Lean Management focuses on continually improving efficiency, safety and profitability within businesses.

Historically, Lean (also called Lean Manufacturing) principles grew from the automotive industry within Japan but today the same tools and principles developed there are applied to processes in the retail, banking, service, technical, engineering and health care sectors. Lean focuses on improving efficiency, safety and profitability with the staff and resources you currently have.

Lean Management contributes towards:

  • Helping engage your team by increasing accountability and responsibility
  • Improving business processes to drive efficiency
  • Learning how to identify and remove the small inefficiencies (wastes) that occur in your business
  • Locating everything quickly and first-time in your physical and electronic work spaces
  • Improving communication across your team
  • Up-skilling your staff to administer training and drive Lean pilot projects
  • Creating and following a visual based management system to standardise processes
  • Refocusing on who your customer is and what they really want
  • Saving time

28 Southland businesses have now been through the full Lean Business Programme and many more through the short courses offered throughout the year.

All courses are New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) approved so your business may be eligible for a subsidy towards the cost. To find out if your business is eligible for NZTE funding visit the NZTE Voucher Programme

Southland Lean Business Six Month Programme

The Southland Lean Cluster Programme is run over six months with continuous follow up and support over the 24 month implementation period. The course is delivered over 10 sessions by internationally renowned Lean consultant, Clinton Yeats, and includes two site visits where Yeats spends time within your business. The initial six months of the programme are crucial for influencing change management and ongoing change in the work-place culture. The programme engages with all staff, at all levels.


5S is an approach to workplace organisation that creates a highly productive, safe and visual workplace. 5S and Lean principles were originally developed in the automotive industry in Japan as a tool to improve productivity and is now rolled out throughout both physical and electronic work spaces. A number of 5S courses are run each year.

Business Process Improvement

Typically Visual Stream Mapping (VSM) focused on the value stream in a plant – the transformational process of raw materials into a finished product. By mapping your businesses value stream, whether it is transforming a concept into a marketable product of service, shifting information or transforming raw materials into a product, it allows you to examine the flow through the organisation and eventually develop plans to improve your business processes.

A two day intensive Business Process Improvement course is run several times a year. It can be paired with the 5S course for a thorough Lean implementation plan.

Lean Business for Dairy – FarmTune

After witnessing the incredible improvements 5S (physical workplace organisation) had on businesses, Venture Southland saw an opportunity to apply the learnings to the Dairy industry. FarmTune, previously DairyLean, was developed by Venture Southland and is now being rolled out in a number of regions by Dairy NZ. Farms have seen significant benefits, including productivity gains, reduced milking times, improved calf survival rates and increased staff engagement.

For more information visit DairyNZ

Upcoming Courses

The full six-month programme runs annually every March with Venture Southland running a number of short intensive courses focusing on 5S or business process improvement throughout the year.

To see upcoming courses, please
visit our events page