Ian Lines

Associate Consultant


Ian Lines has worked in improvement roles for 20 years. Ian started on the shop floor as a Manufacturing Engineer which gave him his practical understanding of the real issues in production before becoming a Continuous Improvement Manager at a First Tier Automotive Supplier. Trained by the Lean Enterprise Research Centre as part of the Accelerate Wales programme he has developed an expert skillset in lean manufacturing. Ian has developed an outstanding set of facilitator skills which engages staff in the application of Lean tools and improving the work they do. Having completed an MBA in 2008-9 he went on to work with companies at the Leadership level coaching and mentoring business owners in the strategy and cultural requirements of a Lean organisation. Embracing the core principles of the Lean Enterprise Methodology he has worked with over 40 companies, including Automotive, Kitchen Manufacturing, Meat Processing, Courts, Fabrication, Warehousing, Government, Councils and Professional Services. Ian is based in Cambridge, New Zealand. As well as being a lean consultant, you will find him cycling around New Zealand.

Complete the questions below to test your data maturity.

Over the next two years, which three of the 14 key performance indicators do you most want to improve on as a business?

Make a note of these before you carry on reading.

The key 14 performance indicator categories:


  • Asset & equipment efficiency
  • Inventory efficiency
  • Materials efficiency
  • Utilities efficiency
  • Workforce efficiency


  • Planning & scheduling effectiveness
  • Production flexibility
  • Workforce flexibility


  • Time to market
  • Time to delivery


  • Product quality
  • Process quality
  • Safety
  • Security

Now ask yourself – what is your current performance against these three KPIs? Can you tell me how you performed in the last hour, yesterday or last week?

If you can’t answer this question for all three because you aren’t measuring the data, then the next step is clear. Figure out what data you need to enable you to measure it, and decide how you are going to collect that data.

If you can answer it historically; last week or last month – ask yourself, is this retrospective view sufficient for me to really make improvements?

If you can answer it for all three up to the minute, then it is quite possible that shopfloor intelligence isn’t a number one priority for you. Look out for parts 2 and 3 of this blog series for some more insights into how you can make the data work for you.