Business Process Improvement


DATES: 18th June - 29th June

TIME: 9am - 5pm

COST: €3500.00 Member; €4500.00 Non Member (per person)

LOCATION: University of Kentucky, USA -- includes two best practice visits

The UK Lean Certification Program starts the development of your own internal support facilitators for the lean transformation process. Begun in the early 90’s, this “Train the Trainer” program has become known worldwide and has helped hundreds of companies nationally and internationally.

Unlike other training programs, the UK certification program is not a “Lean Champion” or “Lean Expert” program. Instead UK is guided by Toyota’s belief that there is no such thing as a “kaizen specialist” or a “lean expert.” Those titles indicate a basic misunderstanding, i.e. participants are trained to have all the answers or can lead the effort all by themselves.

Lean doesn’t work this way: everyone works at it all the time and because it embodies the principle of continuous improvement, no one understands it 100%, just as no one understands the future in all its possibilities.  The UK certification gives participants the confidence and ability to raise the important questions, see the real problems, understand and avoid potential failure modes and most importantly help leadership understand its key role in the transformation process.

The Certification program is “hands-on” and application based. The days are organized into lecture / discussion in the mornings and laboratory in the afternoon, which allows participants to better absorb what they are learning: principles studied as the day begins can be applied the same afternoon.

The UK Certification Program is not instant knowledge, delivered in a hurry, fading away just as quickly.  Instead, material is presented in a 2 week-long format.


Developing the Kaizen Mind for Leadership
The program identifies the main components of lean/TPS and explains how and why these components came about. Participants will begin to understand cultural aspects of lean critical to sustaining improvement and also learn some of Toyota’s techniques for substantial cost reductions. It provides the big picture of the transformation process and makes clear leadership’s all-important role in that process.

Installing the Toyota ODG (Operations Development Group)
The program strengthens core lean skill sets and  discusses the functioning of Toyota’s Operations Development Group, a way to bring leadership thinking forward and to develop management capability for TPS by providing more detail on the transformation model so that participants can begin drafting their lean implementation plan writing their plan on paper.

Maintaining Lean Through Standardization
The program presents methods that sustain lean improvement. Toyota’s techniques for achieving standardization will be reviewed including the significance of the role structure that keeps problems from returning. The human aspects of transformational leadership and the annual planning process called Hoshin Kanri are also presented.


  • Compare traditional versus lean thinking / culture
  • Describe the transformational image
  • List the organizational roles required for lean that sustains development
  • List “true lean” principles and behaviors
  • List the failure modes of lean
  • Practice Toyota’s techniques for process and flow study
  • Practice Toyota’s 8-Step Problem Solving methodology
  • Apply Toyota’s management improvement process named Jishuken
  • Describe Toyota’s learning process
  • Strengthen Process and Flow study
  • Strengthen Problem Solving skills
  • Apply the standardization principle
  • Apply Toyota’s annual strategic planning process called Hoshin Kanri
  • Apply Toyota’s Production Planning process called heijunka
  • Strengthen role understanding

Benchmarking tours of local operations will provide opportunities to “go and see” different organizations putting lean principles into action.


Center of Manufacturing, University of Kentucky

Ken Kreafle joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in 1987 and is currently an executive on loan to the University of Kentucky (UK) from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). Mr. Kreafle currently serves as General Manager of the Lean Systems Program within the UK Center for Manufacturing/College of Engineering. In his most recent assignment at TEMA he was General Manager of Vehicle Production Engineering in Erlanger Kentucky. He was the Chief Production Engineer for the new generation Avalon and works closely with the Toyota North American Manufacturing Companies (NAMC’s), Toyota Technical Center (TTC) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) to ensure the success of the North American vehicle launches.

A native of Maryland, he earned his Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Technology. He completed his Master’s Thesis on Industrial Robotic Applications at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland Campus.

Mr. Kreafle co-chaired the Lean Manufacturing Program, a joint effort of TMMK and the University of Kentucky (UK), Center for Robotic and Manufacturing Systems. He has also served as an Advisory Board Member for the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UK College of Engineering and a member of the Board of Directors for Northern Kentucky University Research Foundation.

Pete Gritton, Adjunct Professor at the University of Kentucky Center for Lean.  Pete is the former VP of Human Resources at Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, North America.  He was one of Toyota’s first North American hires.  Pete retired in 2009 after twenty-two years of service. Since retirement, Pete has been partnering with global corporations and organizations on the People Side of Lean. He also coaches individual executives and works with executive teams on strategic planning – Hoshin Kanri.  His work has included Union Pacific, Kerry Foods, Invest Northern Ireland and the Irish Center for Business Excellence.

Abbot Maginnis has been a materials engineer for more than 20 years. During most of that time he has been involved in some capacity or another with problem solving activities related primarily to project management, product development and production. During his professional career Mr. Maginnis has learned first hand the difficulties involved in overcoming operational and corporate cultural barriers to improve productivity and quality. His awareness of these issues and the challenges facing U.S. manufacturing in general lead him to return to the University of Kentucky to earn an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, specializing in Lean system Development and Transformations. Mr. Maginnis is currently a Lecturer with the Lean Systems group and is working towards his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, concentrating on the development of sustainable system.

Dr. Arlie Hall, Ed. D., B. S., a native of Kentucky, did his undergraduate work in electrical engineering and business at the University of Kentucky. He earned his doctorate in human resource development and organizational behavior at Vanderbilt University. He has also studied theology at Asbury Theological Seminary and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Dr. Hall is a part time assistant professor with the University of Kentucky’s Center for Manufacturing. He was a volunteer assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1999-2005, where he taught Manufacturing Systems Engineering. He developed the Center’s “lean manufacturing” curriculum (1994-1999) and taught its first “lean” course ever offered at the University: Principles and Practices of Lean Manufacturing, during the fall semester of 1994. He also was the original developer of the Center’s Executive Leadership Institute.

Dr. Hall is a retired former IBM employee with 25.5 years of service. At his retirement, he was Program Manager for Quality Engineering Education in IBM’s Corporate Technical Education organization, located in Thornwood, New York.

Crittenden (Crit) M. Fisher, Jr., is an Adjunct Instructor for the Lean Manufacturing Program at the University of Kentucky. He has over 39 years of Industry experience in the fields of Quality, Engineering and Manufacturing. In 1989, he joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky as a Quality Engineer (QE) Specialist in Powertrain.

He was promoted to Quality Engineering Powertrain Assistant Manager in July, 1993. Where he oversaw the: Planning and administration of quality assurance; The evaluation and improvement of new projects; and to promote remedial actions and plan and introduce equipment. In January, 1998 he rotated into Quality Engineering for the Vehicle Assembly plants which required him and his team to interact with all manufacturing sections support groups, and external suppliers.

He began to work for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) as a contractor after retirement in mid 2005. While on dispatch, he worked at parts suppliers where he was involved in issues that impacted daily operations. He facilitated hands-on problem solving activity and installed tracking systems for quality improvement while coaching and developing his team.

Richard Alloo is a TEMA Executive in Residence at the University of Kentucky, Center for Manufacturing. In this position he is responsible for development of research relationships and projects for various new technologies with potential application to manufacturing processes and products. He is a member of the University of Kentucky’s core group for developing multi-disciplinary research programs in sustainable manufacturing through the Center for Manufacturing.

Prior to his current assignment, Richard held the position of General Manager of the Production Engineering Planning Department at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). In this position, he was responsible for administrative, planning and advanced engineering functions for the Production Engineering Division. These responsibilities included human resources planning and development, operational and capital budgeting as well as advanced manufacturing technology research and development for Toyota’s North American production preparation activities.

Richard started with Toyota in 1987 as Manager of Environmental Affairs during the construction and start-up of the Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing facility. He also performed various environmental consulting assignments for other Toyota manufacturing facilities throughout North America.


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