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About The LERC

About The LERC

LERC Philosophy

While it may be too strong a statement to claim that LERC has a tightly defined philosophy advocated by its staff, there is a general approach and sentiment shared by its members, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and schools of thought.

Our approach has a number of features:

  • We take a broad definition of the term ‘lean thinking’ – viewing it as more of a philosophy than a set of tools, encompassing all key business processes, which require an important linkage with organisational strategy.
  • Lean is mainly concerned with enhancing customer or stakeholder value and releasing or creating capacity for growth; it is not just a cost reduction tool kit concerned with waste removal.
  • The definition of lean thinking will continue to evolve as its use spreads across a wide range of organisations and we will continue to challenge and question its applicability in these.
  • It is important to link lean practice with academic theory, while at the same time ensuring that lean knowledge is utilised and applied by managers for the benefit of their organisations and society as a whole.

Main Activities of LERC

LERC’s activities can be split into 3 areas

1. Research
2. Executive Education
3. Innovation and Engagement

    Our research focuses on the application and meaning of lean thinking in a variety of different contexts and environments.  Projects tend to be of a collaborative nature, often involving a number of organisations who come together as a network with common issues that the particular research programme addresses.  In addition, projects can be funded (or part funded) by a government research council, such as the EPSRC, or European research bodies. When considering undertaking a research project we will normally need to ensure that it addresses one or a number of ‘research questions’ linked to our research themes.

    Our executive education programmes range from 1 day courses right up to a 2 year part time masters level.  The MSc in Lean Operations is our flagship programme, launched in 1999 and comprising of two streams, covering manufacturing and services. Our short courses are run on both an open and bespoke basis, the latter involving tailored courses meeting the needs of specific organisations. Our education is ‘research led’, which means that we aim to disseminate outputs and conclusions of our research directly to the practitioner community.  In this way, we aim to maintain an innovative and leading edge dimension to our courses.

    Innovation and engagement activity concerns projects where we work with organisations in transferring lean oriented knowledge for them to use directly in their operations or strategy.  This can be linked to either research or education.

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    Lean Enterprise Research Centre
    Cardiff Business School, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU
    The Lean Enterprise Research Centre is part of Cardiff University