In order to more effectively spread the word about the lean manufacturing principles adopted at world-class companies like Toyota, General Electric, Harley-Davidson and others, Lean Enterprise Training in Newport, Ore., has made available the first of eight 40-minute podcasts to manufacturing and service sectors at no cost.

These tools apply equally to original equipment manufacturers and make-to-order businesses, but the latter have often struggled to apply the same techniques with the same level of positive and sustainable results.

The high-mix, low-volume nature of the make-to-order business requires a hybrid approach. Based on work experience with nearly 100 companies, Gary Conner (recipient of the 2002 Shingo Prize) has personally recorded this 40-minute session. Based on real-life examples and case studies, this series will explore the many tools in the Lean Disciples' tool box.

The process of transforming a company from "business as usual" to the "lean approach" is clearly defined in this podcast. Using a time-phased project plan, each step in the transformation process is explored.

This multimedia podcast can be played on most computers and is compatible with portable storage and media devices such as iPod equipment.

To access it, click on http://leanmfg.podshowcreator.com/feed.aspx?feedId=462.