I recently attended the Kaizen Teian workshop hosted by both Sammy and Darril. For myself, working at Toyota for a number of years it was particularly interesting for me to understand how Lean concepts can be adapted / introduced into any organization. Among other things it prompted me to reflect upon:
- The fact that it is the people and their development that are the foundation of Lean organizations.
- What makes a business so successful that it stands out among its competitors?
- The urgency and importance of small Kaizens daily.
- The importance of cascading senior management directions / targets all the way down to activities carried out on the shop floor.
Both presenters were able to engage the audience through logical explanations of concepts, using “real” examples from their experiences, practical activities, and promotion of group discussion.
This workshop was very insightful, well-organized, and valuable for both beginners in TPS to the more advanced. I highly recommend Honsha for their level of true understanding of the TPS concepts.
[Honsha’s] class was very enlightening and exceeded my expectations. He shared with the class valuable insights of what it was like to be in an organization living a Kaizen culture. I had to unlearn some of the misconceptions I had before the class as to what Kaizen is about. I came to the class looking for tools, and I came out with a totally different mindset. The activities were also engaging and illustrated very well the concepts that he was trying to explain (example: variation and impact of standard work). I will be applying these concepts in helping create a culture of continuous improvement in my organization. It was truly a pleasure learning from Sammy.
Sammy Obara is an exceptional presenter who comes across confidently, but in a genuine and humble way. He is passionate about his message, engaging, responsive to the needs of the audience, easy to follow, and a real delight to listen to, because his message is interspersed with a good measure of humour. Sammy leaves you feeling pleased to have been challenged by his immensely valuable insights. Some people provoke change; Sammy inspires it. We hope to host him again in the future.
[Honsha] helped us in our annual Hansei was an amazing opportunity to go forward, using the basics. Sammy gave us the right focus: “The essential is invisible to the eye.” It was very important to strengthen our model.
Guys I would like to share with you an experience we had here at Beiersdorf with [Honsha]. Sammy, without even having visited any of the group’s plants, within two hours of Gemba (and some information passed on to us) completed a reading and a highly precise and consistent diagnosis on our business. He asked us for around an hour and a half to prepare the presentation for the managerial team, and brought really important recommendations that were highly valuable to the business. Considering he was at the factory for around eight hours, the result was really impressive.
Without a doubt, this is due to his knowledge acquired at the hundreds of companies he has already supported, which make him able to read the various processes that any type of production involves, quickly and efficiently. It is easy and inspiring to see that he doesn’t just know and pass on the concepts, but he also lives them in his day-to-day life.
We will certainly follow his recommendations and we are already anxious to have his return soon, to see the results achieved, and of course, for him to help us with the next step.
We have launched the roll-out of Lean Manufacturing methodologies during summer 2015. Sammy Obara was our first contact and helped us to define our need and get the project set up and running in on time.
After only one week of intensive assessment, Howard Artrip and Parthi Damodaraswamy from Honsha were able to present a holistic proposal on how to reorganize our production flow from A to Z. The proposal had excellent depth and credibility, not only regarding the technical aspects, but also on the change management aspects.
During the implementation phase, Howard and Parthi have demonstrated an excellent ability as change agents, pulling all the strings together across our organization to ensure the success of the project. The productivity improvements achieved were truly impressive – and right on target (time and $$). The training and personal coaching of our key personnel by Honsha has been a determining factor in the success of the project, and has been the starting point for a stronger and more consistent continuous improvements culture going forward.
Our partnership with Honsha improved our management process, resulting in the consolidation of the Lean Thinking in this Institution.
We were able to develop improvement projects, to create awareness, and to teach our executives in management tools, always supported by Honsha´s excellent senseis.
I really liked the reflections that accompanied each example during the workshop. They helped me better understand the concepts and gain new perspectives about standardized work and other Lean concepts. Sammy is a great instructor– he answered questions, promoted participation, and is knowledgeable about Lean concepts. It was enlightening! Thank you for such a nice experience!
I am very grateful that Sammy Obara was willing to share his exceptional broad and deep experience with the Lean community in Poland. I hosted him twice in 2012 and 2015 on the annual International Lean Management Conference organized in Wroclaw, Poland and hope he will accept my invitation again in the future. His knowledge and experience combined with extraordinary communication and attention-focusing skills make him one of the best speakers among dozens we’ve had in our 15 year history of Polish International Lean Management Conference. For example, the message in his recent plenary presentation “Lean Culture: The Burning Platform” that he held in Wroclaw, Poland on June 16th, 2015 stroked the minds of 450 participants with great power.
We had the opportunity to have Samuel as a Lean Sensei for our senior executives. The result could not be better– very appropriate, clear, and grounded, reinforcing strongly that what we are carrying out is the right thing. For those who were initially skeptical about developing our organization based on Lean principles, now they are firm believers. Samuel with his experience made us realize that we must develop a vision as a way to guide the entire organization, or take the A3 as a mental model to use in everyday life.
I can only thank you for your sharing and for the great learning we had.
I need to share my extremely positive impression from Sammy`s presentation.
The way he described specific problems of Lean tools implementation made it easier to understand the mechanism of Lean philosophy.
During “Gemba Walk – A Pictorial Trip Through Different Perspectives,” I felt something like a “Lean aura” around Sammy, some specific energy that is derived from passion, knowledge, and experience.
Meeting him, I realized how smart and effective Lean Management can be if you approach a Gemba Walk effectively. I understood that defining the Gemba Walk purpose is one of the fundamental factors to define current state, form a strong team, and avoid being just another industrial tourist.
As Sammy was sharing his knowledge, everybody had a chance to reconsider their management style and organization’s current state in order to improve it. Knowing Lean tools may not be enough, and understanding why we’re using them, may be crucial.
After this Lean Summit in Poland I can categorically say that Lean Management is more than set of tools– it`s state of mind.
I appreciate Samuel’s synthetic presentation about the sense of urgency in building the Lean culture.
I like the examples and language of Mr. Obara’s presentation as he keeps Lean discussions simple and clear.
This workshop was literally life-changing. I might not be quite sure that I am fully equipped yet to live and breathe Lean way in everything I do, but I know for sure that Sammy really got to shift my way of thinking and now I can’t go back to my old ways.
I have learned of the Toyota approach many times. I have even studied it during my Executive MBA studies. However, I always considered it to be cumbersome and complicated, so never adopted it. I appreciated it as a different approach of problem solving but never considered that it could work in my business, as well. For the first time, Sammy presented it to me as a way of thinking and not just a document. It really opened my eyes.
His introduction example of how inefficient our communication was, was an incredible trick. It definitely got me at that moment and then I was hooked for the rest of the day.
Sammy is a talented teacher.
I would absolutely love to learn more about the actual culture that is needed in the organization in order to implement Lean thinking and management.
Thank you so much for amazing experience.
I would never imagine that Lean and standardized work could have such a huge impact on my surfing school. I was skeptical in the beginning but I just forced myself and required my team to do the same and give that a try. Once you start seeing the results after just a few visits from [Honsha], it is impossible not to believe in it and embrace it fully. I will use [them] again, because the school is now a totally different school, more professional and 60% bigger in revenues since [they] taught us with the manual, rules, and how work like a team.
I think the key ingredient that made this a success in my school was the example that we (senior instructors and myself as the owner), showed the rest of the team. Also, it was important to continuously ensure compliance to the new standards, which in the beginning had its share of resistance from the instructors. Finally, it was crucial to have an effective coaching from Sammy, who could convince me that a methodology used in the auto industry could be applied to such a business like mine. Now I am convinced and can see this can be used in virtually any type of business. I can’t wait to work again with his team after his first visit nine years ago. We have a plan for him to come back in June to help Pacific Surf School (www.pacificsurf.org) grow with no limits.
Thanks Sammy, for sure God put you in my way.
Howard, Parthi, and Darril,
I try on a regular basis to think about the many many things I have to be thankful for. My blessings are numerous to say the least. I have had it on my mind for a while now to tell you all what I think about you, so on this Thanksgiving eve here goes: I am as thankful as a person can be that the three of you are in our lives. You have made such a positive impact on my life and the lives of all 280 of our employees and their families, even though many of them have no idea where our progress comes from. I completely admire that you have dedicated your lives to teaching others. You are high on the list of the most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Besides that, you do it in a way that makes it fun. I am and will remain forever grateful that you are in our lives and look forward every day to continuing to discover and unleash our full potential! Thank you…thank you…thank you!!!
My head has been spinning since I got back from the training, everywhere I look I see so many opportunities for improvements. My time is very precious so when I attend training I expect every minute to be meaningful, but that rarely happens. The training lead by Sammy was EXCELLENT! It challenged conventional concepts in a thought-inspiring atmosphere. It made it clear to me that the philosophy of our organizations needs to be better defined and that standardization is crucial. I strongly recommend this seminar for companies that are doing well but know they can do better.
[Honsha’s] lecture was a milestone for the unit managers as it has surfaced the awareness that regardless of us being a solid and successful company, we must now begin to think Lean. We need to reduce waste, understand that the discipline begins with our example, and that the sense of urgency must be for everyone. To strengthen this new culture for Stemac, Honsha is the right partner in the journey for Lean implementation.
I attended the ‘5S’, ‘Standard work’ and the ‘Lean problem solving’ workshops all taught by [Honsha]. They were fantastic. Lean problem solving was my favorite. Each of the classes were taught so that people new to Lean and people with years of experience all learned a lot. The information started with high level knowledge and then was explained at a more granular level. I was able to come back to work the following week and directly apply what I learned. I have since run two A3 – PDCA problem solving events and a 5S. The difference between workshops I have been to in the past versus those I attended was that I have never been able to teach the knowledge and facilitate events with the confidence. The workshops I attended helped me understand the tools from a bunch of different levels so I could teach them with confidence. All three courses are recommended but especially the A3 – PDCA problem solving.
Sammy’s training was literally a whole new level of training from anything that I have experienced in the past. It was extraordinary. The content was extremely valuable to me. He has a unique perspective as Toyota alumni that really helped fill some of the gaps in my Lean training. It was so illuminating hearing about and seeing TPS examples really for the first time.
Sammy’s presentation skills are also very effective. He has a masterful approach to weaving simulations into the teaching content in a way that really kept my attention and maximized my ability to retain the information. He’s also really funny too, which is a plus.
Very impressive approach by showing with high effectiveness the intrinsic density of Lean culture. It showed me how transforming and at the same time how simple, this way of thinking and acting can impact both efficiency and productivity.
I have received extremely positive feedback from many of my associates.
Everyone emphasized that your perspective and depth really made the difference, especially when compared against all the other consultants we know. Some of the associates even told me yours was the best lean approach ever in terms of value.
Congratulations! I’m really glad to have you at Embraer!”
We started our Lean manufacturing implementation with Honsha in July 2013. Our senseis were Mr. Gerson Damiani and Mr. Vladimir Gerolimo.
The productivity growth and effective problem solving were very good and in a short time we saw the results.
The right way and the right technique to use in each situation were in my opinion the most important learning.
This collaborative work brought our organization to the right direction. We thank Honsha and specially Gerson and Vladimir for their very effective approach in helping our group.
The Lean Academy Portugal, LAP, had the honor to have Honsha.org attend our Portugal Lean Summit this year. Samuel Obara was our key note speaker and was the highligth of our agenda. Sammy opened the first day of the summit showing lean applications from around the world. Especifically the case study of the San Diego surfing school left the attendees mesmerized! In fact, the feedback evaluations showed that among all presentations, Honsha’s was the best one of the entire summit. On behalf of LAP, we would like to express our gratitude to his contribution and the fantastic support from Honsha to help us promote the lean thinking.
I’ve attended Sammy’s seminar twice and he always teaches us some new things, especially his demonstrations that Lean is not only about culture, but also by creating the need to change, the need to be always improving.
He is a master in showing that Lean is simple, and so it should be conducted simply as it is.
I’d love to hear him again.
I had the opportunity to attend [Honsha’s] workshop and presentation during the Lean Summit 2014 in Lisbon! These two events changed my concepts of Lean transformation … The simplicity, clarity and conviction of communication is 100% effective in making the audience absorb all information and convince everybody about the potential of Kaizen Teian! I was inspired and eager to improve myself every day!
As we use Kaizen methodology quite strongly, I felt very privileged in attending [Honsha’s] presentation. I learned a lot about Kaizen Teian and other Toyota concepts.
Sammy Obara’s presentation was inspiring and brought great learning. Listening to a highly qualified professional and with his experience will be a tremendous help in pursuing the Lean journey in my organization.
I highlight the strength of Honsha’s support in the implementation of Kaizen Teian in our unit, where we hope for many benefits through the implementation of simple ideas.
The importance of the Kaizen Teian philosophy is the involvement of all the collaborators, independent of position/function, who by suggesting and implementing small ideas, will further guarantee the quality of our products, besides reducing waste and increasing the security and the commitment to the environment.
I had the pleasure of attending the workshop “Kaizen: Culture of Continuous Improvement” in Seattle led by Honsha. I have been practicing Kaizen Execution for years now with my background in automotive. I found that this workshop challenged my previous paradigm and was a very sophisticated yet easy to digest workshop. [Honsha] put the workshop over in a way that was both engaging and informative. It was a pleasure to hear such experienced and obviously knowledgeable professionals. This is a workshop I would highly recommend to Lean/CI professionals both old and new.
Honsha has always been a great partner when it comes to bringing Lean to organizations. Their culture and dedication in spreading knowledge and the application of Lean across different countries is looked at with great value and encouragement. They have in-depth knowledge and experience of the subject that many, including LeanCor, can learn from. On top of this, their people are a delight to work with! We feel very lucky to be part of this working relationship with Honsha to spread this wealth of knowledge on Lean principles and practices to everyone that wants to join the journey!
[Honsha’s] presentation showed that this model encourages reaching the goals and objectives to get a good organizational environment and good results for our customers.
It is obvious that if a company wants to improve its competitiveness or even to have its sustainability assured, one of the shortest ways could be through Lean, interacting with whom has the full knowledge, because it’s a long way. “IT’S CULTURAL AND ALSO TOP MANAGEMENT ENGAGEMENT”.
I always supported the idea that praising could be “muda” (wasteful). Nevertheless, I would like to recognize the team for the second consecutive wasteful goals achievement. Ten months ago, these goals were considered unattainable and ridiculous for some of our collaborators. The hard work and dedication of the leaders together with the teaching, discipline, and patience of our sensei Takeuchi (Honsha) were fundamental in this achievement. The success is not a gift, but an achievement.
Thank you [Honsha] for your extended seminar on Lean to the graduate Systems Engineering students at LMU. Both students and faculty found your seminar on Lean exceptional. You focused on what is really important for Lean, explained the Lean concepts and actions needed for transformation with exceptional clarity, a high level of expertise, and passion, and you were tremendously entertaining. Even though I have been working in Lean for close to 20 years, I too learned new things. I am hugely impressed by your deep knowledge of Toyota practices and culture. I wish this knowledge were better known in the American companies. The seminar was a treat and we are all grateful. Please do it again next year.
I was fortunate to learn and apply many of the TPS techniques in my 15 years of Denso (a Toyota affiliate). For those who did not have this opportunity, it is possible to have first contacts with TPS through publications, seminars, and workshops. But for implementing it, I recommend seeking the support of a qualified consulting firm because the experience in the form, method, and techniques of implementation make a difference in the success and continuity of the project. I can recommend Honsha, which has experienced ex-Toyota executioners. Renato Kitazuka has done excellent work here at Ogura and in many other companies in the auto industry. At any rate, the point is to understand; once understood, it is important to apply. Once applied, the next step is to revitalize TPS continually.
I preface my remarks by stating that my background is not what one might find in a typical industrial engineer. But for the past four years I have had the privilege of doing process engineering with Honda of America Mfg. When I saw a class offered on standardized work I knew this was my greatest need at this point. So I was glad to be able to get in. I was not disappointed either in the content or the format of what was offered. I found the principles clearly explained and the hands-on exercises very helpful to drive home those principles. In closing, I appreciate your willingness to share relevant information, for I much prefer giving credit to someone smarter than needing to make excuses for my shortcomings (there are times a last name like Wiseman has its liabilities).
Sammy Obara is becoming a reference in Lean Manufacturing in South of Brazil. With his experience and ability, he once again touched the audience and empowered our Lean event. His presentation “Developing and Sustaining the Lean Culture” was at the same time approachable to those who are beginners and enlightening to those who have been on the Lean journey for a long time. We wish to meet on next events. Congratulations and thank you very much.
Sammy’s training has given me the ability to approach production homebuilding from a logical, disciplined perspective and has brought Lean Production to life in my organization. The effectiveness of this training is readily apparent in my construction staff; managers who have spent just four hours with Sammy have eliminated twice the waste compared to their counterparts over a two month period. I would highly recommend Honsha Associates to any organization wishing to make the leap from studying Lean production to executing Lean production.
Excellent use of real examples from Toyota – it helped to see the concepts being taught in the class applied to a real problem. I also liked seeing the examples from Toyota because they are the experts on these concepts.
As a result, I felt like I learned something that I can immediately apply to my daily life. Thanks for a great workshop.
We had a great workshop today with Honsha. Managers and supervisors, all of them really appreciated all the information that they were engaged in. I think this was a great opportunity for future training for senior managers and supervisors too. Darril did a great job, same as John Skerl; they did a great job explaining the fundamentals of change management and also an overview of the 5S Program, Kaizen and 7 Wastes, so that was great. Thank you.
Sammy, I would like to congratulate you for the workshop “What the Leadership Should Know About Lean Manufacturing” in Rio Grande do Sul Industry Federation. You were capable of synthesizing all the Lean concepts and the Toyota Thinking with simplicity and effectiveness. Also, it achieved the non-practitioners of Rio Grande do Sul industrial field with the exact depth, and it will certainly help them make conscious decisions through their Lean path. Congratulations!
Whenever we attend a seminar, usually the practical benefit is limited. In the case of Sammy’s lecture, he presented with simplicity and with material suitable for the subject that few people know in our region. No doubt it was of great value not only for NOMA but also for the invited companies. Sammy not only won the public but also made them reflect about the daily work and its dimensions. We are immensely pleased with what we learned in the seminar and we hope to repeat it soon.
Thank you! It was a very gratifying experience, learning the basics in such an involved way. I really enjoyed the class; [Honsha] created a really nice environment for us all to share experiences, ask specific questions, and look for applications. The simplicity of the simulations used by Honsha made us all see the concept in a very clear way. Thank you, great pleasure to attend.
It’s impressive how an absolutely simple concept can present such significant results. Also, if this concept is passed on with propriety and conviction, it then becomes evident that, in fact, it is possible to make it happen. There is no time to begin Kaizen, or better yet, the time has just passed. Our many thanks.
The standardized work class was excellent. Mr. Kitazuka was very good at relating to the class and his positive attitude and genuine friendliness served him well with facilitating the class. Mr. Yamamoto was also very skilled at facilitating a Lean class and obviously very knowledgeable. When I say knowledgeable, I mean in the spirit of knowing lean from ‘doing,’ from years of hands-on experience in a Lean environment, learning from masters. I found his interjections throughout the class very profound, even somewhat spiritual in nature. The lessons of even a very basic fundamental took on a much deeper meaning. Mr. Obara’s class on Problem Solving was also outstanding.
The [Honsha] workshop meets my need for a practical tool presented in a way that I feel I am able to use it in a real case. Lean looks as it is the use of a number of different tools, but the truth is that it is a completely different mindset compared to modern production. Having that in mind, I think you did a great job in explaining the purpose of Kaizen and the pitfalls we may jump into. Your attitude, background, and close contact to Toyota gives you a lot of credibility.
Our Lean plans and execution were supported by [Honsha]. The activities are objective and they respect our culture and reality. The theoretical and practical content are conducted in an easy way to understand, across all hierarchical levels. The goals are straight, clear and optimistic, encouraging the teams to do their best. [Honsha’s] visits to our company will always be very welcome.
Meeting Sammy and sharing his knowledge and experience is always a memorable event. Beyond the clear knowledge itself, his presentations bring us to the core wisdom based on the simplicity, systemic vision and human respect. Values that are typical of a true Sensei. Thank you very much Sammy!
Congratulations once again to Honsha! It was my great pleasure to have invited you as a visiting expert on Lean. In my close to six years organizing about 100 public executive seminars in the Philippines, this was the first time that we were consistently rated as “delighted” – the highest rating given by 97 percent of the participants. The other three percent represents “above expectations” rating. Please keep up the good work!
Mr. Renato Kitazuka conducted an awareness session in the logistics aspect. He promoted the integration, flexibility, and dynamism among Marketing, Commercial, Sales, Purchasing, Warehousing, and Production. The techniques implemented by him within a month of work in our Chile facility were simple to apply and instantly effective. They allowed us progress in material management, including a reduction in inventory levels of 10%, crucial to success in our food industry. It is interesting to see that an “approach” developed initially to the auto industry can deliver attainable results in such diverse businesses.
Samuel Obara is an outstanding communicator. His capability of transferring the principles of Lean thinking is admirable. He was able to bring to our collaborators, in a 2.5-hour seminar, the most important concepts that will definitely change the way we manage process in our organization. His enthusiasm and interpersonal skills are remarkable. He has the ability of transforming complicated theory into a “piece of cake,” easy-to-understand action. I have no doubt we’ve made the right choice to increase our competitiveness and sustainability in our organization.
Patrick was very good! We liked mainly how he defines the product family and his recommendations on the implementation plan, the idea to implement the action on the production floor and not only on paper. He also showed us how important it is to measure the process and improve it. We liked the alternative tools to track the actions so we can also analyze specific processes. Thanks!
Past working experience and training with Honsha provided me with the perfect tools in a recent VSM Event of an office process at a manufacturing facility. While it was their first event, the response and outcome gave them a clear picture of the waste in the process, wastes they were unaware were present.
I have participated in a [Honsha] workshop titled “Kaizen Teian: The Culture of Excellence.” Overall I rank the activity very good. The message passed was clear, illustrated with examples, and logical. The attitude of the presenter was also very open to questions and positive, with a good dose of humor.
The workshop was great, Samuel Obara is an excellent speaker. Now I know why several companies fail copying Toyota– it is not only the tools Toyota uses but the right way of using them in the right moment for the right purpose.
The workshop was really good– I was already expecting great value on this workshop for my Lean knowledge because I had previous experience with [Honsha] with the Kaizen Teian implementation and the results that we have been obtaining.
[Honsha], special thanks to you for taking the time and helping to educate us with such a fun presentation of a most important topic.
Sammy’s enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of Lean Principles combined with the thorough information, step-by-step instructions, and examples made the concepts very easy to understand and remember. I was able to walk out on the floor and immediately begin implementing things I had just learned!
When the presentation was over, I noticed that I had become a different person. [Honsha] made me reflect on the importance of the role in Lean leadership for the success of our journey. To make such changes and achieve these objectives, the Lean leader must be able to make changes not only physically, but also in the way people think.
I would like to thank and congratulate Honsha for the advisory to our Occupational Therapy Service. After the implementation of the Lean concepts, the courses became more dynamic, efficient, and profitable. We know that our academic background as health professionals leaves a gap for a more logical, accurate, and streamlined vision of the processes. Honsha filled this gap out and was amazing; besides being well known in manufacturing, they did an excellent job in the biomedical area.
I’ve had the honor to work with Sammy-san for several years. He has great skills to encourage any organization to improve processes, business organization, profit, etc. His strong Lean culture techniques can help any organization to take them to the Major leagues.
Honsha’s presentation at the Lean Seminar in Brazil has reached all my expectations. In a concise and objective way, they showed the audience the main topics about Lean. It made us challenge our thinking about topics such as the DNA of Toyota’s success, like culture and paradigm shift. It steered us away from the blind focus on tool applications in our processes. Excellent presentation.
Having participated in the fabrication of these devices for many, many years, I was extremely blown away by the success, and was actually able to see it with my own eyes. It all seemed kind of like black magic but, in the end, [Lean] turned out to be just pure science.
I found Sammy to be a dynamic engaging instructor. Sammy engaged us with humor, candor, and respect. I will be watching for more classes taught by him in my area.
Darril Wilburn is a true professional. He has an “expert” level knowledge of leadership, management, and workplace relationships due to his depth of understanding and experiences in these areas. While working with Darril, I found him to be a person of integrity, patience, and passion about the work that he did.
It was the most illuminating workshop that I have ever experienced. I went into the workshop laden with questions, and came out armed with the practical knowledge and tools. Now I know what I need to do and how to do it.
Sammy’s lectures are always full of credibility due to his experience, and even more so for being in the Toyota environment.
The Honsha seminar revolutionized my thinking and approach to process improvement.
The lecture was timely for our current business situation. The lecturer went deep, however, with a simplicity that facilitated the understanding.
Darril and Sammy, thank you so much for taking the time to present Lean to senior leaders in state government. Your presentation was well received by the participants, and the concepts you introduced will contribute greatly to our Lean transformation journey.
The lecture was a success! All participants enjoyed it and many returned to their work environment touched by the Lean philosophy– I believe that we have planted the first seed. What determined the success was the clarity of the lecture on the explanation of the concepts and how they were presented.
Honsha is capable of transcending the automotive industry for applications in other forms.
I had the chance to meet Samuel Obara during the 2nd edition of Portugal Lean Summit and it was truly inspiring to hear his words. His message fits perfectly for all populations already involved in Lean/Kaizen initiatives or willing to start: a simple message for something difficult to implement.
The performance was splendid. It was of high quality, overwhelming, surprising and all of that in still a very nice and humble way. A cherishable performance for our community. I am also very glad to inform you that Samuel’s part of the conference received the highest scores in the evaluation. These are very high scores for our community. We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work with him.
[Honsha] did a great job at presenting Lean as a way of thinking and not as the “flavor of the month” program designed to produce results. It is a very different approach from most trainings that recommend a tool and imply a result of using the tool.
The most interesting aspect of the seminar was the reasoning about the concepts and the purity behind the elements of Toyota. Sometimes we transfer a degree of bureaucracy greater than necessary.
Sammy’s lectures– I believe there is not much to add, except for that he is a guru of the fit mind. His closing lecture was one of the best ones I have participated in by far, without a doubt.
Sammy always demonstrates the true Lean Thinking in a very simple way for everybody. His teaching is simple to understand. I myself am his fan because of his cleverness with Lean.
The presentation was excellent; all companies should incorporate the Lean concept. The interesting part of the session was the slides: simple, but the message was delivered. Even the slides show that with simplicity of ideas, we achieve the intended goal.
Great session – the day really flew by. [Honsha] brings a great mix of expertise, excellent presentation skills, humor, exercises, and examples to present, clarify, and drive the points home.
Through the Lean Culture seminar held at the Administration School of Sao Paulo State University, Sammy Obara has proven to be one of the main authorities when it comes to Lean or TPS.
I found the workshop to be very effective. We have been practicing some Lean principles for several years. The training is a good balance of theory and practice, and I plan to use this same training style with our people. I am confident that the majority of the operators and supervisors will see value that can be gained through these practices.
We enjoyed very much Sammy’s morning conference, which prepared the audience’s mood to increase attention to details and excited the hunger of knowledge to support personnel in the continuous improvement journey. His friendly attitude was very inviting for attendees to come around him and have a chat or a picture to remember his participation with us.
Although I work in a Japanese company that applies Toyota’s concepts and methodologies, I admit that [Honsha’s] talk was very important. If we don’t understand the real purpose of the concepts and methodologies, we take the risk of applying and disseminating them in the wrong way.
I congratulate Sammy for the way he conducts his explanations. He gives us a clear vision of how we can leverage the continuous improvement process in our organization, emphasizing the total involvement of everyone in search of the simple and effective.
[Honsha’s] seminars are always very inspiring. This time was no different. I like the logical way he uses his slides. The construction of the presentation is always very didactic. I just loved the correlation between the U.S. and Japan and the rational deployment. I really like Honsha’s approach, the seriousness of their work ,and the great content they have. Honsha today, in my view, is among the largest and most remembered consulting organizations out there.
You gave me great insight into where a number of Lean efforts are not succeeding over the long term. [Honsha] definitely addresses some of the concerns of our members. The results were terrific and the presentation was one of the best that this APICS Chapter has had over the past five years.
The presentations were great; I’ve got a lot of real-life experiences to be of great value in starting Lean in our factory.
I want to thank [Honsha] for sharing your experience and knowledge with us. Besides the results that were great, I also wanted to thank you for the experience at a personal level, which came from working with you. My learning from each one of you made me grow as a human being and as a professional. I hope we have a chance to continue working together for years and years to come.
[Honsha’s] deep mastery of the Toyota Production System is demonstrated in the workshop, “Kaizen: The Culture of Continuous Improvement.” Through practical examples and exercises, participants learn the essential elements of Kaizen supported by [Honsha’s] insights. The workshop gave me new insights on how to implement and nurture a culture of Kaizen within my organization.
The Lean Training provided a very good insight on overall Lean strategy. I personally value the way [Honsha] delivered the training course where he started with a “fun” activity, then proceeded to explaining why those techniques were useful, before going directly into how to use them. The exercises though were easy to complete and demonstrated very good application of the use of the techniques.
The event as a whole was excellent, very well organized, punctual, and the workshops well chosen for the event, [Honsha’s] workshop being the best of them all. The way Honsha presented was very dynamic and easy to understand. I consider the speaker as being “complete,” since he knows A LOT about the philosophy, he interacts with the public, he arouses the interest in the attendees, and he speaks in an objective manner. Congratulations on the work of the Honsha team!
We were honoured to have Sammy Obara as a keynote speaker at our Lean Management Summit this year. Participants loved his presentation and his style of delivering the message. Well-thought through, clear and lively, brought with a great sense of humour. We loved Sammy and can recommend him to anyone who is in need of a Lean Sensei with a great business acumen.
Sorry I did not have the opportunity to personally thank John for all the great work he has done with our Electrical Lean Project. Yesterday’s training was excellent and I am confident that with the way this project has been rolled out statewide, it will become the model for future field initiatives. More importantly, I wanted to thank him for his invaluable contributions in helping me (and other managers) to understand and embrace the Lean principles, as well as gain an appreciation for the important role we play in this process. John is very good at what he does. It was a pleasure working with him and I hope that we might get the opportunity to do so again. Thanks again and regards.
Darril’s guidance and honesty with me during this learning period has given me a new perspective in my job and the desire to continue to learn the Lean process. It is said Lean is never mastered but is a continuously learned process. I will be adding Lean thinking to two areas of my life that require a continuous process improvement: the first of being a father, and the second, being a golfer. “How can we improve Mondays” will always be on my mind through all of my Lean processes.
Thanks Darril. It was amazing to sit and listen to the leadership team understand the principles, suggest some additions, and so easily embrace what is the right thing to do. Very cool! Thanks to our great master Sensei.
Darril Wilburn is a first rate teacher, consultant, and person. Darril’s skill and leadership abilities are comparable to the best consultants with whom I have worked. Our executive leaders and my team trust Darril’s teaching and advice. We are beginning to gain momentum with Lean as result of his work with us. I do expect Honsha’s “train the trainer” approach and coaching will enable us to reach a tipping point with Lean where it takes hold in the culture and becomes the way we think and work. This will be a huge accomplishment for our organization and Washington State. Besides his deep knowledge and superb skills, Darril makes working together fun and interesting. We always look forward to seeing him.
Sammy was a great presenter. He gave me realistic concepts I could bring back to my company. I realize now that making small improvements every day by everyone will add up to great savings for a company in the long run. Kaizen events are effective, but having daily Kaizens is key to long-term success.
Sammy is one of these unique people in the Lean field with deep knowledge about the sources of Lean thinking, who is an extraordinary lecturer and a visionary professional. It’s a privilege to attend events where he is lecturing and that makes us think over how to overcome cultural boundaries and to unveil the key Lean benefits to the companies.
Mr. Obara, thanks again for the excellent PDCA class you presented in Denver. Over the course of my professional career I have been afforded the opportunity to participate in a large amount of training and education. From this perspective, I can unequivocally state you are one of the best instructors I have ever had the honor of working with.
Lean Summit 2009 was a very significant event for my training as a professional. I had the opportunity to meet and share points of view with Lean experts such as Sammy Obara, Gerson Damiani, and Carlos Fukamizu. I thank the three of you for the excellent work you do as instructors. .
Sammy Obara is one of the most experienced and valued faculty members of the Lean Enterprise Institute. His knowledge of the fundamentals of TPS and the ability to help organizations apply its principles to different sectors and environments are outstanding. He easily connects with people at different levels, from shop floor associates to executives, while keeping and successfully delivering a consistent message. His communication, instructional, and facilitation skills make him a great coach and mentor, and his focus on the development of problem solving capabilities in individuals and organizations makes him a true Lean Sensei.
Sammy Obara has the rare combination of knowledge and experience together with an enormous communication power and didactic. He has always had the best feedback evaluations in events organized by me such as the Lean Summits in Brazil and Mexico.
Honsha brings tremendous experience to our team as we start up our Lean Institute in Guadalajara.
I really enjoyed having the opportunity once again to attend [Honsha’s] seminar at the 5th National Lean Forum in Joinville. As always, they have done an excellent presentation in a creative and didactic way and with many examples as a result of really knowing from experience the subject matter in everyday life. Congratulations!
The training met my expectations. I was especially pleased with Sergio Onizuka’s approach, demonstrating interest in customizing the training terminology based on the concepts we use in our organization.
I was extremely amazed by how easily [Honsha] can teach the Lean methodology, concepts, and techniques. This makes learning so interesting and alive. The training was very effective, the didactic was perfect, all our questions were eliminated, and our goals were completely fulfilled.
Once again, Sammy Obara has impressed me with his ability to convey knowledge in a simple but powerful and inspiring manner. As a fanatic for Lean Manufacturing, it is always a pleasure to be able to see his presentation and to learn from his experiences. I thank Honsha for their willingness to share experiences with us.
I have attended three other workshops by Mr. Kitazuka and I can attest to his enthusiastic living of the “Lean Philosophy.” His presentations are clear and straight to the point, even to the layperson. They never leave out the core concepts that make the foundation of the TPS/Lean.
I loved Sammy-san’s lecture; his lecture, in my opinion, was excellent, and he knows how to conduct a lecture very well. I thought it was too short, which was a shame, and I believe he has great TPS knowledge.
I get excited when the subject is Lean. As far as the Lean focus in the area of medical services, like Obara-san mentioned, it is reprehensible. We still pay far too much for insurance in exchange for a poor quality operational customer service. This legacy seems to come from public hospitals, and the population thinks this is normal– that people with money pay for the services and do not reclaim these rights. According to Mr. Obara, so that manufacturing exporting can be possible and I don’t know if they will become reality or if they will be mere future trials.
I worked with Darril several years ago and immediately thought of him when my department was considering training. Darril was able to easily relate to Toyota members through a deep understanding of the Toyota Way and use of common terminology. The participants were immediately engaged and open to the message. He was also able to reinforce messages from upper management without appearing rehearsed or prompted through sharing his own personal stories. Overall, our training was a success and I heard only good comments from the participants.
After two years of working with Honsha in manufacturing and logistics areas, we’ve decided to start Lean transformation in administrative areas. We’ve been achieving great results, reducing process lead time and waste that results in cost reduction.
Maybe you remember why I was asking you in the beginning of the project for Sammy’s visit to us. It’s obvious that Sammy is not just an expert of Lean and a great person, but also charismatic leader who people want to follow. Personally I am very happy by having an opportunity working with you, Carlos and Sammy. Overall the visit was very good. The best part was about mid-assessment and leadership training together. What we really liked is that it was not just theory, but the examples came from our factory. Management team started think more about Gemba and waste elimination.
Darril is a great resource. He is knowledgeable, energetic, and is a very good communicator. Darril is a good listener, as well, and showed flexibility in accepting and changing some of the messages to better adapt to Mars Principles. His cooperation was greatly appreciated by me and the presentation he gave was absolutely spot on. In summary, he delivered very well on the desired outcomes that were proposed.
The workshop with the site leadership once again confirmed that Honsha associates transfer the profound knowledge in a very focused and comprehensible way.
I would like to thank Honsha for your support during the last year. Your company’s time and resources invested into Mars Petcare Supply was really outstanding. I would like to say that John Cottam continues the great work started by Patrick and gives us further and deeper insight into Lean understanding. We are becoming more and more self-sufficient in Lean and this is what we wanted to achieve when we started and when you visited us for the first time.
The seminar conducted by [Honsha] was fantastic. Even though it was very brief, I could absorb the essence of Kaizen. After the seminar, I understood the real reason why this tool was created and how to use it in our processes. We are already starting to work to create and spread the essence of Kaizen Teian towards our associates.
The selection process to choose Honsha Associates as our senseis took a detailed evaluation of four consulting firms that were interested in helping us continue our Lean jouney, started in 2002.
The choice for Honsha Associates was not easy at all. Right after the presentation of all consulting firms, it was very clear that Honsha was the best option in the areas of TPS/Lean knowledge, expertise and experience in implementation and team strength. Honsha had the best marks in all these points. The issue was just financial. As I would expect, the best always cost more. Besides that, we were going through a tight period with poor financial performance in the business. However, after some internal and external negotiations we made the decision to put the best of our efforts and really build a lean system.
Today, two years after that decision, we are certain that every cent invested with Honsha Associates was worth a lot more in return with many positive results.
Due to the insider experience of all the senseis (all current or former Toyota associates) it was a lot easier to really understand the depth of the lean philosophy. It was finally clear even basic concepts such as “Customer focus”, 5S and even Kaizen for that matter. It was also clearer to understand more difficult concepts such as “flexibility through standardization”. Also, the close relationship between Honsha and current Toyota leadership allowed us to experience what that environment is like in real life.
The PDCA technique has made great difference in how we solve those problems that have been bugging us for a long time. The focus on why we need to understand the problem before jumping into a solution was still an eye opener.
We are still in the multiplication phase of this technique but we are already reaplng great results during its implementation. It is clear the improvement in the engagement of our associates after the implementation of the lean techniques, especially the Kaizen Teian. It has proven to be a very powerful technique to change the attitude and participation of associates in both the workplace environment as well as in the business results. The results from a Gallup Q12 survey in March 2007 validated our expectations in the engagement level of our associates. And better yet, the results were beyond expected. The discipline as well as the culture will come with time. The role of leadership in this process is the key for it all. The more we participate, the faster we will see more results. I can’t see any restriction in the application of lean concepts in any type of activity, profit or not for profit. My dream is to see this philosophy being applied in all levels of government and public services. Any business that is seeking a step change or is fighting to survive in the market should try the power of the lean system. For me the main goals are: Customer focus and process optimization. Who doesn’t want (or doesn’t need) to understand the real customer needs and stop wasting money in non value added activities?
Zotico Silva – General Plant Manager, Mars Incorporated
Congratulations for the I Lean Group Meeting. Due to excellent organization, location, content, and atmosphere, it resulted in great debate and synergy among companies of various fields on the same Lean Journey.
The Kaizen workshop was very informative and useful. Sammy is an excellent trainer, bringing the right level of energy and humor to the workshop. I truly enjoyed the session– you held my interest while making it fun! Thanks for a great day!
I liked the very practical perspective [Honsha] gave to Kaizen, especially the criteria for conducting one. I also enjoyed the discussion on root cause vs. “just fixing it.” Overall, a very helpful and user-friendly session!
The Honsha presentation was very inspiring to our students. A number of illustrative examples made it easy for students to grasp the Lean concepts, even if they were not familiar with them before the class. I liked the format that included a person from Honsha and from Toyota, as it provided a nicely balanced discussion.
First of all I would like to say that attending the Lean Summit – Mexico was a worthwhile experience. Even after a few years of involvement in my company’s Lean implementation, I was able to identify new strategies and concepts applicable to my industry. The [Honsha] workshops were valuable, though I would have benefited from extending their allotted time. I recommend adding a Hoshin Kanri workshop: an in-depth description of how the vision, mission, and values of the company are cascaded all the way down to shop floor operators. The conferences were valuable and insightful.
Darril provided our organization with Lean consulting and training services in 2008. His engagement level, enthusiasm, depth of knowledge, and interpersonal skills made him very effective on this project.
During Global Operations Meeting in 2006, senior management decided to embrace a Lean cultural transformation in our manufacturing operations as the foundation of our strategic planning to achieve True North objectives. Since then, and with the great support and experience from Honsha senseis, by adopting a “learn-by-doing” approach, we have been able to achieve significant operational and financial improvements. However, the most important aspect in this almost four years journey we embark on has been the fact that now we have (just in Mexico) 45 Lean management champions that are leading now and for the years to come the engagement and continuous improvement culture of our 1,800 associates.
We asked Patrick’s help in March 2009 to organize a Lean training at CZVH. During the first training session, Patrick made us familiar with Honshin Kanri, PDCA, and Standardized work theory and practice. This was especially useful for the Leadership and Process Engineering group, but we wanted to involve the direct people into Lean activity, too. Therefore, Patrick focused during his next visits on 5S and Kaizen training. He gave us a sample of his knowledge on above-mentioned methods and he gave us many examples from the industrial environment. This was very useful for us to get not just “theory,” but some living examples, too. His communication was always very honest and direct to the Leadership team, as to the direct labour, so the trainings were very effective; additionally, the atmosphere during training was enjoyable. He gave during the practical training a strong support for all team, and he was able to manage the “languages differences.” We’ve got all presentation material in time, and they were very accurate and effective to understand. We’d like to thank his effort and great job he did in CZVH!
I have had the distinct pleasure to be professionally associated with Sammy Obara and Honsha. My Lean journey began about eight months ago. My first interaction with Sammy was in a classroom setting through a public workshop. Both days of training were led by Sammy. The first class was learning about Kaizen and the second day focused on problem solving using the PDCA format. Sammy’s knowledge about these subjects was second to none and his ability to make it relevant was fantastic. After the class, I approached Sammy to discuss my upcoming journey. During our discussion I mentioned that one of my initial facilities that will be implementing Lean was in Los Angeles. Sammy’s findings from the Gemba walk of that site were spot-on. Sammy’s second visit was even more powerful than the first. During this visit, Sammy also brought someone with him. Joe Kane, another former Toyota manager, joined us for this visit. Joe, with his tremendous wealth of knowledge regarding distribution operations, performed a Gemba walk with me while Sammy set up for his presentation to the staff. Joe’s awareness and insight to the challenges and opportunities that we faced were apparent immediately. We walked away from this walk with some immediate actionable items. As I anticipated, Sammy’s Lean awareness presentation to the staff was flawless. You could clearly see his innate ability to get the team engaged and excited about the benefits of Lean. Thanks to Sammy, Honsha and Joe, our team is well on their way down the Lean path. I would highly recommend their services to any individual or organization looking to embark on, or already on their Lean journey.
I first met Sammy in 2010 at a Continuous Improvement workshop in San Diego. Sammy is a dynamic presenter who possesses the unique ability to take a daunting topic and make it engaging, humorous, and relevant to novice and experienced practitioner alike. I was so impressed by Sammy that I subsequently recruited him to teach in the Lean Enterprise program at SDSU. In the course of surveying graduates from our program, we discovered that many were taking a project-based approach to their Lean practice, and with Sammy, we recognized an opportunity to integrate a greater emphasis on Continuous Improvement, and creating a sustainable Lean Culture. Sammy’s PDCA Problem-Solving and A3 Thinking workshop has been a great addition to the program. Sammy’s easy-to-follow approach, and dedication to developing a culture of Continuous Improvement, has enabled SDSU to respond to the needs of our students and greatly enhance the value of our program. Beyond demonstrating a mastery of his topics, Sammy is a visionary who infuses his presentations with energy and thoroughly engages his audience. Sammy is a rock star among Continuous Improvement practitioners!
Natel is extremely fortunate to have the services of Patrick Muller as a SENSEI. For many years, our Lean effort was a series of Starts/Stops, until we got the required help from Patrick, through Honsha Associates. With his help, Natel has become one of the leading Lean Electronic Manufacturing Services house in North America. Natel continues on its Lean journey under his able guidance in both the Manufacturing and Office Lean areas. The improvements in our productivity and bottom line are evident. As an example, with Patrick’s help we were able to make 30 very complicated Power Supplies a month for a customer where our production was always at about 20 units a month. We are fortunate to have the availability of his experience and Lean Practices knowledge and would recommend him to anyone embarking on a Lean Journey.
I had the chance to learn Lean problem solving through the PDCA cycle from Samuel Obara, and during that training I really felt the depth of his experience and his simple, no-nonsense approach to TPS was exactly what our company needed to help with the structuring and focus of our Lean conversion. I spoke to Sammy about our company and expressed that we were only in our Lean infancy, but very much ready to go. Sammy as well as Chris Tadano were kind enough to visit with us, walk the gemba, and provide our entire management team with a TPS/Lean overview, which proved to be extremely worthwhile. Most notable was Sammy’s ability to convey to a room full of individuals the essence of TPS in a way that brought everyone on our management team solid awareness of the bigger picture, especially the importance of kaizen – how a relentless focus on small, regular improvements creates a culture of excellence, company-wide. Our ownership is excited to build our relationship with Sammy and Honsha. We are already seeing solid, notable improvements and we believe that through this partnership there is no limit to what we can achieve as a company.
I did appreciate the [Honsha] workshop, essentially for two aspects: Not every “improvement” action is kaizen, even if it looks like that; it’s so easy to say “we did kaizen” but really hard to actually do. The importance of a truly shared awareness and commitment through the organization about the importance of kaizen – the real Lean culture. I also think that the Naboko game, apart from the fun itself, effectively shows how difficult is to define a “commonly understandable” standard – the fact that more than 50% of the proposed standards were wrong was much more clarifying and incisive than any reported example!
I attended [Honsha’s] workshop on Lean Culture in Los Angeles. It was a very inspiring workshop. Two things I found very special. First, it was the real stories told by [Honsha] about experience in Toyota. I have read a few books about the culture of Toyota. But hearing first-hand experience from a Toyota veteran was much more touching and powerful. Second, it was the simulation exercise that we went through. We had a lot of fun running a pizza restaurant and learned how the principles of Lean could be applied. Thank you once again.