Our journey began a while ago in our sister company Klime-Ezee Ltd., to enable me to tell the story of Lime Green Lean, its important I start right back at the beginning…
I would encourage anyone to document their trials, tribulations and turbulent times throughout their journey, because not only do we learn from looking at our past, but we also forget the good times in the mist of the hardship.
It was the year 2012, the year of the summer Olympics in London and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Klime-Ezee was stuck in an endless time loop of late deliveries, unhappy customers and frustrated employees. We had several hungry competitors, all desperate to succeed in business.
I believe it was mid summer in which the straw that broke the camels back happened, and somehow Ashley (the owner and MD of Klime-Ezee) had snapped for the final time. Our factory was a mess and the pressure of wearing every hat and fire fighting throughout the day caused him to think about selling the business. He sat in the reception office, with his head in his hands.
After many hours of research, looking for ways to push the business forward and reduce his stress levels, he discovered a YouTube video about ‘Lean Thinking’ concepts by Paul A. Akers. He was the owner and founder of FastCap LLC., Washington, in the USA. He made contact with Paul via Skype and that was the phone call he would say “changed his life”.
For the first 12 months, Ashley continued to stay in close contact with Paul to apply to ‘2 Second Lean’ methodology to Klime-Ezee.
The first years results were ASTOUNDING to say the least!
Reduced lead times, reduced inventory, increased production flow and increased profitability (in one year our net profits were up by 72%).
The best part... our workforce had a new lease of life.
Amongst the other amazing things that have happened since then, like the opportunity to travel (our workforce included) to the most humble and astounding Lean companies all over the world, numerous speaking engagements and the chance to open our doors to others for tours, has been truly something we could have never imagined.
As our good friend Michael Althoff from YelloTools, in Windeck, Germany says, hard work can take you somewhere, but Lean work can take you anywhere.
From all of the great things that our Lean journey has taken us through, the creation of LGL has to be one of the most exciting opportunities for us.
LGL is what we are loosely calling our ‘consultancy business’.
We love to go out and visit other companies to help them start their own journey, plus by creating our site, gives us a great place to share our documents (because we have quite the gathering of information now).
So here’s the journey of Lime Green Lean…
I believe it was 2014 when things got serious; we had been approached by a close friend, to help introduce the Lean concepts within the Derbyshire Police Force. This became our first ‘consulting’ job, you should NOTE that our entire service has been FREE OF CHARGE as we are proud to give back to our force within the UK. This ‘service’ has snowballed from a couple of tours a year, to a couple a month, to off site presentations and even a visit from our Fire Fighting Service.
We have been privileged to help 2 other local companies start and progress their own journeys. This has been amazing for us as we have been able to not only watch them grow, but build a network of Lean thinkers right here in the UK.
With all of the excitement and opportunities we have been given, we felt that in 2018 it was time to get our site together. We needed a better way to “pay it forward” to other companies who may want to start or get some inspiration about being Lean.
We were lucky enough to have the help of Paul when we started our journey and we hope that providing our knowledge to others, we can at least pass on at least 50% of what we have learned from the man himself.