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Which inventory should you stock? How much, of each type, should you store in raw materials, work in process, and finished goods? How often should you schedule production? What is your stocking strategy? 

These were the questions posed to a manufacturing company during a recent Runner, Repeater, Stranger Inventory Analysis engagement.

The objectives of this engagement:

  • Have enough inventory to ship, consistently, to customers
  • Improve transparency of data and accuracy of information
  • Build more trust in the process and create a system they can all utilize and build
  • Increase profitability
  • More independence from factory orders

During the analysis tgg and the company:

  • Reviewed 18 months of shipped demand
  • Corrected misidentified ‘strangers’ and modified the dataset
  • Computed RRS classifications and Kanban min/max classifications
  • Initiated initial stock order

By the end of this four-week engagement the company had:

  • Lean overview training
  • Increased refresh rates for both inventory & spare parts from every 24 hours to every hour
  • Reviewed info inventory codes
  • Reviewed current ways to check inventory

Graphs and Report Outs

The below graphs represent the data from the analysis. This side-by-side comparison for each type (Runner, Repeater, Stranger) shows weekly shipped orders on the left with the coefficient of variation on the right. 














If you had difficulty answering any of the above questions, the Runner, Repeater, Stranger (RRS) Inventory Analysis might be just the tool for you. With this thorough statistical analysis, tgg can help your organization not only answer ‘how much inventory’, but also create a standard run strategy and schedule to maintain these levels. Move from 4+ weeks of lead time with 25% forecast accuracy to 1+ week lead with 75% accuracy. 

Click here to learn more about the RRS Analysis or contact us!


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We’ve all been there. You’re walking the floor on the hunt for a specific tool or searching the hundreds of folders on your computer trying to remember where you saved that one file. You can spend half your workday just searching. That’s a lot of wasted time and non-value steps.


This simple, yet foundational Lean tool can help you radically eliminate the non-value steps in your manufacturing and transactional processes, resulting in a more productive team. It’s all about waste elimination through workplace organization.

Recently one of our consultants taught a two-day 5S event for a fire damage restoration company. See what the owner of the company had to say below.

Pick-ups and deliveries are 45% of the billable work ERS performs for its customers and a critical part of the service we provide. Being able to find the right tool and materials needed for every job is an essential part of an efficient pick-up and delivery. We were not organized to do that and were wasting time on every job searching for tools and materials. The 5S event lead by The Guthrie Group resulted in a well-organized storage system that is self-sustaining and best of all it ensures an efficient pick-up and delivery on every job! I would highly recommend utilizing The Guthrie Group’s services to help your business improve its efficiency.” – Mike G.

Curious what each S in 5S stands for? Visit Manufacturing 5S or Transactional 5S to learn more.

If you’re interested in a 5S event at your company, contact us today!

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Your small plane has crash-landed in the deserted wilderness of the subarctic and you must decide the importance of each item in your possession as it relates to your survival. Are you better off as an individual or with a team?

This is the premise of our Survival Simulation, which was run at an annual training event for Nissan Canada. Due to COVID, this event wasn’t held in-person, so on Friday, December 11th nearly 100 Nissan employees joined a Zoom call from their various home offices to participate in this fun, challenging, and educational activity. Utilizing “breakout rooms” participants were still able to experience the small group collaborations which are vital to this exercise.  

After the exercise, students took the Group Styles Inventory (GSI) assessment. This assessment highlights team behavior features that help (or hinder) a team’s performance in a way that makes it easier for the individuals to discuss scenarios to overcome team interaction obstacles and achieve a more effective teamwork dynamic. 

The Survival Simulation along with the GSI assessment made for a perfect team-building experience that left participants with a new understanding of the importance of team dynamics. 

This is just one of the numerous training simulations we offer as part of our consulting services. You can read more about some of our simulations here or contact us to discuss how we can help with your team building.

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TGG Board Member, John Biedry, was the chairperson for the Operational Excellence & Process Transformation Summit held in Boston, Mass in November 2019. Knowing the important role Lean plays in operations and processes, he invited our President Zack Guthrie to be a speaker at the event. John also spoke at the event (pictured below).

Zack was one of 25 speakers and led two sessions during the three-day conference. The first was on our “tgg Playbook” which lays out the four components of Lean transformation: Enterprise Alignment, Develop Scientists, Process Confirmation, and Continuous Results. The second session focused on Leader Standard Work (LSW) and the importance of strategic alignment.

Interested in learning more about our Playbook? Visit this page to learn about the tools tgg utilizes that make up each of these four components.  

Would you like to have Zack speak at one of your events? Contact us today!


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In November of 2019, Zack and Phil traveled to Canada to facilitate a team-building exercise as part of a large training event for Nissan field staff. They ran our PROD Simulation, which teaches Lean concepts in a fun and interactive way, with over 50 members of the technical sales team. By the end of the training team members had the skills to identify areas of waste and find opportunities for process improvements.     

For more information on the PRODSim, visit

If you’re interested in team-building exercises or Lean Six Sigma training contact us today.


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Have you ever wondered what IS Lean Six Sigma? How is it beneficial to me or my company? Does it actually work? If so, then we have an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Join us for a webinar on Thursday, August 15th at 11:00am and learn more about the basics of Lean Six Sigma.

After this presentation, you will…

  • Understand the basics of Lean and Six Sigma
  • Be able to identify eight different types of waste
  • Understand the importance of standardization
  • Know about management styles and the mechanics of change

Click here to register and reserve your webinar seat.

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Event Consultant: Zack Guthrie

Event Description: Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) Train The Trainer Event

Event Location: Fort Worth, Texas


Problem Statement:

  • The Make-Ready time for ABC was above average. The target is to reduce the average M/R time by 20%.

Event Objectives:

  • Improve Safety
  • Reduce Make-Ready Time.
  • Identify all external make-ready activities.
  • Streamline all internal make-ready activities.
  • Clearly define simultaneous internal make-ready activities responsibilities and timing.
  • Organize and define 5S activities as it relates to Make-Ready.
  • Replicate to other Presses
  • Create Make-Ready Standard Work and targets.

Improvements Implemented:

  • 18 safety hazards were corrected, including replacing cracked electrical outlets, repairing stair gaps, and implementing the use of a dolly to decrease the risk of injury when moving large objects.
  • Using 5s practices we reduced waiting and waste of motion by creating a shadow board for tools, a Make-Ready portable kit with needed supplies, a staging area for “Next Job” material, as well as dedicated areas for completed jobs and other material.   
  • Created standard work for multiple processes to reduce variation and provide training documentation. Also created a Gantt chart for Make-Ready standard work with visual components for a medium complexity change-over.  
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On May 22, 2018, Zack had the pleasure of meeting the famous Jim Womack at one of our Lean Events. 

Jim is best known for 

    • Research director, MIT motor vehicle programs, 1979-1992
    • Founder, CEO and now Senior Advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute > 1997
    • Author: Machine That Changed the World, Lean Thinking, Lean Solutions, Gemba Walks, etc.
    • Gemba walker since the early 1970s


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On October 24th, Zack was honored to speak at the 2017 NCBA Management Team Conference in Greensboro.

This conference provided opportunity for industry leaders to connect and be informed about the latest banking issues. This information provided is current and marked the path to the future of financial institutions and its leaders.

Zack’s presentation entitled Applying Lean Six Sigma in the Banking Industry, spoke on how LifeStore bank mapped their current state process, made improvements using LSS, created and implemented standard work, and reduced their lead time to close a mortgage by greater than 50%. These tools can be used to make improvements with customers that make every process step easier, faster, safer, better, and cheaper.


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PaperWorks Celebrated 19 Green Belt Recipients 

These employees worked diligently during the last year to complete two concentrations for their Green Belt certification. They celebrated everyone’s completed progress on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Completing these two concentrations included:

  • Projects
  • Book Reports
  • Online Course Work
  • In-class Training

In addition, there were four participants who completed their Green Belts last year and leveled-up this year by completing more concentrations.




View some of the images from the ceremony






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Define your Problem Statement.

The first step towards breaking your organizational log jams is identifying and verbalizing the challenge you're facing. What are you trying to solve? This simple Problem Statement exercise can have profound implications for your team. It helps you define the issue and gives TGG some sense of where the soft spots could be in your Order to Cash process. We invite you to take a few moments to fill out this form. A TGG consultant will contact you shortly to discuss your Problem Statement and provide some insight on how we may be able to help.

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