As you know, there is tremendous pressure on organizations today to implement solutions that will make them more profitable and effective, both today and in the future. We believe that companies coming together in a Consortium will provide such a solution.
The benefits of membership in a group such as this are unique in North America, revolutionary in our industry and will bring your company high value with your participation.

What is a Consortium?

A Consortium is a structured group of non-competing organizations who come together with a commitment to attaining World Class performance through people and improvement in process.

What are the Benefits for My Organization?

There is a multitude of terms and initiatives infiltrating organizations today ... Lean Enterprise, Theory of Constraints, the Toyota Production System, Continuous Flow, Just-in-Time, High Performance Culture, Continuous Improvement ... all of these can be confusing, overwhelming, and seemingly costly to companies. The goal of the CONSORTIUM is to cut through the rhetoric and introduce tools and techniques that can help participating companies to implement sustainable solutions in the fastest possible time.

The Consortium will:

1. Cometogetherasagrouptosharebestpractices,shareknowledge, share skill sets, and accelerate training.

2. Bringinthebesttalentfromaroundtheworldtofacilitatelearning sessions, workshops and events - based on your feedback and requests – that will improve your organization’s bottom line. The costs are significantly reduced as they are shared with your fellow member companies.

3. Haveagroupofseasonedpractitionersactingasmentors,coachesand facilitators to your company and other members of the CONSORTIUM. Our team has implemented World Class concepts in over 500 different companies around the world. Our coaches are all former practitioners and have held positions at various levels in their respective former organizations ... from Press Operator to Vice President of Operations. Combined we bring over 150 years of experience to you.

4. Tailorworkshops,in-housetrainingandimplementationtosuitthe needs of member companies.

5. FormSpecialInterestGroups(SIG’s)fromwithinthemembership. These groups meet on a regular basis to discuss issues specific to their area of operation. Proven examples include groups focused on 5S, Lean Implementation, Procurement, Sales and Marketing, Accounting, Training, Benchmarking, Supervisory, Executive and Human Resources ... to name a few.

6. Keepyouinformedaboutwhatishappeninginthemanufacturing industry in Canada and around the world, and communicate this to all members through a weekly newsletter.

7. Provideaccesstoasharedlibraryofworld-classbusinessresources including books, videos and periodicals. These resources are free and at the disposal of the member companies.

8. Determinewhohasa“bestpractice”site,anywhereinthecountryor world and arrange exchanges and visits that will allow our member companies to learn and “borrow with pride”.

9. Developamemberwebsitetomaximizethepotentialforexchange within the Consortium. This site will be maintained and updated regularly to provide members with access to knowledge from each other, across Canada and around the world.

10. Network with other similar groups, consortiums, and industry organizations to accelerate member learning.

Who is Facilitating this Group of Companies?

Design 4 Lean Solutions is a consulting (coaching) company based in Toronto, Ontario who has been involved with the development of consortiums and Benchmarking Networks across Canada and the US for the past 18 years.
Our success has come through achieving sustainable, positive results in organizations from across the country and throughout the United States. We facilitate and work extensively with World Class Organisations and were also involved with the development of, and continue to work with, other successful consortiums in Canada and the US.
We focus on improvements at the organization’s site by involving the process owners. The following two deliverables have been and always will be paramount in our offerings:
1. Change the thinking...we, as organisations have to believe that there is a better way to run our businesses. Once we can change the thinking to embrace a continuous improvement environment, we will be on the road to success.
2. Coach to competence...we don’t want to remain in a company for too long. The improvement process must reside with the people who are doing the job. We want to teach the people how to use the tools.

Who Will Form the Consortium?

The Consortium will consist of 10 to 16 non-competing companies or organizations within close geographic proximity, which are committed to mutual success. Each company will designate one person, and their alternate, to sit on a “Board” and map the direction of the CONSORTIUM.
The Board will be made up of company decision-makers, and will be facilitated by Design 4 Lean Solutions to provide insight, ideas, and experience when requested and warranted. Design 4 Lean will also provide coordination and ongoing support for events and services that are mandated by the Board.
While the company has both designates and alternates to represent the company at the board meetings, it is the goal of the CONSORTIUM to have 100% of the employees in the member companies to be positively influenced by CONSORTIUM activities.

What Specifically Can My Company Expect?

The Consortium is structured such that in addition to the benefits of leveraging / sharing amongst a group of dedicated companies, each company will also receive a specific set of deliverables and benefits from membership. As the direction of the CONSORTIUM changes according to member need, these commitments may be altered, based on the guidance and direction from the Board. The following are the deliverables for Consortiums.

12 Board Member Events

These meetings will be held monthly to map the direction of the CONSORTIUM and discuss the programs that are being delivered, to ensure members are receiving maximum value. The meetings consist of Education, Leveraging and Planning segments. The events are typically attended by board members (site leader or lean practitioner that is the constant contact for the member company) and by other member company employees that may have specific interest in the event.

Learning Organization Diagnostic

A detailed diagnostic of your operation will be carried out by our knowledgeable coaches. This will determine how your company currently compares on a World Class scale in terms of building a Learning Organization, provide a roadmap for future planning, and allows a base from where the company can benchmark itself and compare levels to other companies within the CONSORTIUM.

This diagnostic will be conducted on a yearly basis, in order to evaluate improvements made and determine those yet to be implemented. This will assist companies in assessing the value of their CONSORTIUM membership and evaluate what opportunities need to be pursued and harnessed.

Up to 12 Coaching/Consulting Days

These days are in addition to the diagnostic and will be spent working on various projects and/or initiatives that are specific in helping the company achieve World Class performance. (This may involve general consulting, planning or the delivery of training to employees.) The number of coaching days are determined by the member company.

10 SIG (Special Interest Group) Days

These days will be set aside to facilitate Special Interest Groups established by the group of member companies. The focus is on a specific topic, such as 5S, and is open to all member company employees.

4 CLE (Consortium Learning Experience) Events

CLE’s are focus improvement events hosted by a member company. Utilizing ‘outside eyes’ the focus in on developing target improvements and including the development of a support A3 as well as a 20 day follow-up by the consortium members that attend the event.

Learning Program

To be determined based on the continuing counsel of the Board and Member Companies, Design 4 Lean will provide a world class learning program for members of the Consortium. The Learning Program will be menu-based, in order to allow for the individual member companies to tailor their own learning program, and select training based on specific company needs. Each workshop in the Learning Program will be charged at cost to Member Companies. Consortium members are encouraged to provide spaces for other member companies at events to provide for an outside set of eyes for the host and additional learning opportunities for other member companies.

The Benefits of Belonging to a Consortium

Personalized Service (Design 4 Lean Solutions)

Local Contact
Focus on customer care and success
Know the membership

Customized Help (Coaching and Facilitation)

Tailored assistance
Specialized workshops
Customized to suit each companies immediate and future needs

Group Projects (CIGs)

Network-funded joint projects
Examples include: reward and recognition, e-business projects, best practices visits, leadership training, ergonomics, etc.

Shared Events

Focus on learning and leveraging
Opportunity to get an 'outside set of eyes' for the host and an opportunity for additional training for other members

Results Driven

Tangible benefits
Measurable results through standard diagnostic
Improvement charter driven
Non-tangible improvements


The concept for this association is simple. Share knowledge, people, issues and costs with others who are on the same path.
A Consortium provides the opportunity for organizations to learn from each other and travel together on the journey to become World Class.