Lean MFG

Lean Manufacturing produces more with existing resources by eliminating non-value added activities. Manufacturers are facing increased competition and the stakes are high. The winners in this competition work to eliminate overproduction caused by traditional scheduling systems and only make what customers want when they want it. Lean establishes a systematic approach to eliminating waste and creating flow throughout the whole company. It also helps develop and implement a long-term plan to streamline operations for success.

The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance is a leader in the expansion of Lean Manufacturing. We’ve worked with more than 700 Oklahoma companies on continuous improvement programs that drive efficiencies and improve the bottom line.

For more information, contact your local manufacturing extension agent or drop us a note at lean@okalliance.com

Working through vetted and experienced private service providers, our manufacturing extension agents can customize a program specifically designed for your company. Taking into account your size, budget and production facilities, extension agents will match you to the right resource and stay involved to ensure consistency and success.

Lean tools, courses and programs include:

  • Strategic Planning and Evaluation
    A free service of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance to help strategically map a continuous improvement program specifically designed for your company and production location.
  • Lean 101
    This is the first step to learning the principles of Lean Enterprise. No previous experience is required. The course is a mix of classroom and live simulation. Participants begin by manufacturing simulated circuit boards in a traditional manufacturing setting. The results of the first simulation round provides the setting for continuous improvement applying Lean Manufacturing principles.
  • Lean Administration
    A first step to learning the principles of Lean Enterprise. This course, similar to the popular Lean 101 course, mixes classroom and live simulation to teach principles that can be applied to an office environment. No previous experience is required. Participants work through a real-time administrative processing situation. The results of the first simulation provide the basis for continuous improvements to the office setting.
  • Value Stream Mapping
    Hands-on instruction of Value Stream Mapping in the real-world setting of a participating company. This workshop maps the current state of a product or process. It examines non-value-added activities and then maps a more efficient process. Participants learn the steps necessary to eliminate waste in the system via the power of Value Stream Mapping…all in order to achieve the enhanced future state.
  • 5S System
    Real-world instruction of 5S on-site at a participating company. The workshop provides the tools and skills to implement a 5S system. An organization and standardization technique of Lean Manufacturing, 5S is one of the starting points for Lean implementation. Based on words that begin with ‘S’, the 5S philosophy simplifies the work environment, reduces waste and non-value activity while improving quality efficiency and safety: Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.
  • Setup Reduction
    Setup Reduction or quick changeover is the preparation of a production line for a different process. Setups often take hours, even days to complete (all of which is 100 percent non-value-added time). Based on the Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) philosophy, this workshop involves an analysis of an actual changeover process and set-up reduction in a team environment. Typical results range from 50 percent to 75 percent reduction in set-up time after the first iteration, providing additional capacity and driving up productivity.
  • Cellular Manufacturing
    Cellular Manufacturing links manual and machine operations into the most efficient combination to maximize value-added activities while minimizing waste. A cell layout is typically U-shaped and utilizes one-piece flow. This hands-on instruction teaches how to link and balance manufacturing operations to reduce lead times, minimize work in process, optimize floor space usage, and improve productivity.
  • Pull / Kanban System
    A system using visual signals to drive parts/part containers to regulate the upstream production and delivery flow. Learn to implement the pull systems to control shop floor inventory and production schedules. Learn how to design and implement a visually driven, employee controlled material replenishment system and supermarket sizing methods. Incorporates point-of-use material storage with planning systems and to balance lot size with capacity.
  • Total Productive Maintenance
    Total Productive Maintenance is a method to proactively maintain machines and equipment at their peak productivity. Workshop participants will gain understanding of TPM and its five major components. TPM increases overall equipment effectiveness and shows how the process can help avoid interruptions to production.
  • Performance Measurement
    During this workshop, participants learn why traditional performance measures conflict with Lean. You will be taught a “Starter Set” of performance measures at the plant, value stream and cell levels, and you will practice using the starter set measures to identify opportunities for Lean improvement initiatives. You will learn how to adapt the starter set measures to fit your company’s unique strategies, goals, objectives, and critical success factors. Using these tools you will be prepared to create focused performance measures to deploy all of your Lean initiatives. Finally, you will learn how to implement these measures throughout your company.
  • Design for Manufacturability
    Design for Manufacturability is a methodology that can dramatically reduce the part numbers and complexity of engineered parts, weldments and assemblies. Engineers and designers learn techniques to simplify the designs, making the parts easier to cut, weld and assemble; yet get better characteristics from the finished product. Material costs and labor hours savings are quickly realized. It’s a perfect course for any company with an Engineering Department. The techniques can be applied to new designs, or to simplify current products. Participants will learn the methods of DFM to reduce material content costs and labor hours needed, then practice what they have learned on two separate case studies.
  • Kata Introductory Training and Implementation Program
    Is your company ready for Kata? The Toyota Kata methodology of improvement enables a company to grow their people while incrementally moving the company towards a desired future vision. This Kata Training and Implementation Program has a practical approach and tools to help a company put in place a daily routine that will yield the desired results. The company will understand the tools & learn the Kata techniques. Next, conduct a gap analysis to see what needs to be in place for Kata to be effective and create a plan to get there. Then, a program structured with a daily routine that will yield the desired results is developed.
  • Measurable Management
    The objective of the Measurable Management® Program is to create a team of leaders who will effectively apply leadership and team building skills to the process improvement goals and objectives of the company. It equips front line leaders with skills and tools to engage their employees in continuous improvement activity within the company. This course is also a perfect complement to the company’s ongoing process improvement initiatives (e.g. Six Sigma, Lean) and will result in a boost to those efforts. Participants will learn a set of management skills and will practice how to apply those in their own work place. The program is delivered in 3-4 hour segments over 14 weeks. As a project, the students will identify and implement at least three improvement ideas over the course of the program. The total class room and project time is approximately 60 hours. If at the end of the program your organization does not receive at least a one-time return on your investment as a direct result of the program, the difference will be refunded.
  • Lean Implementer
    This is a comprehensive workshop spanning 200 hours of instruction and hands-on application experience. The program is intended to equip the participant to lead transformation activities in their own company.  The course is delivered over a 5 month period at a host company. The host location affords the opportunity to see lean techniques in action and to apply what is being taught. The class size is kept small in order to give personal feedback and attention to the participant.
  • Facilitator Training
    This 1-day course is designed to equip the student with the basic skills and knowledge to lead implementation teams in focused events supporting the lean transformation. The course teaches the most common tools used in a typical lean kaizen event. We also cover the communication skills, organizational tools and conflict resolution techniques needed to overcome obstacles and arrive at a successful outcome.
  • Kaizen Events
    Implementation events that are typically 5 consecutive days in duration.
  • Rapid Improvement Events
    Implementation events that are typically 3 consecutive days in duration.

For more information, contact your local manufacturing extension agent or drop us a note at lean@okalliance.com


More than a decade ago, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance launched its Lean Manufacturing initiative, a program that has taught more than 20,000 employees how to make their workplace more efficient and their companies more productive.