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customer focus on the Lean Post
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
The executive chef at Legal Sea Foods explains how the restaurants are cutting lead times from fishing boat to your belly.… More »
"Roll"-ing Out Lean at Kura Sushi
Self-professed "lean geek" Katie Anderson has eaten several meals at Kura Sushi restaurants and shares her observations on what she sees as lean principles at play… More »
Ripe for Change: How a Half-Acre Farm Built on Lean Principles May Be Sowing Seeds of Disruption
Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Ben Hartman disrupted farming. Granted, not on the scale of the first three industries but the Indiana farmer, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation in our food system.… More »
A Great Company Culture Takes Purpose
If you’re determined to move your culture from good to great, listen to CEO Tyler Schilling as he describes two behaviors that, in his experience, are most effective.… More »
From Port to Plate: How Legal Sea Foods Is Improving Through Lean
Legal Sea Foods is working with LEI to help launch a movement to change everything about the way traditional restaurants work. Legal, a family business founded in 1950, with more than 30 locations, has been working with LEI for the past four years to change the way restaurants work. In everything from greeting and seating guests to re-thinking how they organize their walk-in coolers and schedule shifts, lean is having a huge impact on everything it does.… More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
Farming may be the next industry ripe for disruption. For example, Ben Hartman grew up on a 500-acre corn and soybean farm where success meant getting bigger every year – buy a bigger tractor, rent more land, build another grain bin. Today, applying lean principles, Hartman has a one-acre farm that is more productive and profitable than a five-acre spread.… More »
The Lean Bakery: A Q&A with 365's Staff
In their first interview with The Lean Post, Leo and Agus Tena, children of the authors of the new LEI book "The Lean Bakery," describe some of the finer points of the transformation of their family's company Cafe365.… More »
How Do You Know What Your Product or Service Needs to Be?
What does it take to know what your product or service needs to be? The obvious answer, it would seem, is whatever the customer wants. Katrina Appell explains why there's more to it than that.… More »
When to Pull the Andon
Lost luggage is a traveler's nightmare. But for Kelly Moore, the nightmare got worse when her airline's baggage attendant couldn't pull the andon -- an action that could have fixed the problem on the spot. Kelly now reflects on this incident and how it made her reconsider the efficacy of her organization's andon systems.… More »
Are You Prioritizing Efficiency Over Value?
A major element of lean is efficiency, but it's certainly not the ONLY element. While it may seem logical that customers value efficiency, an overreliance on speed can cripple the experience for them. Inspired by a rather painful experience at an orthopedic clinic, Cam Ford explores this further.… More »
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
Nearly eight years ago, headteacher Tony Lamberton of Christleton High School was struggling with poor reviews of his school. After reading and studying The Toyota Way, he launched an initiative to bring something brand new into his school’s operations: lean coaching. This is the story of that remarkable turnaround.… More »
Ask Art: Is “We are customer-driven” a good lean strategy?
Art Byrne is often asked if "customer-driven" is a good lean strategy. The answer is yes - as long as it's done right. Read more.… More »
Question! Adapt? Question!
LEI's Customer Strategy Officer talks about his mistake of not asking enough questions and what he learned about passion overtaking reasonable thinking when it comes to the lean summit.… More »
Are Your Processes REALLY People-Centric?
A process might look people-centric on paper, but the reality is often much different. Inspired by a half funny, half bemusing experience at an airport, Kelly Moore reflects on how to ensure that your processes are people-centric from the get-go.… More »
How Do You REALLY Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes? A Q&A with Eric Ethington
The customer is king in lean. That's why it's critical to know their values, needs, interests, etc. in order to ensure your product has its niche. Some companies go further than others on this, often spending tens of millions of dollars to learn about their customers. Eric Ethington has a simpler way of getting to the root of your customer experience, and best of all, it doesn't have to break the bank.… More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility.… More »
Start Up By Diving Deep
"The important thing is answering some fairly core questions about your business before spending time and money developing solutions," write Jim Luckman and Durward Sobek. "It’s a totally different way of working, which is why it’s so rare."… More »
Lean Thinking in Construction: From “What” & “How” to “Why”?
"Construction is fraught with conditions of poor quality, cost overruns, and late projects," says Nick Masci of Lean Construction Institute. And in trying to improve, many people fall into the trap of an over-reliance on “tools of waste elimination” rather than a broader, principle-based approach. Read what Masci and his team are doing to shift the field's thinking.… More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants.… More »
Understanding the True Cost of Care
"Today, frontline clinicians are being asked to provide even more cost-efficient care to patients yet few understand how to do so," writes Jordan Harmon of the nonprofit Costs of Care. "There is a new focus on efficiency in treatment options and today’s patients are more cost savvy than their predecessors. We must ensure value while reducing costs and improving quality outcomes."… More »
Defining LEI’s Customer: Understanding Your Real Problems & Needs
"Our customer is part of everything we do, but defining them and their needs… well, it’s like describing the air you breathe," writes Josh Rapoza. "It requires stepping back from the day-to-day work and slowing down to [ask] who exactly our customer is now, if and how they’ve changed..." Read more.… More »
Look Around You, Find Your Lean Inspiration
After an awful experience with an online travel agency and way too much time spent trying to fix an error the company made, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo reflects on why experiences like these are all too commonplace. "There are many examples out there showing us that another way to deliver customer value is possible," writes Priolo, citing plenty of examples.… More »
The Case for Lean Thinking in Retail and Service Organizations
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, recently joined Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy for podcast conversation on coaching, lean thinking for retail and service organizations, and what respect for people really means. Check out some of the highlights here.… More »
Lessons Learned from My Lean Sensei about “Customer Service”
"To 'get' Lean we have to change our specs, and no longer see processes as sequences of dependent tasks, but as sequences of dependent CHOICES," writes Michael Ballé. Read more.… More »
customer focus on Lean.org
The Lean Service Machine
The Harvard Business Review details how Jefferson Pilot Financial applied lean principles to its insurance business, not only to cut costs, but to grow revenue by distinguishing itself from competitor… More »
A Factory of One: Applying Lean Thinking to Improve Your Personal Performance (Online Webcast)
This workshop will help leaders understand how three lean concepts – standard work, flow and visual management - can be applied to the gemba of an individual knowledge worker to make communication mor… More »
Building Effective Coaching Relations
This workshop explores the key aspects of a coaching relationship which focuses on helping others develop the problem solving capability required for implementing lean and building the culture of cont… More »
Creating Continuous Flow (eBook)
This workbook explains in simple, step-by-step terms how to introduce and sustain lean flows of material and information in pacemaker cells and lines, a prerequisite for achieving a lean value stream.… More »
Seeing the Whole Value Stream (eBook)
For the tens of thousands of users of value-stream mapping at the facility level, Seeing the Whole Value Stream provides the logical next step, extending the field of view all the way up and down the … More »
Lean Expansion: Spreading Lean from One Store to a Region at Starbucks
Scaling up is a challenge often talked about in lean circles. How can we best leverage our individual or small-scale wins to spread lean throughout the organization? LEI faculty and Director of Learning Karen Gaudet tackled this problem head-on during her tenure working at Starbucks. Here's her story of what she experienced and learned as she spread lean throughout her region of responsibility.… More »
Start Up By Diving Deep
"The important thing is answering some fairly core questions about your business before spending time and money developing solutions," write Jim Luckman and Durward Sobek. "It’s a totally different way of working, which is why it’s so rare."… More »
Lean Thinking in Construction: From “What” & “How” to “Why”?
"Construction is fraught with conditions of poor quality, cost overruns, and late projects," says Nick Masci of Lean Construction Institute. And in trying to improve, many people fall into the trap of an over-reliance on “tools of waste elimination” rather than a broader, principle-based approach. Read what Masci and his team are doing to shift the field's thinking.… More »
Are You Serving "Internal Customers" or Your Real Customer?
Are teams in your organization working in silos? Do processes feel fractured? Do upstream or downstream steps occurring in different silos adhere to internal service level agreements? If so, Brent Hostler says, it's worth asking if you're team members may be striving to reach outcomes many steps removed from what your customer actually wants.… More »
Understanding the True Cost of Care
"Today, frontline clinicians are being asked to provide even more cost-efficient care to patients yet few understand how to do so," writes Jordan Harmon of the nonprofit Costs of Care. "There is a new focus on efficiency in treatment options and today’s patients are more cost savvy than their predecessors. We must ensure value while reducing costs and improving quality outcomes."… More »
Defining LEI’s Customer: Understanding Your Real Problems & Needs
"Our customer is part of everything we do, but defining them and their needs… well, it’s like describing the air you breathe," writes Josh Rapoza. "It requires stepping back from the day-to-day work and slowing down to [ask] who exactly our customer is now, if and how they’ve changed..." Read more.… More »
Look Around You, Find Your Lean Inspiration
After an awful experience with an online travel agency and way too much time spent trying to fix an error the company made, Planet Lean editor Roberto Priolo reflects on why experiences like these are all too commonplace. "There are many examples out there showing us that another way to deliver customer value is possible," writes Priolo, citing plenty of examples.… More »
The Case for Lean Thinking in Retail and Service Organizations
Josh Howell, senior coach at LEI, recently joined Ron Pereira at Gemba Academy for podcast conversation on coaching, lean thinking for retail and service organizations, and what respect for people really means. Check out some of the highlights here.… More »
Lessons Learned from My Lean Sensei about “Customer Service”
"To 'get' Lean we have to change our specs, and no longer see processes as sequences of dependent tasks, but as sequences of dependent CHOICES," writes Michael Ballé. Read more.… More »
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