LEAN is a well-recognised management philosophy that was originally developed by Toyota in Japan. We introduced a similar approach at Trevelyan’s in 2008.

LEAN principles are about exposing and solving problems, with the aim of continuous improvement. Our staff are encouraged to always look for new opportunities to get better at what we do. Over time, this has enabled us to deliver more value to our growers while using fewer resources.

In order to create a LEAN environment, we have implemented the following key practices:

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for all Departments –  these are visually displayed and tracked in each department.
  • Good Communication and Leadership – this is achieved through daily “Haka” Meetings held by all departments, regular Staff Updates and Gemba Walks (going to see the actual process). These are all a great chance to share new ideas and problem solve.
  • Elimination of all types of Waste – these includes overproduction, unnecessary motion, excess inventory, defects, waiting, transport and over processing.
  • 5S Workplace Organisation – this is done in accordance with the “5S” principles of sort, set in order, shine, standardise and sustain, with safety built in. It creates order, improves safety, reduces searching, reduces waste and highlights where problems lie.
  • Kanban – this Japanese term describes a system used to standardise and control the supply of components through the production process. In our case, we use it for inventory control and to help manage our stock levels.

Continuous Improvement (Kaizen) – this means ‘good change’ in Japanese and is a reminder to always strive for continuous improvement in everything we do. This is achieved through Weekly Improvement Groups for each department and Problem & Opportunity forms which are located throughout the site, where staff can submit any improvement ideas they have.