Case Studies

The client & situation

A major Biotech company headquartered in the United States had customer fulfillment indices in the mid-thirties. The products involved were generating in excess of $400MM per year. Customers were global and aligned with their relevant regulatory agencies


Large Inventory load upstream of packaging, high utilization at key filtration step, inconsistent communication between departments.

Continuous improvement system status

A prior roll-out of lean tools had stalled as evidenced by dated visuals still visible on walls and a lack of consistent approach to problem solving. Several trained, but inexperienced, lean practitioners within the departments. Severe pressure from Supply Chain leadership to resolve issue in the immediate sense.

Leanership® competitive improvement approach

  • Engaged cross-functional leadership in mapping of entire value stream, with additional focus on management control systems & established close relationship with Plant Management team.
  • Conducted extensive pre-kaizen work – gathering data, interviewing leaders, attending meetings, visiting the gembas and ensuring Quality Control alignment
  • Planned kaikaku event (revolutionary change kaizen)paying close attention to selection of team
  • Ensured Quality, Engineering, leadership, supervision and operators were represented
  • Three-day event lifted capacity of key filtration step by thirty percent. *Real improvement experienced by facility post kaikaku, not theoretical extrapolation.
  • Leadership behaviors, visual controls, measures and SMED applied during the three-day event.
  • Installed daily huddle involving all departments – with real time visual representation of entire value stream as backdrop.
  • Installed basic management control systems mechanisms – including close attention to action planning and rigorous follow-up
  • Then conducted series of static kaizens in packaging to engage the operators, mistake proof the process and enable flow over a six-month period.

Root cause/s

Inconsistent leadership focus, lack of consistent management controls, two initial bottlenecks; packaging and filtration.


“…successfully managed a … finishing operation from pretty bad fulfillment and long, unpredictable cycle times towards reliable good performance. He demonstrated how to apply lean tools successfully in the daily operations and how to achieve results …” Senior VP Global Supply Chain.

Customer Fulfillment index touched 100% eighteen months after commencement of program. Expenditure remained within budget throughout.