80% of Lean Benefits come from Lean Industrial Engineering. ..but only 20% of Your Lean Professionals have the skills!

Lean Manufacturing is an Amazing Set of Tools and Practices…but only a Few of Them Produce Substantial Bottom-line Benefits. Accomplish Something Amazing With This Membership: Mastery of Mixed Model Manufacturing.

Even highly Experienced and capable Lean Professionals and Material Flow Specialists Still struggle with these issues, in spite of years of improvement work

Surely there has to be a better way. After all, there are many organizations who are sustaining their Lean gains. Think about how amazing it would be if you could…

Build Your “House of Lean” on a solid foundation…

Exactly What Is Mixed Model Manufacturing?

When Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, was asked what the TPS was all about, he laughed and said “It’s really just Toyota-style Industrial Engineering!”. 

Of course he was being a bit coy, since the Toyota Production System has evolved into an amazing collection of methods and ways of thinking that have made Toyota one of the most successful manufacturing companies in history! Industrial engineering is a requirement and a given within Toyota.

The shocking truth, however, is that most Lean professionals today working both inside companies and outside as independent consultants, don’t have a solid understanding of this foundation knowledge and skill. We recently conducted an internal poll, and only 1 out of 5 Lean Specialists claimed to have a solid knowledge of Lean Industrial Engineering, or what we call Mixed Model Manufacturing.


This short video defines and reviews the subject, so that you can determine if this is a skill you need to master.


10 Things We Believe (About Mixed Model Manufacturing)

BELIEF I:  A foundation of Lean Industrial Engineering is a requirement for all of the other methods and tools of Lean to function.

BELIEF II: Over time, for most manufacturing companies, the number of models and managed items has grown exponentially. Lean practices (like Kanban) no longer work as well.

BELIEF III: New people entering the company need to be onboarded in a consistent and efficient way. A failure to pass on best practices to the new generation of engineers, material flow professionals, and in fact the entire company is a major contributor to Lean backsliding.

BELIEF IV: Until an organization reaches Level 2 (Basic Flow) and Level 3 (Standardization) in the Process Maturity Model, any process improvement efforts will not sustain.

BELIEF V: Until Domestic Suppliers and International Suppliers can be integrated into the organization via Kanban and Material Flow methods, inventory turnover will remain low.

BELIEF VI:  Cross-training and worker flexibility is the most powerful and fast method for major productivity improvements.


BELIEF VII: Testing new process designs and improvements prior to implementation is not optional. Mixed Model Manufacturing involves too many variables, and fixing a design later is the worst option.


BELIEF VIII: Every associate needs to have a career path and an opportunity to learn and improve. This is what is meant by “respect for people”.


BELIEF IX: Building a flow system requires products designed for manufacturability, striving towards zero defects, and elimination of wastes that impede work flow.


BELIEF X: Mixed Model Manufacturing needs to be viewed as a total business strategy that includes everyone in the company.

What's In It for the Company?
What's Different About a Site License?

Site-Wide Administration

Site license customers have access to an administration web page that shows the current training and engagement status of every enrolled person at the site. This is make it easy to keep an eye on progress and encourage engagement in developing Mixed Model skills.

Make Mixed Model Training Available to Everyone

We have taken the in-depth workshops that we teach at Toyota and other leading Lean companies, and put them online. There are three main certificate and skill tracks that you can pursue: Mixed Model Line Design, Mixed Model Material Management, and Mixed Model Simulation Modeling.

Share Your Questions and Insights

Become a member of a world-wide community of process improvement experts, benefit from their expertise and contribute your own. Join us for live events and webinars on our private Facebook group. Post questions and comments for the group. You can also tap directly into the expertise of the Lean Design Studio experts via weekly "Office Hours" Zoom meetings.

Reduced Cost Per Person

You can make beautiful music together as a team, but only if you are all singing off the same song sheet. Many organizations tend to "lose the recipe" for Mixed Model Manufacturing, even after outstanding initial success. People retire, get promoted, and new people join the organization. Training everyone in a common Mixed Model roadmap will reduce the risk of backsliding. The site license is the most cost-effective way to do that.

Test Your Designs

You would never build an airplane without testing it first in a wind tunnel, right? So why would you make process changes without testing them first? The Studio includes access to the Lean Design Simulator, an easy-to-learn simulation modeling tool designed specifically for Value Stream and Line Design modeling.

Specialized Mixed Model Subjects

There are many specialized subjects that you need to know as a Mixed Model designer: how to create sequencing rules, the four flexing methods, setting optimum buffer sizes, how to manage product options, when to not use Kanban. These are covered in focused courses in the Lean Design Studio.

Hey There, We're Here To Help...

The Lean Design Studio was createdby Richard Rahn and Gerard Leone, industry vets with 25+ years of experience in Lean coaching and training. They are the authors of eight books on Lean subjects, including The Complete Guide to Mixed Model Line Design and Fundamentals of Flow Manufacturing. Since 2011 they have partnered with Toyota Material Handling to present workshops on the subjects of Mixed Model Line Design and Mixed Model Material Management to thousands of Industrial Engineers and Lean Professionals.
The Lean Design Studio is the culmination of the tools and the methodologies that these two experts have learned and developed over their decades of hands-on process improvement work. The Studio combines online versions of our core training courses with a newly developed simulation tool, designed specifically for Mixed Model Manufacturing applications.
Gerard Leone and Richard Rahn

All Members Get Full Access To:

Line Design Certificate Program

Set your goal to earn a Certificate in Mixed Model Line Design by completing a series of courses on the subject.

Material Management Certificate Program

Earn a Certificate in Mixed Model Material Management by mastering Plan For Every Part (PFEP), setting optimum inventory quantities, diving deep on designing Kanban systems and much more.

Lean Design Simulator Software

Get started quickly and master Simulation Modeling with our Lean Design Simulation. All data entry and data analysis is done with a tool you already know: Excel. The simulation processing itself is "black boxed" to reduce the learning curve.

LDS Private Forum

This can be the most valuable part of the Studio. Share your questions and comments, attend live streaming sessions, participate in live "Master Mind" sessions with your colleagues.

Leonardo Group Resource Library

We have a vast collection of incredible tools, videos, courses, webinars and assessments that we have developed over the past 25 years, all on the subject of Mixed Model Manufacturing. Plan on weekly and sometimes daily updates to the studio!

Mixed Model Implementation Roadmaps

It's not enough to simple take courses and learn. If you stop there, your efforts are 100% non-value-adding! But implementation is confusing, unless you use a roadmap or checklist. We have developed roadmaps for the most important Lean value streams.

Here's what People Are Saying About Our Publications and Courses

Excellent! This is an excellent class that needs cross-functioned group participation (Ops, ME, Material Flow, Supply Management, Supervisors). Excellent instructor!
Wade Morrison
John Deere
You have a winner on your hands. Leone and Rahn have taken the mystery out of flow implementation. The analogies and examples are not only interesting but also very timely and appropriate. I will make this a staple in my organization!
Robert C. Gaydos
The Trane Company
This is the best flow presentation I've read and I've read many books on the subject. It gives both a rich theoretical background as well as very practical step-by-step instructions. The book will be one of the fundamental resources on flow and Lean manufacturing.
Celal Kaplan
President, Kaplan Business Group
A must-read for executives. Our own successful experience with flow manufacturing confirms what the authors claim: that no cookbook approach can deal with the myriad differences among real companies. Fundamentals of Flow Manufacturing clearly shows how flow can be implemented, not as a high-level overview, but with real detail and examples. Even experienced practitioners will benefit greatly.
Dan Hammons
Site Manager, Northrup Grumman

Get Full Access to Professional-Level Membership for Everyone


All employees at a site or company (depending on the size)
$ 20,000 Per Year
  • Full Access to All Content
  • Includes Implementation Roadmaps
  • Certification and Memory Jogger Programs

100% Satisfaction Guarantee for 30 Days

When you join the Lean Design Studio you are fully protected by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don’t feel like you’ve received value and you decide you want to cancel any time within the first 30 days, just let us know and we’ll send you a prompt refund. No hassles, headaches or hoops to jump through.

We’re confident that you’ll find the Lean Design Studio useful – and if you’re not satisfied within your first 30 days then we’ll refund you without any fuss.