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Productivity Press

Six Sigma

Book: "Mr. Lean Buys and Transforms a Manufacturing Company"

A true story of a remarkable lean transformation

Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 19:21

(Productivity Press: New York) --  Mr. Lean Buys and Transforms a Manufacturing Company: The True Story of Profitably Growing an Organization with Lean Principles (Productivity Press, available Dec. 21, 2009) is the real experience of how, armed with only lean improvement methodologies, a specially trained Toyota lean expert purchased a business he knew nothing about, applied lean techniques, and succeeded in doubling sales and increasing profitability, before he finally sold the thriving business.

With humility and humor, author Greg Lane recounts his successes and failures, introduces his key employees and their struggles with change, and provides motivation and simple ideas for all readers looking to improve their businesses. He captures key points highlighted in text boxes and includes illustrative photos and examples of lean tools at work.

This story dispels the fallacy that lean management doesn't achieve excellent results in high variation companies and job shops. Toyota’s OSKKK (observe, standardize, kaizen flow and process, kaizen equipment, and kaizen layout) methodology is introduced to readers to help them understand processes and guide a lean transformation on the shop floor and in the office.

Mr. Lean Buys and Transforms a Manufacturing Company: The True Story of Profitably Growing an Organization with Lean Principles:

  • Presents realistic discussions of what was and was not successful in improving a business strictly through application of lean methods 
  • Shows how important effective and realistic leadership is and how it brings the best out of the employees
  • Represents real characters and shows how they grow into new methodologies
  • Describes an already profitable company made more profitable through the introduction of lean principals


Greg Lane, founder of the Low Volume Lean Center, purchased, operated, and conducted a lean transformation within his own manufacturing company, which specializes in fast turn around on high-mix, low-volume parts. Greg used TPS to grow the business and nearly double its sales. He profitably sold the business to concentrate on supporting others in lean implementation.

Lane earned his master of business administration from California State University in 1989 and his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1986. He is a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute and an advisor to the Instituto de Lean Management in Spain. While working with Toyota, Lane was one of a handful of candidates selected for a one-year training program conducted by Toyota’s masters. He became certified as a Toyota Production System (TPS) Key Person and continued his work with Toyota by training others in TPS.

Lane is also the author of Made to Order Lean: Excelling in a High Mix, Low Volume Environment (Productivity Press, 2007). Since 1992, he has been working on implementing lean around the world, supporting large and small companies alike. He has supported lean implementations in more than 24 countries.


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.