A collaborative approach to Lean
Most business leaders have heard about the improvement power of Lean. Initial results are often dramatic. It is common to see productivity improvements in triple-digit percent gains the first time Lean is effectively deployed in an area.
While initial lean activities often have demonstrated results, many companies have difficulty sustaining improvement momentum over time. Members of an effectively managed Lean consortium have found that a trusted group of peer companies, working together, can help to sustain a culture of continuous improvement among members.
What is a "Lean consortium?"A lean consortium is a small group of companies that work together to apply Lean principles to processes in each other’s companies over the course of one year. The Peters Company facilitates lean consortiums, delivering all of the training, materials, tools, and professional event coordination to deliver outcomes that exceed participants’ expectations.
High Commitment + High Value
- Three key employees understand Lean concepts and how to apply them
- Site Leader must be trained and engaged throughout the program
- Participants learn their roles and responsibilities in driving a sustainable lean culture
- Visible evidence of lean principles applied to the business
- Peer-to-peer accountability and support shared with trusted practitioners in other companies
- Combination of training, tools, and hands-on experience for three people
- Powerful industry peer support and sharing of different perspectives
- Measurable productivity improvements for hosting companies
How it works: Commit to Training, Improvement Workshops, and SupportA company engages three people each year. The first year, this typically is the company owner/manager plus two others. These three become trained in Lean principles and “volunteer” to serve with improvement events at different facilities throughout the year.
Training. Three participants receive Lean fundamentals and tools, application, assignments with report-outs, and best practices specific to the industry. Consortium members also benefit from deep discounts — normally 50% — on additional seminars, workshops, and lighthouse tours throughout the year.
Improvement Workshop. Hosting companies receive one on-site improvement event in their businesses, with help from other consortium members. These “kaizen events” involve direct, hands-on changes with a professional facilitator and trusted peer practitioners from other companies. The team makes rapid changes the day of the activity in order to immediately gain improvements and reinforce learning.
- Team members learn standard work for kaizen — a proven effective method for developing leaders and engaging people at all levels of an organization in change.
- With so much talent to draw from at one time, each team has Lean veterans working alongside less experienced personnel.
Support. All activities are facilitated, planned early, and well coordinated so time commitment is balanced through the year. During the initial training phase, every participant receives a handbook that contains all of the principles learned through the program. Hosting companies are coached on needed pre-work for kaizen activity. All of the tools are made available for participants electronically and can be personalized for the company to use at any time.
The Oregon Lean Consortium announced that the program is now open to new members for 2020. Applications are due January 31. Contact Elizabeth Peters for details, costs, and an application form.
If you’re interested in starting a Lean Consortium in your region, contact us for details and what it takes to make it happen.
To start a Lean consortium in your area, contact us at 503-250-2235 or email us at email@example.com.
How many companies can participate in a consortium at one time?
A minimum of five companies are needed to start a consortium, and a consortium will max at ten companies in order to maintain the highest quality in classes and event teams.
Can my company have more than three people in the training and events?
If space is available, individual companies may have more than three people involved in the consortium for an additional fee.
Will my investment in the consortium pay off?
Most companies find that the gains from their first improvement event more than offset consortium costs. However, the greatest payoff in this program is the exceptional training and experience your staff will gain in learning how to effectively deploy lean principles throughout your company.
By opening a part of my business to other companies in my industry, am I revealing trade secrets to my competitors?
You only open as much as you choose to reveal. Each company selects the area of the business they would like the consortium’s help on. Consortium members simply choose an area of the business that is not of concern.
How do I get a Lean consortium started in my area?
Start by talking with change-agents in other companies in your industry who are improvement-minded like you to determine if there is interest in forming a group in your area. Contact The Peters Company to discuss some of the details and get a per-company price range: 503-250-2235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.