A modern bakery, part of a larger global food group, with five highly automated production and packaging lines, based in Dublin supplying baked bread into the Irish, UK and European markets.

Despite the facility being modern, there had been a lack of focus on the development of people and capability within the manufacturing team. Lean tools and techniques and ways of working had been attempted in the past but had not been sustainable.

The challenge was to implement processes that would improve performance by combining together the training on Lean tools with the development of key individuals, underpinned by the implementation of sustainable ways of working on a day to day basis to ensure that theoretical knowledge was transferred into the workplace.


The implementation covered three distinct sections, which when all brought together became a new way of working with key individuals and departments:

  • Problem-solving training and implementation
  • Problem-solving principles, problem definition, Pareto analysis, 5 whys, Cause and effect (CEDAC)
  • Problem-solving criteria to define day to day priorities
  • Problem-solving tools and templates
  • Development of structure
  • Focus on eight key individuals
  • Defining and managing the transition from firefighting towards proactive work, and training and coaching of their respective teams
  • Visual management
  • Professional visual standards & processes
  • Embed learning (Problem-solving) & new ways of working


Based on our previous experience and reputation for being able to provide the right blend of training and implementation support, we offered a tailored & pragmatic solution which we knew would work.

This involved a blend of classroom style training on the basic elements of lean tools and techniques, plus problem-solving training. New proactive ways of working and focus areas for the key frontline management team were defined & implemented, and then built into their personal development plans.

Both sections then cemented into the daily and weekly ways of working using new line side and site visual management areas and processes.


Within 9 weeks, 1st level Lean introduced, more proactive working from key individuals and new visual management areas implemented which delivered a 3% increase in OEE and 0.6% reduction in waste (€400k annualised saving to the P&L).

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