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Improving Operations in High Mix/Low Volume Organizations (1 Day Class)

 Learning Objectives:

At the end of the workshop you should understand how to apply the following in a high-mix, "make-to-order" environment:

  • A proven lean implementation method that will stimulate new ideas for your lean transformation
  • The particular lean methods necessary to utilize in your organization and how to start their implementation
  • Ideas to reduce non-value activities within your organization, learned through a simulation
  • How to balance capacity and volume in real time while making productivity improvements
  • The use of day-by-hour and FIFO boards as critical management tools
  • How to group products based on their characteristics and volume, then planning and managing them accordingly
  • How to utilize hybrid systems for planning, and flowing materials, instead of completely replacing the current system

Maximum benefit received when combined with Managing High Mix/Low Volume Organizations workshop due to a strong correlation with the development of management systems needed to support process changes on the operations side of the business.


This workshop will help companies struggling with how to implement lean concepts when there are 100's to 1000's of active part numbers produced randomly in low volumes or to customer orders. Discussion will be based on a simulation performed within a "make-to-order" environment. Most lean principals work in these high-mix environments, though the tools and methods require some adaptation. A proven overall implementation method specific for low-volume and make-to-order businesses will be presented and related to the simulation, along with specialized applications of lean tools. This method is based on adapting Toyota's quality, volume, and cost approach, though quality systems are not covered in detail as they can be implemented with approximately the same methods as those used in high volume. Job shops as well as repair/remanufacture facilities will benefit.


You will learn a flexible implementation method that can be utilized irrelevant of where you currently are in your lean transformation, and adaptable to the current business priorities. Specific tools adapted for high-mix, low-volume will be explained through examples and videos. Upon completing the course you will have a clear idea of how to improve your low-volume operation and what methods you can quickly put in place. Specific benefits include:

  • Simple and quick visual management systems using the correct measurements
  • Planning methods specific for high-mix, job shop environments
  • Hybrid lean systems that work with existing systems like MRP
  • Explanations and examples of lean tools that can be adapted for mixed model plants
  • Proven methods will be explained through examples

Course Outline:

Through examples, simulation, videos, and discussion, this workshop will follow though what unique lean methods and applications are necessary in mixed model plants, instead of struggling to understand and adapt lean methodologies based on high-volume examples. Simple spreadsheets and other practical tools will help you quickly distinguish how to group part numbers, allowing different planning and management techniques depending on the type and volume of a particular part.

The key steps detailed in the workshop include:

  • Simple visual management
  • Work standards necessary for management during a transformation
  • Simulation within a "make-to-order" environment with discussion points
  • Associating a time with all work
  • Making real productivity improvements through visualization
  • WIP kanban with low risk to balance capacity & demand
  • ABC analysis & management techniques
  • Optimizing inventory in High Mix
  • Value-stream mapping for the low-volume organization

The workshop will also discuss methods to dispel misconceptions about whether lean is applicable for made-to-order businesses.


Who Should Attend:

This workshop is intended for high-mix/low-volume job shops that desire to implement lean, especially if they find it difficult to adapt lean methodologies to their environment because most of available information addresses high volume applications.

Attendees who will benefit most from this workshop are:

  • Leaders at all levels
  • Managers, supervisors, technical support, planners/production control and change agents

Suggested Reading for this Workshop:


Workshop Suggestions:
To maximize your learning experience we recommend that prior to attending this program you take following workshops or have a good understanding of the concepts presented within them.
Suggested Reading for this Workshop:
Locations and Dates for Improving Operations in High Mix/Low Volume Organizations

No offerings of this workshop are scheduled at this time. Please check back again soon.

Price: $800.00 ($700.00 if the participant is taking 2 or more workshops at one location)
Price includes all participant materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day

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Cancelation Policy
Our workshops are designed to cater to a limited number of participants.  If you must cancel a workshop registration, you will be given a full refund up to four weeks before the workshop.  A cancelation occuring within four weeks of the workshop will be subjected to a $350 cancelation fee.  If cancellation is required to comply with coronavirus guidelines from federal, state, or local authorities, no cancellation fee will apply.  LEI will not be held personally responsible for any incidental cost incurred (hotel, airfare, change fee, etc).  To cancel a workshop registration, please call LEI at (617) 871-2900.