Tag Archive for: Leadership

Lean Leader Course Launches in February

Registration is now open for the 2023 Lean Leader Course, a program to equip individuals to help lead a nursery/greenhouse transformation. The series begins in-person February 9.

The Lean Leader Course consists of four dynamic in-person workshops, on-site tours, and hands-on assignments to develop Lean and Leadership skills. Graduates improve their communication, get better results from their team, and adopt powerful tools to reduce waste in their organizations. 

“I was blown away with everything I learned,” said Stacia Lynde, Propagation Manager with Bailey Nurseries’ Dayton site. “And what a great group of people to network with! The future is bright in our industry knowing they are a part of it. Thank you for everything you taught us. What an experience. I’m a much better manager because of this course!”

Participants will join other business leaders on hosted tours of companies well into their Lean transformation. Students will see Lean concepts in action, such as standard work, visual controls, one-piece flow, and more, then participate in discussions immediately afterward for insight and application.

“This course gave me the best framework to make effective improvements,” said Elizabeth Brentano, Robinson Nursery Potting Line Manager. “I learned a thorough approach to change and gained the tools to communicate effectively with others in the company.”

In-class sessions begin on Thursday, February 9 and will be held at the Oregon Association of Nurseries, 29751 SW Town Center Loop West in Wilsonville, Oregon.

For more information and to register, contact Elizabeth Peters, 503-250-2235 or epeters@petersco.net. Details are available online here, or click here to download the brochure.

Nurseries Work Together to Solve Labor Challenges and Reduce Waste

Rising labor costs. A shrinking labor pool. Competition for skilled workers. Businesses across the U.S. are deploying Lean to deal with these critical issues. Some West Coast companies are taking this further by developing Lean leaders together.

Lean is a proven method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers, delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort. Deployed effectively, Lean not only reduces waste but increases employee engagement—a critical factor in retaining workers.

The Lean Leader Course involves a small group of people who learn principles and methods, and then apply them to processes in each other’s businesses. Students complete online and in-class training, then serve on improvement events 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 gain improvements and reinforce learning.

During the group’s first event in 2022, Bailey Nurseries’ Yamhill Propagation site hosted a kaizen event to reduce waste and develop standard work for liner pulling and processing. 

Three teams right-sized the crew, standardized setup time, developed standard work and reduced product touches. More important, the event team engaged the crew in improving the flow of the overall operation. 

The process now requires four fewer crew members to accomplish the same amount of work. Lead time was reduced by nearly 20 percent.

“The Peters and Lean Leader Course members helped us identify the waste and eliminate unnecessary steps,” said Scott Cowan, West Coast Container Manager with Bailey Nurseries. “This has resulted in streamlined processes and the ability to better utilize our production labor.”

Some results from last year’s Lean Leader Course:

  • Reduced product touches by 60 percent, cut searching time by 57 percent and improving productivity by more than 30 percent in a shipping operation at Bailey Nurseries’ Dayton operation.
  • Increased productivity by 53 percent by eliminating searching time and standardizing work for pulling product at JLPN of Salem.
  • Cut product touches in half and increased productivity by 52 percent in a container planting operation at Robinson Nursery of McMinnville.

Lean Leader Course enrollment for 2023 is open to new students starting in November. To learn more, contact Elizabeth Peters at epeters@petersco.net. 


The Peters Company helps horticulture companies make dramatic improvements to productivity, safety, quality, teamwork and cost by applying Lean. They can be reached at info@petersco.net or 503-250-2235, or visit www.petersco.net.

Lean Presentations from 2022 Farwest Show

Several nursery-industry Lean practitioners shared their knowledge at the Farwest Show in Portland, Oregon August 25, 2022. We’re sharing their presentations as a courtesy to attendees, and those unable to participate.

(PANEL) Simple Improvement Projects Every Business Should Take On This Year

Case Study: Applying Lean Principles to Pulling Orders at JLPN (Spanish Only)

Aplicando Los Principios de Lean enExtracion de Ordenes

Is Going Lean the Antidote for Your Labor Shortage?

These days, labor shortages top the list of daily challenges for just about every green business in the U.S. and Canada. But Chris Robinson says his company has not only won the struggle but is becoming an industry leader by centering its efforts on creating both lean production processes and a lean working culture.

In this story by Greenhouse Grower magazine, business leaders share why Lean is “a big advantage to growers who are having trouble finding labor.”


Bailey Nurseries – 5S Team Report-out

A group of West Coast leaders with Bailey Nurseries formed a learning group that took our Lean Foundations Online course together and applied 5S principles to areas of their multiple sites. One team prepared this engaging video and presented it to the group as their report-out. We really enjoyed it and hope you do, too!