feedback and support from our reviewers,” said instructor Rick Peters. “We’re humbled and grateful for them. Their insights elevated the course to benefit future subscribers.”

Online Course Delivers Critical Knowledge to Reduce Waste and Improve Productivity 

View the course description

Subscribers to Lean Foundations will walk away from this fun, interactive course armed with the critical principles of Lean—also known as the Toyota Production System. The course unveils concepts that have helped organizations across the globe develop their workforce and dramatically improve their bottom line.  

“When our team took the Lean Foundations course and began to employ what we had learned, we began creating a uniting culture that had a positive long-term effect…on not only our people, but the quality of our products,” said JLPN owner John Lewis.

On-Demand Skills to Overcome Challenges 

Online learning with The Peters Company imparts the knowledge and tools businesses need to reduce waste and increase profitability. 

“Most businesses face enormous challenges today,” said Peters. “Rising costs, low availability of labor, increasing taxes and regulatory challenges, and now significant hurdles with the pandemic. They’re just trying to run their business. This online training offers crucial knowledge to address these challenges.” 

Lean Foundationswill prove to be a great introduction of Lean principles to a broader audience,” said Jerrin Victor, TerViva Vice President. “I would highly recommend this as an introductory course.”

The course is available to individual subscribers at https://learn.petersco.net. More courses and workshops will be added this month—including the Spanish Language version of Lean Foundations. Corporate subscriptions will be launched soon for organizations with ongoing training needs throughout the year.

For more information, visit www.petersco.net or contact Elizabeth Peters at epeters@petersco.net.

Northwest Firm Launches Online Lean Training

Live, Online Classroom Lean Training for Teams Now Available

The Peters Company launched a new live, online classroom training program for organizations seeking to build their Lean capabilities.

The first recipient of this new delivery method is TerViva, a cutting-edge agriculture technology company that grows Pongamia trees, the world’s most scalable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly source of vegetable oil and plant protein.

“Streamlining communication, mapping and optimizing existing and new processes, elimination of waste and improving efficiencies has become even more critical and urgent during this time of pandemic,” said Jerrin Victor, Vice President.

“Having worked with the Peters Company before and seeing great results, it made sense to connect with them as our training partner,” said Victor. “TerViva being a multinational company stands to benefit greatly from the application of Lean principles.”

Live, online training connects team members from multiple locations with award-winning instructors in real-time

Unlike webinars–which limit participants to chat–the live classroom allows interaction and dialogue with instructors and among team members. Each week participants are given “learn-then-do” assignments, with report-outs of what they learned to assure follow up and immediate application.

“We have had a lot of requests to transform our in-person training to an online delivery method,” said Rick Peters, President of the Peters Company. “The pandemic put development into overdrive.”

“We could not think of a better partner than TerViva for our inaugural course. We were honored they asked us to provide a custom program for leaders of their grower division in Florida.”

What is Lean?

Lean is a way of identifying, reducing and eliminating waste in business processes.

Companies applying Lean can typically improve productivity for a given process by 40–80 percent or more. They do this by viewing processes from the customer’s perspective, and eliminating waste wherever possible.

The Peters Company are using the live online method for remaining coursework with the Oregon Lean Consortium. They are also developing on-demand training so individuals can gain these powerful skills at their own pace and location.

Visit www.petersco.net or contact Elizabeth Peters, epeters@petersco.net, for more information or to schedule training for your organization.


CONTACT: Elizabeth Peters | 503-250-2235 | epeters@petersco.net

The Peters Company Highlighted in Oregon Business Magazine

Rick and Elizabeth Peters were sourced in “The Change Makers,” a story by Amy Milshtein of Oregon Business magazine.

The piece looks at Oregon consulting firms, what works in the sector, and some of the characteristics that make consultancy effective.

“Sometimes we get called in because there’s a broken process,” says Rick, “but there’s also broken people, because it’s the people who make the process happen.”

Elizabeth notes the importance of getting everyone’s buy-in. “With the Toyota Production System, all employees have an equal voice. That can be a culture shift, and we spend a lot of time getting people on board.”

Read the full story online here.

Oregon Lean Consortium Open To New Members

After another successful program year, the Oregon Lean Consortium is now open to new members for 2020.

The Oregon Lean Consortium is a tight-knit group of companies that learn Lean principles and methods, then apply them in each other’s businesses. Each company engages three people who are trained and serve on improvement events—called “kaizen”—at different sites throughout the year.

These kaizen events involve direct, hands-on changes at the hosting company with a professional facilitator. The team makes rapid changes to immediately reduce waste and help create standard work for a process.

Members reported significant improvements when they met for report-outs at the completion of the 2019 program year. Some examples:

  • Created standard work for bareroot tree grading & processing at Robinson Nursery of McMinnville that reduced process time by 62% and improved productivity by 29%.
  • Developed a new way of packing orders at JLPN Liners of Salem that improved ergonomics and cut the time it takes to pack a crate by 40%.
  • Reduced clutter, created standard work and developed visual controls to reduce wasted steps and inventory build-up in the receiving process at Farmington Gardens of Hillsboro.
  • Cut lead time for sticking cuttings from 1,155 minutes to 6 minutes at Peoria Gardens of Albany, increasing productivity 86% on the process.

“This program not only helps build teams; it builds leaders,” said Jonathan Villaseñor of Robinson Nursery. “This consortium is the summit when it comes to realizing potential and playing to individual strengths.”

Consortium Expands in 2020

New this year is an Associate Member category, created for companies who don’t want to host an improvement event, but wish to learn and participate with events. This type of membership gives exposure to the improvement process, and provides value through developing business relationships.

A new Ag Industry Executive Forum will also be launched this year. Company leaders will meet to discuss their challenges and how they overcame them. This quarterly in-person gathering is for C-suite only (owner, GM, president/CEO, EVP). Registration is based on individual participation.

Training will begin in February. For more information about the Oregon Lean Consortium and the process of applying to join, contact Elizabeth Peters, epeters@petersco.net or 503-250-2235.

‘Lean’ nurseries boost productivity

Photo By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI Capital Press – Published Jan 10, 2020

Mateusz Perkowski of the Capital Press newspaper recently highlighted ways nurseries have effectively applied Lean principles in the past year.

The story quoted three businesses who have deployed Lean principles to identify and reduce waste in processes: Peoria Gardens of Albany, Weyerhaeuser Turner Regeneration, and JLPN of Salem. Here’s an excerpt:

“In retrospect, the inefficiencies at Peoria Gardens near Corvallis, Ore., were hiding in plain sight.

Though the problems now seem glaring, the nursery’s managers and workers never noticed simply because that’s how things had always been done, said Ben Verhoeven, the company’s president.

The company’s eyes were opened to these issues last year while participating in the Oregon Lean Consortium, which helps nurseries and other businesses adopt the waste-cutting principles of “lean” production.

By “co-locating” all the necessary equipment in one place and clarifying each worker’s role in “sticking” cuttings into containers, Peoria Gardens developed a continuous flow of filling the plug trays with new plants. Trays were made available as needed, reducing the wait time and unnecessary inventory.

With these simple changes, the nursery was able to cut its “sticking” crew from 20 to 11 people, a labor reduction of 45%. Meanwhile, the amount of time required to plant each cutting decreased from about 8 seconds to 4.5 seconds per plug tray cell.”

Read the full story online here.

Oregon Lean Consortium Reports 2019 Year-End Results

Members of the Oregon Lean Consortium reported significant improvements when they met for final reports in Wilsonville on December 11, 2019.

Leaders from seven Oregon nursery, greenhouse and supplier companies worked together for one year with a professional facilitator to develop skills and apply the principles of Lean in each others’ organizations. The following gains were among the reported improvements:

Read more

Lean Foundations in English and Spanish

The Peters Company is offering two one-day workshops on the foundational principles of Lean–also known as the Toyota Production System. Delivered either in English or Spanish, this introductory workshop uncovers basic concepts that have helped organizations across the globe develop their workforce and dramatically improve their bottom line.

English Language
Thursday, October 10, 2019  
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wilsonville, Oregon
Spanish Language
Friday, October 18, 2019
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wilsonville, Oregon

Students will understand what Lean is, define the value stream and standard work, recite the seven wastes and begin to identify them in processes, and contrast value-added vs. non-value-added activity.

Lean vs. traditional management, understand and apply The Five Whys tool, describe the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle (PDCA), and learn management concepts that create an effective Lean organization.

Define, implement and monitor results of 5S, point of use and visual controls. See how workplace organization eliminates waste. Learn ways to standardize and sustain improvements.

Know the difference between flow and batch, why we strive for one piece flow. Students engage in a fun and popular simulation to learn how flow is established in an organization. 


  • Cost is $500/person, which includes workshop and handbook ($350 Lean Consortium members).
  • Send the company, first and last name, mobile number and email address to epeters@petersco.net
  • Deadline to register: October 1 at 12 noon. No cancellations after that date.

Questions? Call 503-250-2235

Policy Deployment Workshop for Leaders

The Peters Company is offering a high-velocity Policy Deployment workshop for company executives and senior managers on June 12, 2019 in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Many companies “do Lean things” that deliver incremental, scattershot improvements, yet fail to achieve breakthrough results. Every leader faces the challenge of how to translate vision into measurable improvements that transform the organization into a Lean enterprise.

Lean organizations use Policy Deployment to connect annual objectives with the long-term strategy of a company – in a way that makes sense for every employee. Also known as “Hoshin Kanri” or “Hoshin Planning,” it is a disciplined methodology to reliably execute strategic breakthroughs. Policy Deployment links daily activity with leadership’s vision. 

Participants will walk away with a launch point for this powerful planning and deployment process. Key topics:

  • Policy Deployment vs. Management by Objectives 
  • Policy Deployment and Lean Implementation 
  • Strategic and tactical tools 
  • Tips for successful planning and development
  • Aligning functional strategy to 
    business strategy
  • Translating a plan into action

This hands-on workshop shows how to go beyond “doing lean things” to becoming a Lean company. Participants will learn how to choose the right goals for an organization through an effective feedback process. They will understand and begin to work with important tools and concepts, such as the X-Matrix and Catchball. They will discover how to focus and align strategy with resources to accomplish strategic goals.

Who Should Attend: Company executives and senior managers. A team approach is recommended.


Cost is $600/person. Three or more from the same company at $500/person. Discounts available for Lean Consortium members.

For more information and to register, contact Elizabeth Peters at 503-250-2235 or epeters@petersco.net.

DEADLINE: Registrations due June 5. No cancellations after that date.

Keeping Things Moving

“The Lean concept of continuous flow delivers big for Oregon’s nurseries,” reported Jon Bell in the May, 2019 edition of Digger magazine.

“Twenty people to five. A quarter-mile span to 20 feet. One week to 20 minutes. What do these all have in common? They are all some of the head-scratching efficiencies that individual nurseries across Oregon have realized since they’ve implemented one key Lean concept — continuous flow. In short, it means efficiently moving materials through a streamlined production process from start to finish.”

Read the full story here.

Creating Standard Work

Digger magazine’s May, 2019 issue takes an in-depth look at four essential Lean concepts. Writer Jon Bell focused on a make-or-break topic for any organization that wants to sustain Lean over time: Standard Work.

“At its most basic, the Lean concept of standard work is simply defining the most efficient method to accomplish a task or produce a product and then following that method without deviation,” wrote Bell. “It breaks down the methods into detailed, manageable steps that eliminate waste and ensure that every employee is essentially working on the process in the exact same way.”

Read the full story here.