The Art of Lean: Slimming Companies’ Shipping Costs

4 A Voice for Northern Kentucky — Business:

Here is an article about a guy who used to work with Toyota and has now started a “lean logistics” company, LeanCor, in Kentucky, with Maytag among their clients.

“The lean style is the process of eliminating all waste in a manufacturing company by streamlining and simplifying shipping.

Three key tools, according to Martichenko, make for a successful lean style: increased frequency of deliveries, reduction of lot size for those deliveries and leveling the flow of material in a plant throughout the week.”

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. “…eliminating all waste in a manufacturing company by streamlining and simplifying shipping.”

    Sounds like serious potential of gross sub-optimization to me. What happens when they walk into a company where shipping is not a constraint?

  2. Yeah, I think it’s a bit much to say LeanCor could eliminate “all” waste in a manufacturing company. If shipping is not the bottleneck, it probably shouldn’t be addressed first, but I think it’s still worthwhile to look at how lean principles apply to inbound and outbound logistics. As long as they are also tying it to lean factory principles (kanban, heijunka, etc.) I think they could be headed in the right direction.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. This article was written by a local weekly paper in Kentucky and was intended to act as a welcomeing article for LeanCor to the business community in northern Kentucky.

    The author did his best to capture the essence of what LeanCor does , but he was not a Lean person and clearly the article has some waeknesses in it from Lean point of view.

    If Lean Logistics could eliminate all waste from manufacturing then my retirement would certainly come early :)

    Ah, the power of the internet!

    Robert Martichenko, President, LeanCor LLC

  4. The concept sounds great…but is it realistic? probably not. I having worked in the manufacturing sector for many years and currently run a supplier mall in Mexico and the real concept should be the disciplines in planning, purchasing etc.

    Thier are transportation companies with large carrier relationships (low cost) that specialize in consolidating frieght by dims and weight that accomplish the same goal with fewer shipping frequecies and lower freight costs. I am a little skeptical and think this would work in the US manufacturing sector but not in Mexico where you have customs/border issues and risk the high cost of shutting down lines. Eliminating waste is definately the goal…



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