Lean RFS

< Back to shop


Repetitive Flexible Supply: Putting the Pieces Together


ISBN: 978-1466578197

Published: May 2013

Author: Ian Glenday, Rick Sather

Pages: 150

Publisher: Productivity Press


Lean RFS (Repetitive Flexible Supply): Putting the Pieces Together



Describes how to create “economies of repetition” – a different improvement approach focused on maximizing natural human behaviours of learning curve, routines and stability that result in above expectation results – as seen at Kimberly Clark

Describes how Toyota followed a series of steps, where the initial steps created stability and the latter steps focused on flexibility. Most Lean books only focus on the latter steps missing out the essential initial steps

Explains why most planning systems create a different plan every time and that these plan changes cause the fire fighting which is endemic in most companies


Is it possible to be repetitive and flexible—at the same time? Using proven examples and quantifiable evidence, Lean RFS (Repetitive Flexible Supply): Putting the Pieces Together demonstrates that repetitive flexible supply (RfS) is not only possible, but that its implementation can help you reach a new level of improved performance in manufacturing and across your entire supply chain.

This book is unique in that it clearly spells out the theory and practice originally published in the Shingo Prize winner, Breaking Through to Flow, with actual stories of Kimberly-Clark’s experience in using them over the years with great success. These stories provide a real feel of how this learning-by-doing journey led to “aha!” moments for those involved. It also explains why most planning systems in use today will result in a different plan every time, and that these plan changes are actually the cause of the fire fighting that is endemic in most companies.

Winner of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award

Comments from Shingo”

“Glenday and Sather do a remarkable job of taking some well-known, but not very well understood, concepts and put them in a framework that makes sense and is easy to grasp”

“Lean RFS” has a very high potential for significant impact because it addresses the most fundamental concept of lean and does so in a way that is easily understandable and reasonably easy to follow. Examiners would recommend this book and the process it outlines to many companies, even some who profess to be lean but are bogged down in the application of tools”

“The book is very thought-provoking and well organized. It explains the entire change process at KC very clearly with great examples and data”

Author Bios

Ian Glenday started his Lean journey as a microbiologist running a plant producing enzymes from deep-culture fermentation of bacteria. It was here that Ian first began developing RfS concepts and principles for application in process industries.

After taking time out to gain an MBA from Bradford Business School in the UK, Ian joined the manufacturer Reckitt & Colman, where he led an MRPII project To Class A status in the company’s pharmaceutical division. This experience offered Ian a valuable lesson in understanding why applying batch logic in MRP can cause problems.

Ian then moved to Reckitt & Colman’s household and toiletries division, where he initiated and helped implement a pan-European supply chain strategy based on the Lean concept of “every product every cycle”, before joining Colman’s of Norwich as head of policy deployment, responsible for applying Lean/RfS thinking across the entire company.

Ian spends his time helping businesses around the world make their own Lean transformations through his company Repetitive Flexible Supply Ltd.

Rick Sather is vice president, customer supply chain, for Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s North America Consumer Products Division. In this role, he is responsible for service and efficient product flow from the end of manufacturing through the customer’s retail shelf.

Originally from Wisconsin, Rick received a BS degree in industrial technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1985, and for the past twenty-seven years has worked in a wide range of supply chain roles. Rick’s Lean journey began in 2005 when he first connected with Ian and began implementing Lean/RfS at Kimberly-Clark. Learning and applying Lean/RfS in direct-line roles has enabled Rick to establish a problem-solving culture focused on delivering exceptional outcomes for people, customers, and shareholders alike.

This book covers topics on:

Additional information

Weight 0.56 kg

Productivity Press