This article is written by Michelle Brown
I am almost as far as a Lean Consultant can get from home; traveling through Europe. I’m on the autostrada, from Padova to Brescia in northern Italy, at an AutoGrill restaurant and exiting through the array of snack food, lollies, souvenirs and plastic kids toys when a book catches my eye;
Yes – it’s “Lean Thinking” by Jim Womack, with an English title and the text in Italian.
I could not have been more surprised; there I was, after having a lovely lunch of prosuitto and buffalo mozzarella salad, it just jumped out at me amongst the other Italian book covers.
It got me thinking about implementing lean manufacturing around the world; we often think of Toyota and the Japanese as leaders but Lean is a Toyota product, not symptomatic of the Japanese at all. We have seen examples in the United States, China, Malaysia, France and across Australia. We have seen examples across a number of industries; automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, finance, health system and even used by rental car companies and photography companies.
As a TXM Consultant I know that Lean is a daily methodology that helps embed continuous improvement practices into company processes; even in the far reaches of a road stop in northern Italy.