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Friday, April 29, 2011

Car2go on demand service comes to Vancouver

David Chao stands with Vancouver mayor and head of press at Daimler corporation.... at the launch of Car2go offers on-demand rental cars of SMART cars and it's free registration for the next 30 days!

car2go Comes to Canada

Intelligent Urban Mobility for a Greener Vancouver
  • Vancouver selected as first Canadian city for the innovative car sharing service
  • 225 fuel-efficient, urban-friendly car2go smart fortwo vehicles ready for use as of June 2011
  • Beginning today, Vancouver drivers can pre-register and help support a local charitable cause

April 27, 2011 - VANCOUVER, B.C.– car2go announced today that Vancouver, British Columbia, is the first Canadian city selected to launch its innovative mobility service. A newly created company, car2go Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, will also be located in Vancouver.

Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go Canada Ltd., and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson made the official announcement this morning to the press as well as to business, political and civic leaders who also took this opportunity to test drive the smart “car2go edition” vehicles and learn about car2go’s unique approach to car sharing.

First launched with great acclaim in Ulm, Germany, three years ago, car2go was successfully rolled out a year later in North America in Austin, Texas. To date, a total of more than 35,000 customers have joined the car2go program in Ulm and Austin. There have been more than 600,000 fully automated rental transactions, averaging between 10 and 60 minutes. car2go was also recently introduced in Hamburg, Germany, and becomes operational in Amsterdam in the Netherlands at the end of 2011. As a city whose mandate is to become the world’s greenest city by 2020, Vancouver was a natural choice for the expansion of car2go in North America.  

“We’re very excited that car2go will be making its Canadian debut in Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our goal is to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and providing cleaner transportation options is a big part of that. We want to ensure that we provide a full range of sustainable transportation options for our citizens, and car2go’s unique car-sharing model is a great fit for Vancouver.”

A Different Way to Car Share

car2go uses a “free-floating” model of car sharing, where cars are available throughout the city and can be accessed “on-demand” or reserved up to 24 hours in advance. car2go members can use car2go smartphone apps, the car2go website or a telephone hotline to find the nearest vehicle within the 47-square-kilometre pickup and drop-off area which consists of the following quadrant: the south border follows 41st Avenue to the north border which follows the Burrard Inlet. The east border is Nanaimo Street and the west border is Alma Street.

Members can drive the car when and where they want, and then they can simply leave it in any available “permit only” on-street parking spot in downtown or residential neighbourhoods within the defined business area, or in one of the specially marked car2go parking spaces. In essence, every trip is a one-way rental, with no need to return to the location where the driver picked up the vehicle.

car2go charges customers only for the actual use of the vehicle, with rental periods as short as a per-minute basis. The rental prices in Vancouver are $0.35 CAD per minute, $12.99 CAD per hour and $65.99 CAD per day which includes fuel, parking, mileage, insurance, maintenance, cleaning, GPS navigation and a 24/7 hotline customer support.

The smart  “car2go edition” vehicles, developed in collaboration by car2go and smart in Germany, are the world’s first series-produced automobiles designed and manufactured specifically for car sharing. Every car2go vehicle is outfitted with a solar roof and innovative telematics hardware, including an onboard computer with an easy-to-use touch screen with radio and GPS controls. The smart “car2go edition” vehicles for Vancouver are provided by Mercedes-Benz Canada and its Vancouver Retail Group.  

A network of 225 fuel-efficient, low-emission smart “car2go edition” vehicles will be available to Vancouver car2go members as of June 2011. Starting today until May 29, 2011, Vancouver residents can pre-register for their car2go membership without having to pay the registration fee (a $35 CAD value) at www.car2govancouver.comusing Promo Code: VAN, or in person at the car2go office at 45 Water Street in the Gastown area of downtown Vancouver.

car2go Test Run Successfully Completed

car2go conducted a trial assessment of its service in Vancouver from June 2010 to March 2011 with select test users from well-known and respected local organizations like Wavefront, the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver Film School and Bard on the Beach. The assessment was used to validate and refine business processes and technical systems prior to the large-scale rollout. The strong support for the car2go model throughout the pilot helped cement Vancouver as the first Canadian city for this unique service.

“Vancouver is a dynamic, progressive city committed to smart urban living and sustainable transit,” said Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go Canada Ltd. “The Mayor and his staff, the City Council and the participants in our trial assessment were central to our planning process. We would not be here without the valuable insights and guidance of these dedicated forward-thinkers. We’re confident everyone will find car2go an easy, cost-effective and environmentally responsible way to get around Vancouver.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TORONTO Greenbelt for Operation - last module

The Toronto Greenbelt program is in its last module. Yesterday, the group of 14 just finished a three-day Lean Office Kaizen blitz at a major food in Markham. Despite large project scopes, they completed their assignments with successful outcomes. They also just had their final presentations today and will continue to study tonight as their final exams are tomorrow morning. We wish them luck!

Photo of Lean Office Kaizen report-out session

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PENTICTON--Spring Greenbelt for Service Program Kicks Off

Our first Greenbelt program in Penticton kicked off this week for a group of 15 participants. Our Greenbelt for Service programs are catered to meet the needs of non-manufacturing companies. We hope the participants will learn a great deal about applying lean thinking to service processes.

The group will be busy for the following three months;

Module 1: Apr 25-29 (includes 3-day 5S Kaizen)
Module 2: May 16-20 (includes 3-day Process-time Reduction Kaizen)
Module 3: Jun 13-17 (includes 3-day Value-innovation Kaizen)

We wish them the very best with their “lean journey” and look forward to seeing them all graduate on June 17.

Go Lean

In anticipation of the Canuck's win tonight, we've uploaded a couple of "go lean" wallpapers.  Please click on the wallpapers (to enlarge them) and save them to your PC!  Go Canucks Go, Go Lean Go!

Lean Philosophy Questions

Does your organization incorporate lean philosophy properly?  Let's think about these questions . . .

• Pull/Demand Replenishment (internal) – does the plant or office pull materials using demand-based philosophies such as Kanban? Are the materials and/or information replenished based on real demand?

• Just-in-Time Supply – do the materials or information arrive just when you need them at the right frequency based on takt time?

• Material/Info Flow & Manufacturing/Office Layout – do the raw materials and WIP or office information/materials flow well within the plant or office from process to process without interruptions? Do they flow easily through the process without getting “stuck” constantly at bottlenecks? Do the materials or information “travel” unnecessarily long distances inside the plant or office?

• Kaizen/Continuous Improvement Environment – is there a philosophy of continuous improvement inside the organization? Are the process improvements performed through teams? How many actual teams exist inside the plant or the office?

• Single-Piece/Small Batch Production – does the plant or office produce items or information in small batches or use a single-piece philosophy? Or do they produce materials or information in large batches with time consuming change-overs and setups? An example for the plant would be batching actual work-in-progress materials. An example for the office would be batching emails prior to reading them or clearing them out of the inbox.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Executive Certification

LSI offers three levels of Executive Certification in Lean
Executive Lean Certification programs are designed for managers, directors, and senior executives who have greater responsibility for deploying lean and managing lean initiatives. The key focus is on corporate-wide topics such as strategy, people development, organizational problem solving, and leadership.  Executive Lean Certification provides some of the key ingredients for business success.  It covers advanced topics around lean deployment. 

Jeff Adams (General Manager of Performance Improvement)
at CP Rail stands beside his Executive Certification plaques
He has achieved all three levels

Offered in a la carte style, busy managers and executives can take any course they desire and build their own curriculum. Once they reach six credits or more (one day of workshop equals one credit), they receive a formal certification status. No pre-requisite is required and although the program is designed for decision makers, anyone make take the course.

Some examples of past and current Executive Certification topics:
  • Lean Leadership
  • Lean People Development
  • Lean Strategy
  • Lean Assessment
  • Lean Benchmarking
  • Lean Japan Tour
  • Lean Europe Tour
  • Executive Problem Solving
  • and more

Mike Hoseus Executive Program 98% full

Lean Sensei is proud to host a truly special two-day Executive session in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with one of the top co-authors of Toyota Way books:  Mike Hoseus.

To be held May 24th and 25th, this LSI Executive Certification program is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of Toyota Way and Transformation Strategy.
Key themes:
    * Leadership
    * Culture
    * Transformation
    * Principles
    * Sustainability
If you are interested, please contact us at 604-264-1000 as it is now 98% full.
After Vancouver, Mike will travel to Calgary for one day event on May 26th, then onto Winnipeg for an event on May 27th.  We will have a busy week with Mike!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lamborghini Aventador Debut

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 makes its Asian premiere at Auto Shanghai 2011

Source: Lamborghini Press

The V12 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 makes its Chinese debut on Lamborghini’s stand at the
Auto Shanghai 2011. The new V12 flagship of the Lamborghini super sports car brand is redefining the super sports car market, with not only extraordinary performance but with lightweight engineering technologies and unparalleled design.

Lamborghini is also unveiling the Gallardo LP 550-2 Tricolore at a special off-site event held in the Shanghai Expo: a fitting location for the exclusive special edition of the highly successful Lamborghini Gallardo model designed to pay homage to Italy.

China is an extremely important market for Lamborghini, achieving over
150% sales growth in 2010 compared to 2009.

Lean Sensei is excited to be visiting the Lamborghini Factory as part of our Europe Lean Tour program in early May of this year.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Winnipeg--Two-Day Lean Deployment Executive Program

The last three days have been a busy time in Winnipeg as we saw the launch of Greenbelt as well as the kickoff of an Executive Certifcation Program. On April 19-20, a two-day program, designed to bring executives, business owners, senior managers, and CEOs a fresh perspective on how to develop cutting-edge lean deployment methodologies was delivered.

We hope that our wonderful group of 12 participants enjoyed their 2-day transformation and that they've left with a renewed energy for vision, and more importantly, a new understanding of how to steer their company to higher levels of lean success using LSI’s proven methods. Congratulations to you all!  We wish you the very best in continuing to build your company’s “Lean Community.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greenbelt Winnipeg Spring Kicks Off

An energetic group of 20 gathered to begin their lean journey this week in Winnipeg for the kickoff of the Greenbelt class.  LSI is excited to partner with CME in Manitoba to offer the Greenbelt class that is virtually identical to the one LSI offers in Vancouver and elsewhere.
They will be busy for the next three months on the following days:
Module 1: April 18-21
Module 2: May 16-20
Module 3: June 20-24
We wish the Winnipeg group an exciting and life-changing lean journey!

Greenbelt for Service Spring Video

Every Greenbelt class has to create a customized video about their experience during the two-month program. The summary video of the Greenbelt for Service class has just been uploaded to our youtube channel.

The Greenbelt for Service Summary Video

And here are the "bonus" bloopers!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Greenbelt for Service Graduation

We are excited to announce the formal graduation of our Greenbelt for Service class!  Designed to create lean champions in non-manufacturing sectors, the Greenbelt for Service is a breakthrough program for a variety of service-oriented companies.

Last Friday, 20 people graduated from the two-month program.  Congratulations!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Greenbelt Operations Spring 5S

Our current class of Greenbelt Operations Spring is finishing off their first kaizen project this week. 5S, which is a foundation for all lean activities, is being conducted at a local manufacturer of commercial signs.

The group is working hard to complete the program and report out their results this Friday as part of their module 1 requirement.

Advanced Kanban Project

David Chao and Master Blackbelt Kevin Wack is currently facilitating a kanban project at telecommunication company.  The session started with a kanban simulation game and continued to "gemba" where various details around kanban and visual management were discussed and brainstormed. The team hopes to setup a formalized kanban system this week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspirational TV Ad from Honda

This special TV ad from Honda is not new, but it's one of our favorite commercials of all time. Call us dreamers, but with our own slogan "go transform the world" in our DNA, Honda's mission to "follow the dream" just seem so fitting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What is 5S?

Here's a simple explanation of 5S by David Chao.

Greenbelt Spring Kickoff week

We have a busy schedule this year!  Yesterday was kickoff day for another Greenbelt class (Spring Operations class.   Twenty three enthusiastic participants gathered at the Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver to celebrate the kickoff.

Tomorrow they will head to a local company to do a 5S kaizen and then move onto module 2 and 3.

They have a busy schedule:

Module 1: April 11 to 15
Module 2: May 2 to 6
Module 3: May 30 to June 3

We wish them the very best in the upcoming modules!

Blackbelts complete module 2 Supply Chain

Our Blackbelt class - who made history by experiencing the Japan earthquake in March - returned to Vancouver this past week for module 3.  This module focused on supply chain aspects and is considered to be the most complicated and advanced module within Blackbelt.
The five-day long combination of classroom and kaizen projects resulted in a spectacular "identified" cost savings of $2 million!  Congratulations Blackbelts!
They will return in a few weeks to complete the final module.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lean Sensei in Business in Vancouver magazine

Vancouver's most respected business magazine BIV (Business in Vancouver) covers a variety of topics relevant to businesses and organizations in greater Vancouver.  It is perhaps one of the most up-to-date information outlet about the current affairs and trends in Vancouver business scene.
Timothy Renshaw, an editor at BIV, has been talking to me about some lessons learned from the Toyota crisis of 2010, and more recently, about Japan and its shocking earthquake crisis.  This week, Timothy's column about this topic is released on newstand.

Please scroll to the second page of the article attached below to see the column.
Lean Sensei in Business in Vancouver

A cautionary tale of fat cats and lean thinking

Lean manufacturers can get fat real fast.

By Timothy Renshaw, Business in Vancouver magazine

Toyota’s 2010 saga is a testament to that. The addendum to this yarn, however, is that companies built better from the start can turn even the worst corporate cock-ups into improving that solid foundation.

David Chao can speak to that. In our last episode with the man from Lean Sensei International (issue 1041; October 6-12, 2009), Toyota was riding a hot streak. In auto industry argot, it had accelerated past the overweight General Motors motorcade to become the world’s top automaker.

But the exhilarating wind in the hair for the executive team in the bright Toyota convertible motoring down the fast lane didn’t last long.

The company took some ill-advised detours along Toyota Way. The apostles of lean manufacturing and enlightened corporate vision that championed customer care were soon getting sideswiped at every turn. You might recall something about braking-system problems and faulty accelerator pedals. Around nine million vehicle recalls later, the media piling-on had begun to wane somewhat.

But the damage inflicted was significant. Early in 2010 Toyota’s stock price was down 20%. Its 2010 year-end financials showed revenue and sales recovering but still down from pre-recall days. Net revenue dropped 7.7% compared with the previous year. The corporate pain, however, was not confined to sales and revenue. The company and its corporate culture of continual improvement (kaizen) and innovation (kaikaku) were shaken from the top down, its reputation for quality tarnished worldwide.

But, as Chao sees it, that was not all bad. The series of corporate calamities, he said, made “the world’s most powerful car company stand up and take notice.”

That it did, and it would have been an obtuse operation had it not. But more than taking notice, Toyota was “humbled … brought to its knees … [it had forgotten] that crises can happen to the best of companies.”

Time for some of Toyota’s much vaunted lean thinking – the antidote to the ill effects of what Chao calls Big Company Disease. Among other initiatives, executive ranks were trimmed and decision-making processes localized to promote nimbleness of execution and reduce head office micromanagement.

The customer-focus mantra that the sturm und drang of unprecedented global expansion had drowned out was back atop the playlist for new Toyota president Akio Toyoda.

The company appears now to be heading in the right direction on Toyota Way.

Revenue in fiscal 2011’s first nine months was up 5% compared with the same period a year earlier.

For Chao, recently returned from Japan and the devastation that has crippled parts of that country, there are parallels between the corporate and country disasters and how the Japanese culture is helping rather than hindering the recovery process. The finish line for both is still many miles away: Japan struggling to rebuild; Toyota facing production shutdowns in North America because of parts shortages in Japan. But humility, patience and consistency are among the common cultural traits coming to the fore on both fronts.

They look good on a global auto colossus. Far more appealing they are than the inert culture of entitlement that helped topple the former auto-making champ of the world from its pedestal and whose homeland, staggering under an accumulated debt estimated to be around $44 trillion, still does not know how to control spending. Any bets on which corporate culture will deliver real long-term recovery and improvement sooner? •

Timothy Renshaw ( is the editor of Business in Vancouver. His column appears every two weeks.

Stop Doing List

 Want to be more innovative? Stop doing all the stuff that is wasting time and sapping energy

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say "no" to almost everything.—Warren Buffet

We love lists. We love writing things down and checking them off. In our fast-paced lives, lists comfort us. They keep us on track. They confirm that we're actually accomplishing something. They allow us to stop thinking about one thing and start thinking about another.

So we offer you a timely suggestion: Instead of making a "to-do" list, why not make a "stop-doing" list? In other words, focus on the essential, not the important.

What's the difference between the two? The essentials are emotional; the important is rational. The essentials go on a to-die-for list; the important you put on a to-do list.

It's easy to spend your time on the important—for example, coming up with a new product to satisfy the sales force's desire to offer something new. But necessary as that is, doing so isn't really going to inspire anyone. In other words, it is not essential.

In contrast, creating a culture that celebrates failure—because if you don't take risks, you will never develop a game-changing product or service—is an essential belief that can shape everything your organization does.

The Art of Sacrifice

A classic example in Innovationland is using your best people to work solely on line extensions and other evolutionary products and services. Sure, they get it done, but only at the expense of the truly revolutionary initiatives that went untouched because they were busy doing less meaningful (and profitable) work. Line extensions: important. Game-changing products and services: essential.

The most seasoned leaders have come to recognize that what they are not going to have their people focus on is just as important as what they are going to have their teams focus on doing. (And so their best people only work on projects that are going to have the highest impact for the company.)

Strategy and positioning have both been described as "the art of sacrifice." Therefore, to have either a powerful strategy or a true market position requires that leaders take the time to create a "stop-doing" list.

Smart leaders know which types of engagements, clients, and employees are a fit—and which should be avoided. A not-so-smart company takes on all kinds of engagements, clients, and employees. It spends more on marketing. It makes less money because it is constantly learning how to do new things, how to deliver on more and more commitments.

When a company finally bites the bullet and lands on a tight positioning, it makes it far easier for its potential customers and employees to find them.

Create a Clearing

Entrepreneurial-minded idea people naturally avoid "stop-doing" lists. They want to solve all kinds of problems. They don't want to turn away either business or an opportunity. A "stop-doing" list means they have to agree not to engage with particular sets of challenges customers may have.

Creative types frenetically move from one problem to another, one important (but not essential) problem to another. Their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Unknowingly they start small fires of distraction throughout an organization. It's like a handyman who is constantly running around your home fixing things (like a squeaky door) that are not broken. Meanwhile your furnace does not work, and it's 20 degrees outside. Your job is to point him toward the furnace and challenge him to fix it now (like no one else can).

The same holds true when it comes to setting strategy. Before you focus on what you need to do, you must create a clearing by identifying what you will no longer do. This type of instruction frees up your best thinkers to align on and execute what matters most to your organization.

Before you and your senior leadership team head off-site to plan your key initiatives for next year, ask all the members to come armed with two things. First, ask them to provide the name of an activity your company should halt because it saps energy and produces little real or perceived benefit. This can be any activity from any department. Some examples include "We should stop":

• Serving this type of customer
• Providing this type of service
• Orchestrating this type of company event
• Marketing in this way
• Using this type of process to achieve X
• Employing this HR practice
• Manufacturing X

Friday, April 8, 2011

Simple Explanation of Lean Principles

Simple Explanation of Lean Principles...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Greenbelt Calgary Spring 2011 Graduation

We would like to congratulate all our 16 Calgary participants on graduating their 2011 Spring Greenbelt Operation in March. It is an impressive achievement considering how much work all have accomplished both within workshops and Kaizens during these few months. This new responsibility and knowledge of Lean will give everyone tremendous opportunity as they move forward.

Below are photos of the two Greenbelt Grad Speakers, KarlĂ© Green and Keven Parke, who addressed the audience by sharing their own personal insights and experiences during the program.

Toronto Greenbelt in Progress

Our Greenbelt in Toronto is going through module 2 this week. Module 2 consists of culture-building sessions such as MBTI (myers briggs personality profiling) as well as an important cycle time reduction kaizen.

Everybody seems to be engaged and enjoying the sessions!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lean in a Grocery Store

How much can you learn about lean at your local supermarket?  Plenty, it turns out. Take a look at our short video:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lean Supply Chain Workshop Details

One of the key highlights of today's workshop on lean supply chain is the advanced heijunka "grocery" simulation. Heijunka, which means to "balance out load" in Japanese, is a term used to describe an ideal state when the supply and demand are in continuous balance.

Developed by LSI, this heijunka simulation takes almost 3 hours to run but participants learn a great deal about the purpose and meaning behind heijunka, kanban, and lean supply chain.

Take a look at the summary video from today's session:

Blackbelt Supply Chain Module week

Our Blackbelt class in back in downtown as we kickoff the supply chain module - perhaps the most important and most difficult module of our program.

Designed to teach various aspects of the entire supply chain system (from purchasing, planning, distribution, to operations management), this module is also available as a stand-alone executive program.

The program consists of five days of intenstive kaizen project. First day (today) is a methodology day in a class format, followed by four days of on-site kaizen at an actual company.  Our last Blackbelt class achieved over $10 million worth of savings from this module alone (including their homework, which is to conduct the same lean supply chain homework at their own company).

This is the most advanced module of the Blackbelt or Executive program.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Next Blackbelt class to go to the moon

LSI announced today that the next Blackbelt class will head to the moon, as part of LSI's experimental program to expand lean thinking beyond the normal boundaries of earth.  The current class of Blackbelts will be designing a lean system that will allow the next class of Blackbelts to take a safe and economical trip to the moon - something that has not been done before.

Working with former NASA engineers and retired Toyota managers, LSI and the Blackbelts will face the biggest challenge of their lives as they begin to value stream map the entire process of  a "trip to the moon", starting this coming Monday (the beginning of Module 3).

By applying lean principles and the Toyota Way, LSI is confident that a significantly cheaper and simpler system can be developed to fly to the moon.  In fact, the plan is to replace the Japan Lean Tour program,  which is currently part of the Blackbelt module, with the Lean Space Tour program.  LSI expects Blackbelts to take away important "kaikaku" (innovative breakthrough) ideas from this proposed trip.

As a result of this important announcement, LSI has updated its slogan from the current "Go Transform the World" to "Go Transform the Universe."

This Monday, the first day of Module 3 in the Blackbelt Program, research work will begin.  The work will focus on supply chain topics, an appropriate baseline for this pioneering project.

We are excited to be part of this milestone.

Greenbelt Final Videos

Every Greenbelt class has to produce a 10 min video which summarizes their journey in a unique fashion. Although they may not be professional video editors, the class works hard to create an educational and entertaining video.

Here are two videos from the most recent winter class of Greenbelt 2011: