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Want to learn more about implementing lean and continuous improvement in a job shop environment?  You've come to the right place.  Job Shop Lean Manufacturing is dedicated to implementing continuous improvement in a job shop environment.

Who Am I?

My name is Jason Van Wyhe, and I've been a manager and leader in manufacturing for over 25 years.  I have experience implementing continuous improvement in job shop environments, including machine fabrication, printing, automotive, and metal fabrication industries.

There will also be other guest writers and industry leaders providing their insights and alternative perspectives so that this site can become a well-rounded resource.

Why Did I Write This?

So why did I invest a huge amount of time to writing and building a website on job shop lean manufacturing?  Frustration.  For years I was force-fed conventional lean theories in environments that didn't lend themselves to these theories. And when I looked for better answers, I found:

  • There is very little valuable information about lean in job shops out there.
  • Most of the books and articles claiming to be about job shop lean were nothing more than rehashes of traditional lean texts
  • None of the useful information was free

Hopefully this site is a step in the right direction and you can learn from my experiences.


I make four very basic assumptions on this website:
  1. The reader is a manufacturing manager or lean leader tasked with improving their organization.  This work isn't meant for academia or consultants, although they may benefit as well.  It is meant to be an aid for those who actually have to show results from their lean implementation

  2. The reader has a basic understanding of lean manufacturing.  I'm going to avoid rehashing basic lean theory here as there are literally thousands of books and resources that will teach you the basics.  If you are new to lean manufacturing, here are some books I suggest:

    • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
    • A study of the Toyota Production System by Shigeo Shingo
    • The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
    • Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother

  3. As of writing this, it is 2018 and nearly every business in the world has had at least some exposure to lean manufacturing.  I assume that at some point lean has been partially implemented in your organization, or more likely attempted and failed.  I assume this process did not live up to your expectations, or you wouldn't be searching the Internet looking for better answers.

  4. This last one is the most important.  I assume the reader actually has a desire to attempt implementing lean, and will not simply make excuses like "Lean doesn't work in Job Shops".  Implementing it the way it was done at Toyota probably won't work in your job shop, that much is true.  But there is a lot of continuous improvement tools and lean strategies that will help your organization improve if you are willing to open your mind to them.

Types of organizations covered

I use the term "job shop" rather loosely on this site to describe manufacturing operations that are low volume with a high amount of variation.  These could be further broken down into the following classes:

Job Shops

  • Narrow scope of equipment used (example: welders)
  • Order sizes are generally small compared to cycle time (spend a lot of time working on a few products)
  • Architechs and designers, machine shops, woodworking shops, repair shops, paint shops, and prototyping are all examples of job shops

Made to Order and Engineered Businesses

  • Product is made when an order is received, and is not stocked because of high costs or materials and variation
  • Customers require a high degree of customization in their product
  • Product is often custom-engineered
  • Foundries, injection molding, equipment manufacturers, and structural steel work all fall under this category

Small Lot manufacturers

  • Repetitive manufacturing that is not continuous
  • Produces small lots of product before switching over your equipment for a new product
  • Print shops are a good example of this


I hope you enjoy the content I have created, and feel free to comment on articles you like or disagree with. Just because the answers I have found hold true in my experiences doesn't mean they will in your application, so be willing to challenge everything you are told. I am learning just as you are, and any feedback helps me on my journey as well.

Want to learn more about implementing lean and continuous improvement in a job shop environment?  You've come to the right place.  Job Shop Lean Manufacturing is dedicated to implementing continuous improvement in a job shop environment... READ ABOUT US


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