During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who is fluent in Japanese was able to remove any language barriers. The open discussions with local senior management helped me identify the misconceptions I had regarding Lean Manufacturing. From the tour I came away with a much broader comprehension of the key elements and how each company had achieved them. We saw the application of lean in various industries – not just automotive. Having said that, what we did experience with the automotive visits were certain management concepts that I realized could be applied in many other situations. In our case we implemented “one piece flow” and “process value mapping” and achieved considerable savings. The tour was a seamless and very professional experience and the group was able to gain a better understanding of the Japanese culture. This is not just a tour for production people but for everybody with an open mind to improve processes, like for myself coming out of Finance.