In the 1950s, Taiichi Ohno, the production manager of Toyota, faced a
difficult challenge. Unlike others in the automobile manufacturing industry at
the time, he was forced to build a large variety of vehicles with very little
inventory. Ohno succeeded by developing new techniques to restructure workflow
and involve suppliers in the process of design and manufacture. Ohno continued
to improve through the development and application of other techniques. In the
late 1980s, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology undertook a major study
of automobile manufacturing around the world. Through this study, they
discovered that the companies which had followed Ohnos techniques achieved
double the productivity with twenty five percent less defects than their
nearest competitors. The term Lean was coined to describe this new breed of
world-class companies simply put, they achieve more with less.
In the late 1980s, John de Wardt was given responsibility for developing new
contractual relationships with suppliers for a major segment of Shells
Exploration and Production business as part of a team targeting significant
improvements in financial performance. These improvements included redefining
the scope of services, roles and responsibilities of suppliers and payment
mechanisms. In the early 1990s, he embarked on a study of Lean Manufacturing
with the intent to bring its benefits to the upstream oil and gas industry.
In 1994, John set up his own consulting business to achieve his goal.
His first step was to develop a proprietary program for reorganizing the work
to be performed in projects. The initial success on a BP project in the North
Sea lead to further applications in North America, Europe and Asia. Through
application and further study, John has developed his practice to ensure its
success across many types of projects and organizations.
The Lean Management Techniques of de Wardt and Company are embodied in 9
levers, each of which is adjusted to meet the specific needs of each client.
These levers are leadership, objective focus / stretch, organization
architecture, relationships, culture / behavior, information flow, planning /
engineering, construction / operations, equipment management. Each of these
keys has specific tools and techniques, which are applied as needed to achieve
DE WARDT AND COMPANY, INC. Suite 201, 1625 Mid Valley Drive #1
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487 U.S.A.