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Productivity Press

Six Sigma

Book: How to Develop A Lean Culture in Process Industries

Lessons in lean for the liquid industries

Published: Monday, February 22, 2010 - 15:08

(Productivity Press: New York) -- Written by Raymond Floyd, an unparalleled leader of lean transformations, Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries provides potential process industry change agents with the no-nonsense guide needed to eliminate waste and achieve sustainable optimal efficiency. Presenting lessons in lean as they apply within the liquid industries, the book focuses on developing the four measures of lean as defined by the The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence.

Shingo Prize application guidelines include:

  • Business results
  • Consistent lean enterprise culture
  • Continuous process improvement
  • Cultural enablers


While lean practices have been successfully implemented into the process industry with excellent results for more than 20 years (including the author’s own award winning example at Exxon Chemical), that industry has been especially slow in adopting lean. Part of the problem is that the process industry needs its own version of lean. The larger part of the problem is resistance to transformational change, a barrier that can only be overcome with effective leadership and results-oriented planning that engages rather than excludes all stakeholders.

Illustrated with his own success stories, Floyd describes business results, lean enterprise thinking, and policy deployment in process industry terms. He offers detailed theory, practice, and examples of continuous process improvement, and describes the leadership and defines the ethics needed to evolve and sustain lean transformation. Floyd lays out the specific steps needed during the first six months of transformation and the benchmarks to be achieved during the first two years of implementation. All companies can benefit from lean; this book makes sure that those who want it, know how.

Raymond Floyd is senior vice president of Suncor Energy Inc. Suncor is the first and still principle developer of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands, and with the acquisition of Petro-Canada in 2009 Suncor became the largest energy company in Canada.

Floyd began his industrial career as a manufacturing foreman with General Motors producing plastic and rubber automotive components. Following more than 10 years of increasing responsibility in manufacturing and engineering with General Motors Co., Ray joined Exxon as an affiliate vice president. Ray remained with Exxon for more than 20 years and retired with responsibility as global manager of manufacturing services. Following retirement from Exxon Mobil, he joined Suncor.

During his time with Exxon, organizations that Floyd led received international recognition as among the best-operated businesses in industry. His operations have been twice designated by Industry Week magazine as among “America’s 10 Best Plants.” While he led Exxon’s massive Baytown Chemical Plant they received the Industry Week's “Best Plant” designation and Maintenance Technology magazine designated it as the “Best Maintenance Organization in Large Industry.” Under his guidance Exxon’s Butyl Polymers Business became the first process industry recipient of the Shingo Prize.

Floyd is generally recognized as among America’s early adopters of lean manufacturing in any form and among the global early adopters of lean practices in the process industries. He is also among the first to recognize that successful lean operations require ubiquitous strategic intent and a culture of fully engaged people. His approach of simultaneously creating a strategically focused and engaging culture simultaneous with deployment of lean manufacturing has been widely reported by other authors. That practice is fully documented in his first book A Culture of Rapid Improvement (Productivity Press, 2008). Full of examples from his extremely successful personal experiences at Exxon Mobil and Suncor, Liquid Lean focuses with real clarity on the application of those practices within the liquid industries.

He has degrees in chemical engineering, business administration, and law. He is a registered professional engineer in the United States and Canada. In the United States, he is also licensed as an attorney-at-law and patent attorney.


About The Author

Productivity Press’s picture

Productivity Press

For more than 25 years, Productivity Press has developed the largest catalog available anywhere of publications and learning tools about lean methodology, continuous improvement, and operational excellence. It is currently the premier source of authoritative information on organizational transformation. Productivity Press is an imprint of CRC Press, a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.