December 07 2023 -> December 08 2023

Lean in Europe takes small groups of people interested in process improvement to a company to learn how it uses lean tools to drive its activities be that in manufacturing, services or indeed any other sector. The goal is for the participants to learn, see, understand and share good practice and to engage, challenge and provide feedback to the host company.

Originally started in 2013, 30 visits to 33 companies have taken place so far, with 656 participants to date.


Our last three visits - applications now open for one, you can register to be notified when applications open for the other two.


RATIONAL Aktiengesellschaft in Landsberg am Lech, Germany (30 places available)
Thursday 07 & Friday 08 December 2023

Details of the visit are available here.

Apply via this webform (deadline: 16 October).

KOSTWEIN Kostwein Maschinenbau GmbH in Klagenfurt, Austria in February 2024 Please contact us to be notified when registrations for the KOSTWEIN visit open.
To be announced March 2024 Please contact us to be notified when registrations for the final Lean visit open.

The Lean in Europe activity will end on 31 March 2024. So don't delay, if you would like to benefit from this activity and engage with other lean enthusiasts from across Europe as you learn about how the host company uses lean tools inspired by Japanese production methodology to drive its improvement activities. Apply for a place on the RATIONAL visit or contact us to get details of the last two visits as and when they are announced.


Highlights from three previous visits

Lean in Europe #29 - SkiBeat

Highlights from the 2023 visit to SkiBeat



Highlights from the 2022 visit to PakMarkas


Highlights from the 2017 visit to Hansa Matrix

An overview of all past visits and links to detailed information on each of them can be found in the Lean in Europe archive.


Typical visit structure

The precise agenda varies between visits, but generally visits include:

  • On the first evening
    • Preparatory group discussion or lean activity
    • Networking group dinner
  • On the second day
    • Introduction to the host company, its 'lean journey', its use of process optimisation, lean management tools and - where relevant - AI/IoT to drive its business forward
    • 'Gemba' visit with explanations to see the lean tools in operation and understand how they are used
    • Debriefing / feedback session allowing participants to ask questions, make comments and share their ideas with the host company.


No participation costs, but participants will have to cover their travel and accommodation costs. The EU-Japan Centre will cover the costs of the venue for the group discussion, the group dinner and the coach from the hotel to the host company and (after the visit) onto the airport.


Eligibility and applicant profile

The candidate must:

- work for an organisation that is a juridical person based in

  • the European Union, or
  • a country associated to the Single Market Programme, SME Pillar(*)

- have a good command of English

- should be involved in their company / organisation's lean activities (preferably in a leadership role)

- priority will be given to applicants who have not taken part in previous Lean in Europe visits

- applications will be strengthened when details are given about the applicant's lean role in their company, their company's lean strategy and motivation for having a place on the specific visit.

(*) Please check the status of your country at, for EFTA countries, please only refer to the sub-paragraph: "COSME strand (SMP COSME)". For EU Acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates, please only refer to the countries for which the agreement is in force.

SMP-COSME: Stands for “Countries Participating in the COSME strand of the Single Market Programme". The Single Market Programme is the Commission programme that funds the EU-Japan Centre.


Other resources to help you on your lean journey

"Lean in Europe" is just one of a range of lean activities the EU-Japan Centre offers.

Lean Café webinars

Lean Masterclass

WCM logo
  • The Lean Café - occasional online group discussions of lean issues and the sharing of ideas and best practice.
  • Our Lean Masterclass - a series of 8 video lectures by Richard Keegan, recorded in 2016 and focus on "Getting things done". In addition to watching/downloading the lectures you can also request copies of the presentation material and various publications written by Richard.
  • Our World-Class Manufacturing course in Japan - twice-yearly week-long training missions physically or virtually in Japan, providing an in-depth analysis of Japanese manufacturing methodology, consisting of lectures, workshops and visits to some of the world’s most advanced Japanese factories in order to understand the real "Gemba" (production site), talk directly with their production managers and observe the effective implementation of manufacturing methods.

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