Why ILS?

At ILS, we’€™ve been studying, experimenting, learning, and practicing a lean philosophy for businesses since 1994. We have seen and learned things that are literally invisible to people working everyday. That makes us significantly different from other consultants, who typically begin by working within that hidden system. They may be good at applying the tools, but they won’€™t be able to reach into every part of the organization to make your change permanent. We do.

What began for us as research from an investigator’s perspective – digging into the theory underlying the Toyota Production System -€“ has evolved into an aggressive practice coaching organizations, applying the deep principles we discovered with great results. We have translated our gift of observation into practical systems designed to achieve levels of performance our clients never dared to dream of. We have honed a structured engagement process – the ILS System – that delivers impactful change reliably, quickly, and economically. And finally, we have developed enhanced lean concepts to fit the unique needs of diverse operations and developed novel approaches to some of the most critical operational challenges. The key attributes our clients say made the biggest difference for them are:

  • In-depth knowledge
  • Sustainable results
  • High level returns on investment
  • Superior workforce engagement
  • Strong focus on lean sustainability
  • Systems thinking
  • Our experience means we understand your business
  • Proven track record in a variety of industries

Our philosophy is to create truly lean companies through systems that integrate the development of leaders and people, the pursuit of perfect quality, and the constant, aggressive improvement of work all within a framework that builds citizenship within the communities in which they operate.

We believe a truly lean organization is built on these five foundation blocks.

1. Servant Leadership -€“ showing true respect for people. Leaders are deliberately selected, trained, and mentored to serve the needs of their workforce, challenging people to higher performance levels, enforcing the new rules for behavior and work, and constantly teaching.

2. Waste-free, demand driven work -€“ carefully designed for satisfaction and productivity. Work flows from the needs of customers, and nothing else. We develop systems that respond immediately to the pull of an engaged customer, and consider the needs of our workforce in designing, balancing, and improving the work they do.

3. Problem solving -€“ completed thoroughly by the people closest to the problem. The emphasis is on teaching, coaching, and empowering people to take action for any out-of-standard condition. We build cognitive skills and competence in our workforce this way.

4. Teams -€“ purpose-built, results-oriented, for all work in the organization. Teams are the perfect learning unit. Work is the perfect learning vessel. Together they lead to a powerful combination of mastery and identity, creating a workplace where people love to work and improve.

5. Value, then profit -€“ for long term sustainability. While the business must generate profit to survive, it does so through creating and enhancing value at every step in the extended enterprise supply chain. Emphasis on value fosters internal collaboration instead of internal competition, leading to mutually beneficial solutions to problems instead of blame and fear.

To help us live our philosophy, we have stated the following as our vision, our mission, and our values.


Develop lasting organisations that responsibly use resources to enrich the communities where they exist.


  • We strive to continue to build a great organization that attracts, develops, excites, and retains exceptional people.
  • We enable our client partners to achieve an improve strategic position by creating performance breakthroughs and a culture of sustainable competitive advantage through organizational structure, people, and systems.


To work with our client partners to achieve breakthroughs in performance, culture, and strategic position by developing people, process, services, and products


  • Learning – Lean organizations are learning organizations, discovering, solving problems, sharing ideas and growing as one integrated system
  • Improvement – There is no learning without action. We expect changes in behavior as a result of what we teach, and that behavior needs to show up in measurably improved processes and management
  • Listening – We listen carefully to our clients and help them identify their true needs. We listen carefully to all of our participants, valuing their ideas for all solutions
  • Self-sufficiency – We want our clients to learn to the point where they don’€™t need outside help to continue making progress. We want to transfer transformation skills to them
  • Simplicity – A lean solution is an elegant and simple solution. We recognize the difficulty in making things simpler, but this is the ultimate pursuit of perfection
  • Partnership – Our clients are our long-term partners. We highly value these relationships and we will constantly strive to learn and innovate together. We want their operations to create strategic advantages in value generation and business competitiveness.

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