Building a global client portfolio across a wide spectrum of customers – from health care and government to heavy industries, private equity and printing – Dubai-based Lean Management specialists Four Principles are bringing the benefits of Lean to businesses of all sizes and sectors. But what exactly does implementing Lean mean?

The foundation of Lean Management’s roots can be traced back to Toyota’s explosive growth in the post-war automotive industry. Viewing goods or a service from the customer’s perspective, the focus of Lean Thinking is on eliminating all unnecessary waste – in other words, all activities, products and resources that do not add value for the customer. Known as “kaizen”, this philosophy formed the foundation of Toyota’s pioneering approach to automotive manufacturing – improving products, service and price whilst making significant improvements to bottom line profitability. The genius of Four Principles is that they have distilled Toyota’s original concept into a systematic approach that’s as applicable to bankers, retailers and F&B operations as it is to car builders.

The theory is clear, why is implementation such a problem?

The theory of Lean is well understood and there are many case study examples to refer to. The theory however, is not the issue; it is the implementation of Lean. This is where the unique strength of Four Principles lies. They understand that implementation is not just tools, methods and best practice. It is a change in the entire corporate culture, embedding a new mindset from shop floor to senior management. The key word here is “implementation” – long term changes, not only in an organisation’s supply chain management, but in how it thinks and behaves. Four Principles know their work is done only when Lean Thinking is hardwired into the DNA of a business, with Lean attitudes and behaviours embedded as the cornerstones of long term profitability.

How do they do it?

Actually implement together. It is deeds rather than talk that yield results. As Lean Management addresses wasteful practices that are often chronic in their nature, Four Principles’ first task is to listen and to look. Likening their role to that of a doctor, their specialists diagnose and identify all of the areas where waste exists before prescribing workshops to transfer Lean principles, enabling staff to make fundamental changes that pave the way for long term, sustainable increases in profitability. The success of these initial projects acts not only as proof of the Lean philosophy, but as a beacon for the rest of the organisation to follow, with Lean implementation gathering pace across all departments, activities and levels of the business.

So where’s the proof?

Four Principles’ most vocal advocates are their clients. Case study after case study – across a wide array of sectors – bear testimony to the benefits of Lean Management: lead times reduced by over 50%; elimination of slow-moving or dead stock; significant decreases in WIP caused by over-production; staff re-work time cut by upwards of 70% through zero-defect policies… the list goes on. To fully appreciate the benefits of Lean – and how your business can unlock long-term, sustainable profitability by becoming a Lean enterprise – talk to Four Principles