Toyota, the originator of Lean, is showing the world once again how effective the Toyota Production System can be. Now recognised as the number one producer in the automotive market, Toyota continues to refine and improve upon its business system and is ready to flex with the times. LMR's Lean coaches are well versed in the Toyota Production System and will help you develop and implement a plan to ride the global recession and emerge a stronger player in the market. Whether you are an OEM, a supplier or a dealership, LMR has the experience that counts to reduce costs and generate value in your field.

Sector: Automotive
Major European Automotive Manufacturer

A luxury automotive facility benchmarked for the Harbour report recognised that levels of manufacturing efficiency needed to be improved in order to compete with their global competitors.

Due to successful track record completing an accelerated Lean turnaround for a UK based automotive manufacturer LMR were the preferred Lean consultants.

The OEM identified a future vehicle programme and targeted that as its ‘Lean launch’. The vehicle was 3 years away from production and was to be re-designed and manufactured using LMR’s lean expertise.

During Phase One LMR stripped prototype vehicles and reorganised the work sequence and build according to Lean principles including process confirmation, family grouping and work smoothing. The processes were documented using full Standardised Work. In Phase Two all processes were finalised across departments and Standardised Work completed. The layout and design of the assembly shop was modified to support the Lean principles and workstations.1/50 scale layouts of each workstation were created to capture further waste improvements and support engineering changes. New logistic routes were then designed to cope with more frequent deliveries and line of sight management.


* Productivity improvement of 90%.
* Assembly shop footprint reduced by 400%.
* 1.000 components modified by Design to increase workability and reduce process waste.
* Adoption & implementation of small bin delivery routes.
* Standardised Work & Yamazumi line balance board adopted across the company.

ROI on LMR resource: 220:1.


Sector: Automotive
1st Tier Supplier of Automotive Mechanical Components

Post new model launch this automotive manufacturer was forced to employ additional staff (agency) in the assembly facility, to produce the higher than expected sales volumes and manage additional engineering containments for quality. In order to avoid employing the agency staff on full term contracts it was necessary to reduce the number of processes within the facility.

LMR Lean specialists had the challenge of reducing the number of processes to assemble the product by 50 and achieve this in a controlled manner that introduced documented standardised work and process balance boards (Yamazumi). A further demand was not to adversely affect quality.

LMR, after negotiating terms with the union, and communicating fully the intent of the process to be undertaken, formed a core team of skilled team leaders, engineers and key operators to deliver the project. Starting at the nearest point to the customer, and working back through the assembly lines, LMR and the core team built quality confirmation stations to ensure defects did not reach the customer. This temporary measure was removed 3 weeks upon completion of the project. Each station was analysed for waste content with the support of the team leader of the section and the operator performing the current standard. Upon completion of the analysis, Work Element Sheets and Standard Work Charts were drafted for review by all shifts. Upon approval (36 hours per station) the Standardised Work was authorised and became current. With a lag team to secure training of team members in the new standard and to build the Yamazumi, the lead team would move to the next station and repeat the process. After 10 weeks the project team were able to evaluate the impact of the changes on key indicators related to Safety, Quality and Delivery.


* Reduced No of processes by 56 in 10 week period
* Cost saving of £1,400,000
* All processes standardised – SWC, WES & Yamazumi
* All lines balanced to within Takt time
* 20% reduction in line side inventory
* Waste reduction (7 wastes eliminated)

ROI on LMR resource 23:1.


Sector: Automotive
1st Tier Supplier of Automotive Mechanical Components

A manufacturing plant benchmarked within its own organisation, recognised that its quality levels needed to improve in order to both satisfy current business, and to win new internal contracts.

LMR was chosen on the basis of first hand experience of their deliverables at a sister plant, and were asked to provide assistance in achieving the significant turnaround needed to keep this product line competitive. The plant itself provided a small team of enthusiastic individuals tasked with achieving change in a structured and sustainable way.

A primary consideration from LMR was to drive the improved processes into the fabric of the existing organisation rather than to create extra, dedicated functions. LMR’s approach was to assess the situation and to propose the adoption of a measured approach, beginning initially with a Standardised Inspection Process (SIP) Over a period of only four months the following actions occurred;

* Onsite workshop for the senior Plant Managers to help establish a high level understanding of the lean techniques that support SIP.
* Mediated discussions with local Unions, the emphasis tailored to highlight what is important to everyone.
* A simple overview of the lean manufacturing process delivered to 300+ plant employees, with the focus aimed at the importance of the Standardised Inspection Process.

These factors had a significant impact on the type of layout designed. Implementation of SIP tools and techniques within the 17 target manufacturing

* Standardised Inspection Process, carefully implemented to capture the quality problems highlighted by customers.
* Yamazumi techniques for process time balancing, using the bottleneck as a datum
* Work Place Organisation and Kambishibai boards, to physically make the work content transparent.
* Standard Work Confirmation Audits. A means of preventing unnecessary failures of standardised work due to inappropriate actions at the workplace.

The project was completed on time, and with effective results. In addition, LMR provided further support with the introduction of Practical Problem Solving techniques within the production environment.


* Quality Returns reduced from 13 a month, to ZERO.
* Unit cost reduction of 11%.

ROI on LMR resource 19:1.


Sector: Automotive
Our client provides vehicle repairs in the field

Improve RFT and capacity of jobs completed in the field.

LMR’s approach is hands on and immediately work was carried out with the technicians, call centre, planning and procurement staff to understand their problems, their role in the operation and the restrictions placed upon them by other departments and systems. High level and detail VSMs were created to understand key metrics and the current state.

- Visual Factory ( Information Centre)
Using information that was already available and new performance focused metrics such as Direct Run, Right First Time and Equipment/People availability an information centre was prepared and used to drive day to day operations.

- Problem Resolution
A0 sheets designed to capture problems, allocate responsibility and effectively drive countermeasures were introduced into every department of the business.

- Standardised Work
Clarification of the standardised work needed to ensure effective workflow, this benefited both the call centre and planning as their responsibilities could be refined with the call centre taking up a better form of initial planning.

- Quality
Quality of the vehicle finish was already a focus due to the nature of the work however we focused on quality of information leading up and following on from the actual repair activity, this thinking and the application of some basic error proofing reinforced the area of direct run.

Equipment and vehicle reliability was a major focus, with tpm check sheets and failure mode containment actions being put into place, the resulting improvement in availability meant that less re-planning of existing jobs was made of an already stretched system.

The client has begun its 3rd expansion phase but with only an increase of 9% direct labour and by continuing to action our lean thinking and are now completing 460 jobs per day, more than a doubling in capacity.

ROI on LMR resources 14:1.