Lean Digitization

Digital technologies are disrupting industries, forcing companies to adopt them in order to harness the power of real-time relevant information. Digital transformation is completely changing the ‘rules of the game’ in most of the business areas.

The challenges for all industries and sectors

Companies are merely late in defining their digital agenda and are under a tremendous amount of pressure from their competitors and customers to overcome the challenges that call for a digital transformation, like:

  1. Improving the digital customer experience
  2. Running tighter and real-time performance and cost controls
  3. Acquiring entirely new capabilities in:
    • Data Analytics
    • Mobile Technologies
    • Social Media
  4. Rethinking business models and strategies
  5. Continuously launching new ideas

In addition to these challenges, many companies have not even started to work on the basics to reduce inefficiencies (traditional waste) embedded in their processes, organization, products and services.

Strategy, not technology, drives digitization

Despite all the possibilities new technologies offer, companies need to have a clear strategy in mind before starting a transformation. We see three main focus areas that determine the strategy:

  1. Optimize existing processes and services
    • Boost the efficiency of processes through automation
    • Use data to refine and accelerate decision making
  2. Generate additional value for costumers
    • Develop value-adding services based on the existing business model
    • Create new digital end-to-end customer experiences
  3. Enter new markets
    • Disrupt the current business model and offer completely new products and/or services

What this course will achieve

Once the strategy is set, companies need to leverage technology and develop their digital culture and capabilities. In this course you will learn, what are the main enablers – technological and cultural – to successfully transform your business. We will show you, how to set a strategy, start your Lean Digitization and in parallel develop a culture, organization and the respective skills to be prepared for the digital age.

The main enablers for digitization

  • Lean streamlined processes – to design new processes as well as optimize existing ones, it is crucial to avoid inefficiencies (traditional waste). ‘Digitizing waste’ restricts the full potential
  • Data and analytics – companies can use data (both from inside and outside the organization) and focus their analytics to create useful insights and make decisions impacting business goals
  • Robotics and automation – process automation can result in massive competitive advantage because cost performance can improve significantly when automation scales across several product or services and eliminates redundant processes
  • Internet of things – real-time monitoring and visualization are just two examples, that will fundamentally change the relationship to customers and clients while empowering companies to predict and adapt their actions, processes, services and organization faster than ever
  • Digital culture and capabilities – rigid, slow-moving organizational models cannot cope with the speed of automation and market developments in the digital age. Structures should follow strategy and the organization needs to serve customers objectives. The challenge is to be agile and increasingly collaborative while keeping the business processes running smooth and stable

Besides establishing a strategy and being aware of enablers for digitization, most companies struggle to translate their strategy into actionable roadmaps.

How the Four Principles Lean Digitization approach can transform your business

Four Principles’ approach to support companies in defining and implementing successful Lean digital agendas reflects both, removing traditional as well as digital waste to radically improve their customers’ experience.


Create clarity on where to focus your digital efforts in order to achieve the highest impact


Build the basis to analyze and to understand interactions and customers’ needs along the value streams. Decide then, where digital technology can either automate process steps, gather relevant data or enhance customers experience


Ensure that processes, structure, products, and services are optimized in parallel regarding

  • Elimination of traditional Lean waste
  • Design and implementation of digital solutions
  • Training and skill development of employees


The best way to engage employees in a major transformation is to show tangible results and lead by example. We believe that starting projects respecting the Lean principles in a traditional way while introducing new technologies (digitization) in parallel is key.

During our course we will walk you through the steps of our Four Principles Digitization approach and run a simulation to demonstrate how to carefully choose focus areas and stage your digitization journey. You will also learn how a human centered approach for digitization increases the chances for a successful transformation significantly and show you best practices from different industries.


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Manuel’s working life started as a process and quality technician for a foundry, a role he carried out during the latter stages of his Engineering Degree course. This brought him into contact with metal transformation processes suitable for the automotive industry.

Experience he built on in his next role as a quality assurance engineer for an automotive TIERI rubber supplier in Mexico, where he oversaw implementation of QS-9000.

He then went on to specialise in Continuous Improvement Processes and supply chain optimisation in automotive, logistics, manufacturing and retail industries in Spain. Subsequent career moves spanned IVECO in the automotive industry as well as some of Spain’s leading logistics companies and textile brands. In this time, Manuel developed a wide range of skills, including Lean logistics process improvements, automated solutions and Lean marketing and sales – a range of skills he now brings to bear with Four Principles’ client portfolio.

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