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Why Product Focus is Customer Focus
By: Jim Morgan | July 6, 2020
Columns
How can you know your entire organization is aligned around delivering best in class value to your customer? Your product gives you that focus, says LEI's Jim Morgan. In a piece reminiscent of upcoming VLX classes, he argues that your product is who you are as an enterprise; it’s your identity. More »
Why We Believe A Strong Customer Focus Is Needed To Drive A Lean Strategy
By: Lean Sensei Women | May 10, 2019
Columns
Is there any principle more core to the heart of lean than relentlessly focusing on the customer? In this collection of thoughts on the topic, seven lean sensei women explore how and why customer focus is at the heart of lean strategy. More »
What does customer focus really mean?
By: Ballé, Michael | March 16, 2015
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re discussing improving our customer focus, but we’ve realized we’re not quite sure what the phrase really means. Any pointers? More »
Who, or What, Is Your Company Investing In?
By: Josh Howell | April 20, 2021
Columns
After reviewing the stellar work by a frontline supervisor who improved the problem of rotisserie chicken running out of stock, Josh Howell asked: will technology work for your people, or the other way around? More »
Understanding Customer Value: How Accounting Applies this Foundational Lean Concept to its Work
By: Mike De Luca and Nick Katko | February 18, 2021
Columns
Putting the entire customer experience first in thinking, not just the transaction, is the Lean Accountant's goal, asserts Nick Katko and Mike De Luca, More »
How Lean is Amazon?
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | November 4, 2020
Columns
Amazon has tapped lean principles and practices in its inexorable rise to becoming the world's largest retailer, notes Tom Ehrenfeld. What can be learned from this? More »
Why You Need a Product Focus for an Enterprise Transformation: A Talk By Jim Morgan
By: Jim Morgan | March 16, 2020
Articles
In this talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. Click below to download the transcript of Jim's talk about why LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products. More »
WLEI: Why You Need A Product Focus for Enterprise Transformation
By: Lean Enterprise Institute | March 16, 2020
Audio
In his talk from the 2018 Designing the Future summit, former Rivian COO and LEI Senior Advisor Jim Morgan discusses how Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) serves as an enterprise activity that can engage the entire organization and improve operations and growth. LPPD's principles and practices will result in better products, argues Morgan, who shares the following key ideas:People firstUnderstand—then executeDesign new value streamsCreate a framework of successConstantly learn and improveEstablish an effective management systemDownload a transcript of this talk here.  Read more from Jim by checking his previous articles:Creating New Value and A Lesson in FundamentalsAre You Building More »
My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality?
By: Michael Ballé | February 10, 2020
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: My managers are focused on monthly sales and quarterly profits – how can a lean guy like me interest them in quality? More »
Ask Art: What Foundational Items Must I Be A Zealot About?
By: Art Byrne | September 18, 2019
Columns
Be a zealot on the foundational items such as 5S, visual management, and setup reduction, says Art Byrne, and your chances of succeeding with lean will greatly increase. More »
Why Traditional Farming Is Ripe for Disruption
By: Ben Hartman | June 28, 2019
Columns
Uber disrupted the taxi business. Netflix disrupted entertainment. Amazon disrupted retail. Is farming, that ancient industry, ripe for disruption? Indiana farmer Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, has planted the seeds of a radical transformation. Watch now. More »
Lean Warehousing and Distribution Benefits Your Company, Customers, and Supply Chain
By: Vinas, Tonya | January 22, 2019
Articles
Lean warehousing sounds like an oxymoron. But in this interview, lean practitioner and Toyota veteran David Graham explains how lean concepts apply to warehouse and distribution processes along with the benefits you'll reap. More »
Seafood Restaurant Fishes for Problems Customers Really Care About
By: Richard Vellante | December 5, 2018
Columns
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
By: Katie Anderson | November 29, 2018
Columns
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
By: Ben Hartman | October 31, 2018
Columns
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
By: Tyler Schilling | September 12, 2018
Columns
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
By: Lean Leaper | August 6, 2018
Columns
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 »
I read everywhere that in lean we should focus on process over results – does that mean we ignore budgets?
By: Michael Balle | March 12, 2018
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: I read everywhere that in lean we should focus on process over results – does that mean that we need to ignore budgets altogether? More »
The Lean Farm: Better Food, Productivity, and Profits -- with Less Work
By: Ben Hartman | February 6, 2018
Columns
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
By: Agus Tena and Leo Tena | November 16, 2017
Columns
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?
By: Katrina Appell | October 4, 2017
Columns
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
By: Kelly Moore | August 1, 2017
Columns
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?
By: Cameron Ford | May 18, 2017
Columns
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 »
Shouldn't lean focus on solutions, rather than problems?
By: Ballé, Michael | May 4, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: Why is lean so focused on problem solving? Isn’t seeing everything as a problem negative? Shouldn’t we focus on solutions instead? Wouldn’t that be more positive and more creative? More »
Changing High School Culture with Lean Coaching
By: Tony Lamberton | April 20, 2017
Columns
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 »
We meet daily to examine a new customer complaint. What do we do next?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 27, 2017
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re a start-up and have taken your advice: we now have a customer wall and we meet daily to look into a new complaint. What do we do next? It’s hard to know what to do or how that helps? More »
Ask Art: Is “We are customer-driven” a good lean strategy?
By: Art Byrne | February 2, 2017
Columns
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!
By: Joshua Rapoza | January 13, 2017
Columns
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?
By: Kelly Moore | December 13, 2016
Columns
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
By: Eric Ethington | November 8, 2016
Columns
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 »
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