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In their February 2017 edition, Brand Tasmania shared with their readers the impending visit of Paul Akers and how Productivity Improvers are walking the walk of getting Lean into Tasmania's DNA.

'Lean Maniac' to unveil a system

Paul Akers, a global champion of the Lean approach to business and life, will be in Tasmania early next month for a series of speaking engagements. The American innovator and author has been brought to the State with Australia's worst productivity statistics by a private-sector alliance including Productivity Improvers; the Nekon Group, Simplot, UTAS and the Elphinstone Group.
The Lean approach was developed by Henry Ford in the early 1900s' and refined by Toyota after WW2, during that company's rise through the world automotive industry. Mr Akers is one of its best-known and most passionate proponents. He has personally taken its message to 65 countries. Lean is a method of systematically eliminating waste from a manufacturing system. By reducing waste, Lean makes it easier to identify actions or processes that actually add value to a system.

Mr Akers, who sometimes refers to himself as The Lean Maniac, used the approach in building his own globally successful product development business, FastCap. He has written three books on the manufacturing approach.
The first of them, 2 Second Lean, is about creating a fun, Lean culture and has been published in 11 languages. In 2015, he wrote Lean Health, followed in 2016 by Lean Travel.

Although productivity is a challenge for many Tasmanian businesses, several have used Lean to make significant improvements. The system is a core offering of Turners Beach consultancy, Productivity Improvers.
"Wherever we go we talk about making Lean part of Tasmania’s DNA," Director Clynton Jaffray said. "We need every competitive, social and cultural advantage we can get [in Tasmania] – and Lean is part of that."

Mr Akers' Tasmanian itinerary will include:
1 March: Address to a working lunch convened in Hobart by Robert Rockefeller of the Nekon Group.
2 March: Dinner in Burnie with sponsors of his Tasmanian visit.
3 March: Visits to the Elphinstone Group in Wynyard and Simplot in Ulverstone, before speaking at a sold-out, two-hour forum at UTAS's Cradle Coast campus.
UTAS plans to live-stream the forum to their Launceston and Sandy Bay campuses to reach a broad audience, registrations can be made via Eventbrite.
The Lean message will reach a significant Tasmanian audience and has proven potential to improve our troublesome productivity statistics.
Mr Akers, who surfs, runs, swims, rides bikes and climbs mountains, will include a Tasmanian holiday in his visit. He will be accompanied by Leanne, his wife of 33 years.

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Content from Brand Tasmania 8 February 2017, Edition 180