12th May 2015

Lean Master Class Report

Lean Master Class an outstanding success

The two-day Master Class in Lean Thinking, led by Akinori Hyodo, one of the world’s leading trainers of lean management, was an outstanding success according to the 43 delegates who attended.

Representing a wide cross section of companies and organisations, this was a first-time opportunity to attend a Lean Master Class in New Zealand delivered by such a reputable Sensei as Akinori Hyodo.

Peter Cox, owner of Simply Lean Business Solutions, said they seized the opportunity to host the event, in collaboration with Shinka Management, bringing Akinori Hyodo to Auckland following his visit to Australia.

“The comments from attendees certainly vindicated our decision to bring him to this country and give New Zealand companies an opportunity to learn first-hand from a Toyota expert.”

Akinori Hyodo is a former factory manager at one of Toyota’s HiAce vehicle manufacturing plants in Japan, which is consistently ranked No.1 for quality within the Toyota group.

Hyodo Sensei has devoted much of his career to leading and implementing the Toyota Production System, is a 13-year member and leader of the All-Toyota Kaizen Promotion team and is now President of the Toyota Group Training facility associated with his former factory.

Peter said that the two-day event captured both Lean Thinking theory and practice including a site visit to study manufacturing practices at ETEL Limited, which specialises in the design and manufacture of distribution transformers.

“Following the site visit we then analysed our observations and were able to make practical and valuable recommendations back to the company. The feedback we have received from ETEL in relation to these suggestions has been most encouraging,” he said.

Any company or organisation can gain from such a Master Class as Lean Thinking is applicable beyond just manufacturing. The philosophies centre on delivering quality goods and services at the best price quickly and efficiently by identifying problems and empowering employees to create innovative solutions to eliminate waste.

“Bringing this knowledge to companies to help them improve their business activities and employee engagement is very important to Simply Lean. Along with our consulting services this drive is also supported through our Lean Japan Tours which we have undertaken for the last seven years, in collaboration with Shinka Management.

“Our May tour is fully subscribed, however, we have another planned for November 8 to 15 and will include six days of training, company tours, senior management discussions and Japanese cultural experiences,” he said.

Attendees’ comments

“I just wanted to learn from real people who have been involved practically in Lean Thinking.”

“The simplicity of the two pillars of Lean Thinking, ‘don’t make what you don’t need’ and ‘ if there is a problem, stop,’ was really rammed home to me.

“I will be recommending that executives and senior staff from my company attend the next course.”

“The value of having an expert who has learnt from the floor was highly positive.”

“It challenged my conventional thinking and forced me to look through different eyes.”