Success Stories

Discover how businesses like yours are applying KAIZEN to develop people and achieve remarkable and sustainable results.

Putting Kaizen into Practice at Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries of Eugene, Oregon is a not for profit organization making a difference every day.  Goodwill organizations provide employment for the disabled by collecting recyclable clothing and other household items and re-selling them in a chain of thrift stores. It was a natural fit for Goodwill to use the Kaizen approach to do more with less.

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Lean in High Mix Low Volume Manufacturing

Barnes Aerospace is a build-to-print manufacturer of precision aircraft components specializes in super plastic forming, machining and welding. Barnes Aerospace needed to improve profitability by reducing operating costs and increasing sales. Key areas for improvement were were inventory, space and productivity. Manufacturing lead-time was the driver for acquiring new business. The high mix, low volume business made the application of lean manufacturing challenging.

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Lean Retail: The Story of Sonae

Sonae is a global corporation employing over 37,000 and serving customers through more than 700 retail stores. These include Modelo supermarkets and Continente hypermarkets, as well as outlets providing health, supplies, sporting goods, apparel, and appliances. Over the past two years Sonae has been pioneers in "Lean Retail" through the guidance of our Kaizen Institute Portugal team.

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Lean Manufacturing in a Regulated Industry

As global markets become more competitive, medical device manufacturing has joined a growing number of sectors in turning to Lean.  The success stories are compelling – companies find they are able to significantly improve lead and cycle times, reduce defects and re-work, and control costs. 

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Lean New Prodcut Development at Group Health

After years of successfully using Lean to improve the quality of their healthcare products, Group Health has taken on the product development process itself.  The Seattle-based integrated health plan and healthcare provider adopted an innovative process that has reduced development time by 1/3, increased stakeholder involvement, and emboldened development teams to broaden their horizons.

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Lean at KPS Health Plans

The Washington State-based KPS Health Plans is a 41,000 member insurance provider. KPS set out to improve quality and cost by applying lean principles to their transactional processes. Read more in article below.

Lean Insurance Article Link

Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan Getting Lean

The KAIZEN Institute consulting teams from the USA and Canada collaborated in a project to transform how hospitals design and build their facilities using 3P (Production Preparation Process ) Methodology.  Mission: Improve the 7 flows with primary focus on patient centered care.

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Lean Transformation in Cabinet Manufacturing

Strasser Woodenworks is a small manufacturer of high quality bathroom cabinets, vanities and accessories. Strasser chose kaizen as a strategy to maintain their competitive edge. The results were nothing short of a lean transformation.


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Developing Problem Solvers at T-Mobile

T-Mobile is a major global telecommunications company. Their National Operations Centers monitor the radio towers across the United States to insure functionality of the wireless network and respond to alarms by sending out repair crews. The challenged was to implement the 3G platform across the United States with no additional manpower, while maintaining the highest level of customer service and system uptime. T-Mobile chose Kaizen to help them work through this challenge.

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Leading Seafood Company Takes Lean to Heart

Gorton's Seafood of Gloucester, Massachusetts has been a market leader in North America since 1849. Gorton's had recently gone through a change in ownership and the new management team identified that their high inventory and lack of flexibility had left them vulnerable to changing market conditions.  Gorton's chose Kaizen to help them.

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Back Office Kaizen at Automotive Manufacturer

Yazaki is a leading automotive manufacturer employing 1,400 people at their North American headquarters. The North American leadership faced the challenge of a hiring freeze from the headquarters in Japan while the business volume and staff workload was increasing. They chose kaizen as a way to help them do more with the existing resources. 

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Quick KAIZEN in Mail Order Process

Liberty Orchards, a family-owned candy manufacturer with more than 100 years of history is strongly committed to continuous improvement. Liberty Orchards asked consultants from KAIZEN Institute to help expand their Lean efforts into the mail order process.

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Lean Logistics: Distribution Dock Kaizen

Maersk is an global shipping and distribution company. Their distribution facility in Washington State faced performance challenges resulting from variability in incoming traffic, workforce turnover and non-standard processes. 

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Customer's Voice: Interview with a Lean Banker

Many manufacturing, distribution and service industry organizations have embraced kaizen and lean thinking. The banking industry has been a late adopter in this regard.  Bankers are conservative by nature and tend to view their industry as too specialized and unique for lean principles to apply. This is a huge oversight, says Paul Cobban, Managing Director of Customer Experience and Operational Excellence for Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS Bank in Singapore. Paul tells about his early successes in lean banking.

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