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Dr. John’s Lean toolkit

Based on techniques deployed, honed and optimised in over 200 companies in at least 15 industries, we have developed a series of tools and techniques to help companies achieve World Class Manufacturing standards.

Responding to a changing world!

In response to the unique set of circumstances posed by the Coronavirus epidemic, it is important to give people the skills to thrive in a more challenging business environment.

How can we deliver these tools?

Increasingly, client requirements are for our support courses and mentoring to be delivered as a series of 1 or 2-hour on-line webinars delivered at a time and frequency to suit their convenience.

We believe this to be the most efficient and cost-effective mode of delivering training and support – particularly in these trying times.

We have the experience and specialist skills that enable our courses and support initiatives to be delivered using  both traditional methods or using the latest on-line and multi-media tools.


After each module, the attendees are required to undertake targeted exercises relevant to the techniques they have been taught.

These modules are therefore particularly suitable for presentation in webinar or online tutorial formats.

The ‘Toolkit’ combines the most useful aspects of modern Lean Techniques with ‘enabling’ skills such as Leadership, Communication, K.P.I. development  and Project Management that allow the ‘Lean tools’ to be implemented effectively.

So what’s in the toolkit?

Check out the schematic above.

We also advise you on which will be of greatest benefit to your company.

Dr. John’s Lean Toolkit

Based on techniques deployed, honed and optimised in over 200 companies in at least 15 industries, we have developed a series of tools and techniques to help companies achieve World Class standards.

What courses are contained in the toolkit? (Click for details).

These courses have recently been significantly revamped to reflect the enhanced capabilities offered to these techniques by Industry 4.0 digital technologies like AI, Robotics, 3D Printing and Augmented Reality.


‘Enabling’ skills elements of the toolkit:

LEAN projects often fail to succeed because people do not have the necessary ‘enabling’ skills to motivate their teams and organise their project.

Often, enthusiastic people are demotivated because they encounter a negative initial response from their team – “we’ve seen it all before!”

This is often because the people running these initiatives, do not have the necessary skills for motivating and facilitating projects in a way that does not end in conflict.

However, people can be trained to become competent at doing so, by developing the appropriate facilitation skills and learning to manage their behaviour.

Dr. John R.Thomas Associates have therefore developed a portfolio of ‘enabling’ skills aimed at giving people the confidence and methodologies for maximising the chances of a successful Lean project.


The ‘Enabling’ skills elements of the toolkit:

(Click on the link for a detailed explanation.)

Although traditionally, these courses have been delivered as face-to-face format presentations, this can be modified to suit client needs.

Increasingly, client requirements are for these courses to delivered  as a series of 1 hour webinars to be delivered at a time and frequency as dictated by the client.

We will structure delivery to suit your requirements!


The essential philosophy of Lean or World Class Manufacturing


The essence of Lean Manufacturing is the identification and removal of waste.

Typically, each process associated with the design, manufacture, delivery, sales and after-sales function of a manufacturing company will contain waste or, rather, wasteful activities.

Eliminating such activities will significantly improve the overall effectiveness and profitability of a company.

Lean Manufacturing is a total system philosophy and a set of techniques has been developed that focus on the inefficiency and waste that is built into many business processes. Major cost benefits can be gained by concerted and systematic efforts to eliminate this waste and change unproductive practices.

Are you  ready for the Post-Covid world?

In the post-Covid world it is critical that operations are using the most effective working procedures and techniques. Using inferior practises could mean the difference between success and failure of your enterprise.


How ‘World Class’ is your operation?

Take the following test to assess where you are positioned on the road to ‘World Class’.

 How world class is your business questionnaire

Score your company from 1 (poor or no systems) to 5 (World Class).


If you scored less than 30 then you need to take action – soon!

Further analytical tools we can employ in the quest for excellence:

1. O.E.E. analysis

OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity. Simply put – it identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. An OEE score of 100% means you are manufacturing only Good Parts, as fast as possible, with no Stop Time.

OEE Overview



2. The 6 Big Losses

The Six Big Losses provide an equipment-based perspective on lost production time. Just like OEE, the Six Big Losses have their roots in TPM (Total Productive Maintenance).

One of the most effective paths to improving OEE is through the Six Big Losses (as illustrated in the graphic below).

3. The 8 Wastes of Lean

A core principle in lean methodology is the removal of waste within an operation.  And in any business, one of the heaviest drains on profitability is waste. Lean waste can come in the form of time, material, and labour.  But it may also be related to the utilization of skill-sets as well as poor planning.

In lean terms, waste is any expense or effort that is expended but which does not transform things into an item the customer is willing to pay for.  By optimizing process steps and eliminating waste, only true value is added at each phase of production.  The 8 wastes are illustrated in the graphic below: click the image to enhance the clarity.

Develop your people to become your internal experts!


In addition to providing  training on the tools and techniques outlined, Dr. John R. Thomas Associates offer modular training that helps companies to create their own ‘internal experts’ to champion sustainable continuous improvement projects.

Most importantly, all of the improvement techniques taught in these courses will focus on addressing specific business issues relevant to that particular enterprise (e.g. Poor performance, quality complaints, service delays etc.) so that their relevance can be clearly illustrated.

The focus of what we will address in the course will be agreed with senior management in advance and will be configured into the course content.

In this way not only are people being trained, but they are being prepared to solve real business problems.

This course is structured in such a way that allows for a practical project to be run alongside the actual course.

Each module  can be modified to suit client needs. These module can of course be structured to be delivered as a series of 1-2 hour webinars to be delivered at a time and frequency as required by the client.



Client Testimonials 

“As I have moved from business to business I have always used John to introduce 5S and other World Class Manufacturing techniques.   John has the ability to explain the concepts in an easy to understand manner, usually aided with photos and real life examples.  John’s approach is very practical and I have always seen immediate results.  On repeat visits John has always kept himself updated and it’s a real advantage having John’s experience to learn from.   My operations managers usually can’t wait for the next tips and ideas.    For anyone at any level looking for the next efficiency improvement, I would have no hesitation to recommend John”

Ken Wilson

Managing Director , Euramax Solutions Limited, Barnsley.

“I have used Dr.John R.Thomas over a number of years as a catalyst for improved and sustained change across the 3 Abbey manufacturing facilities and in the support office functions. World Class manufacturing techniques and analysis have helped to improve the factory operations with safety and bottom line benefits and the world class techniques applied to the office functions have reduced administration time and improved customer service. The wealth of experience and the hands on approach have always ensured the teams are fully engaged.”

Adrian Swindells

Managing Director, Abbey Group, Bedford.

“I thought the experience was great. John was really enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the entire process. It was really useful getting advice from someone with so much experience in manufacturing industry.

John was extremely helpful, and gave us a lot of short term goals as well as long term goals, which means we have things that we can address straight away to make immediate improvements. The other benefit was that all the recommendations given were cost effective which meant we as a company didn’t need to spend a lot of money to make these improvements.”

Thanks again for all your help.

Tom Dean

Managing Director , Screentech Ltd., Rhondda.