Joint Lean Program with key supplier

Our client is an Aircraft Engine Repair facility where several LEAN projects had achieved reductions in internal production lead times. Lean programs had been achieved through:

  • A Lean Steering system
  • Three workgroups foccussed on improving flows, layout and organizational change
  • 4 Lean events on HP & LP distributors 
  • 5 Lean events on Army Aircraft Repair

However, a key surface treatment subcontractor is not  performing well, particularly in terms of lead-time and response. The subcontractor is aware of  Lean and Six Sigma approaches and tools.


  • Extend the lead time reduction projects to the operations performed by the subcontractors
  • Measure the total External and Internal lead-times

Our Approach

Bring together the client and supplier using  a Lean event where both companies could work together for mutual benefit. Joint teams enabled people who had previously had little contact to:

  •  Meet each other
  • Understand each others difficulties and constraints
  • Develop together common solutions based on "effort sharing – savings sharing" or "WIN-WIN"
  • Implement solutions together and quickly across the two businesses


We  preparated the program through an objective analysis in both companies:

  • Existing situation, lead times measures, handling distances, functionality in production facilities  and administration

We managed the Lean event highlighting and solving:

  • Lack of information from the customer to the subcontractor
  • Importance of flows and useless handlings in both shops
  • Number of malfunctions in the processes, including administrative and productionwork

Client Benefits

  • Common definition of the objectives
  • Building of a tool to share forecasts 5 days in advance (previously 1 day)
  • Set up of "cycle-contracts" between customer and subcontractor
  • Visual management to catch immediately production slippages
  • Distances and handling halved
  • Lead time reduced from 8 days to 5
  • Sharing of the Action Plans and follow-up meetings
  • Reinforced relationship of cooperation between the companies