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Embracing a Lean philosophy is one of the most powerful things your business can do.

Labour shortages and productivity issues continue to be at the forefront of manufacturer concerns. CME’s extensive suite of Lean programs and services are the answer. With more than 2,000 participants engaged in Lean training last year alone, CME supports hundreds of companies in their productivity and engagement journeys, from coast-to-coast.

Lean is a proven strategy for engaging employees to deliver more value to customers in less time and, with less effort. The core concepts of Lean aim to create a better flow of information, product or service and to spend more time adding value and less time on wasteful activities.

Designed for manufacturers by manufacturers, CME training aims to help manufacturers across the country to improve their operations, their competitiveness and their bottom line.



Lean is about engaging employees. Harnessing the power of people, from the shop floor to the c-suite, in the spirit of continuous improvement drives growth and benefits employees, customers and stakeholders alike.


Companies that adopt Lean as a strategy develop a culture that allows them to scale up while remaining nimble, flexible, agile and above all else, hyper-focused on the needs of the customer – a distinct competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

five key principles

1. Credibility: thousands trained every year

2. Experience: CME facilitators across the country have more than 350 combined years’ of operational leadership experience

3. Quality: graduates give CME training programs consistently outstanding reviews.

4. Hands-on: A ‘learn by doing’ approach tailored to the needs of the manufacturing environment sets CME apart

5. Continuity: Our most popular training sessions are offered across the country and delivered with the same level of excellence. We offer a range of courses to help companies progress to the next step, regardless of where they are in their journey.

Benefits of Lean

Popularized in North America by Toyota, and the Toyota Way, Lean is more than a management system. It’s a culture of continuous engagement that drives an organization at every level to put the customer first and identify and eliminate waste at every opportunity, freeing up the capacity to do more.

Funding supports

CME programs are qualified for a number of funding programs and subsidies, from coast to coast; including Canada-Provincial Jobs Grants. For details on how CME can support your through the application process, contact your local CME representative.

Frequently asked questions

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Thanks to the support of the Ontario government, CME has launched a Skills Development Program to provide free training for manufacturing employees and to launch several peer councils.


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Related CME Programs


Facilitated by groups of 10-12 non-competing companies, Lean Consortia are a powerful way to share best practices, as well as leverage and grow the knowledge, skills and capability of members to accelerate productivity improvements in the workplace. Learn more by visiting our Peer Councils page below.




Each company is at a different point on the advanced manufacturing path and many are not sure how they compare with others or with best practices. As with any Lean assessment, there is great value in an assessment of where you are in your journey and which gaps should be addressed first to achieve greatest impact at lowest risk. CME’s Lean AM readiness assessment provides a detailed look at areas within a company and its supply chain and provides a full report. The full, two-day assessment includes executive engagement and report out. Where necessary, the assessment process can be tailored or shortened to meet the specific needs of your company.



LEAN 101

Lean 101 is a one-day interactive workshop that introduces Lean to those who have never had any exposure to Lean. It can be delivered on-site and is applicable to all levels in the organization, ensuring a solid foundation of knowledge. Through presentation, discussion, simulation and group exercises, participants learn about the seven wastes and the core principles, concepts, philosophy and benefits of applying Lean within their organization.

Lean Level Yellowbelt for Operations

Lean is about engaging people in the spirit of continuous improvement and the Lean Level I Yellowbelt certification program introduces the core Lean tools and methodologies such as 5S, Value Stream Mapping and five-step Problem Solving. Facilitated by experts with real-world experience, this five-day program is focused on hands-on learning. Participants work through group exercises and homework assignments to consolidate the learning and prepare them to support the company continuous improvement efforts.

Lean Level I Yellowbelt for Service 

In addition to Lean Level 1, Yellowbelt is also offered to participants who work in areas and industries outside of the shop floor. From education to healthcare to financial services and law enforcement, Lean has been effectively used to transform organizations beyond a traditional production environment. Lean is all about engaging people in the spirit of continuous improvement and Lean level I Yellowbelt for Service certification program introduces Lean with an emphasis on office and service environments.

Lean Level II Greenbelt 

This learning by doing style of Lean certification program is delivered by Lean Blackbelt certified coaches. Structured into three, week-long models, participants develop and improve their presentation, communication, facilitation and problem-solving skills through group exercises, simulations and real world ‘Kaizen Blitz’ or Rapid Improvement Projects. Graduates gain the capability and confidence to drive improvements as agents of change within their own organizations.

Leadership Development Program 

CME’s leadership development course helps companies develop front-line leaders to influence employee engagement to impact efficiency, improve productivity and strengthen the bottom line. Participants attending sessions are also supported by mentors from the same company with whom they apply workshop teachings to the workplace.

Lean for Leaders  

Lean is a proven strategy for maximizing the potential of employees to deliver more value to the customer and to do this in less time, with less effort. The core concepts of Lean are to create better flow of information, product or service and to spend more time adding value and less time on wasteful activity. Ideal for all leaders or executives with a passion for excellence and who are determined to bring out the best in their employees and grow their business, this condensed seven-day program equips participants with basic Lean knowledge, tools and strategy to lead the organization on a journey of continuous improvement.

Training Within Industry Job Instruction 

Give two employees the same task and chances are they’ll each perform it slightly different. For companies who focus on repeating a process, these differences can be costly. This need to standardize work in the most efficient way is the motivation behind the Training Within Industry Job Instruction module, which leverages the role of individuals in the organization who direct or influence work to increase productivity, reduce quality errors, reduce training time, improve morale and sustain standard work.

Training Within Industry Job Relations 

The Job Relations module teaches team leads to build a solid, positive and enduring relationship between themselves and each employee. This relationship is based on trust, communication, mutual respect, care and concern, which builds and maintains a positive culture in the organization. This culture then becomes the foundation for Lean, engaging employees in a culture that embraces continuous improvement and teamwork.




Lean for Leaders 101  

In this one day, workshop version of one of our most popular courses, manufacturers are introduced to essential elements of continuous improvement. Lean is a proven strategy for delivering more value to the customer in less time with less effort and delivers significant improvements in productivity, quality, safety and moral.

Hoshin Kanri 

Hoshin Kanri is a Japanese term for strategy deployment. It creates a process for sharing and deploying the direction, goals and approaches from top management to employees and for each unit of the organization to conduct work according to plan. Under a Hoshin Kanri approach, organizational plans are developed using both top-down and bottom-up perspective – and look at both process and results. This one-day workshop provides a common understanding of priorities that connects each person to the purpose and allows executives to collaborate with line management to determine direction

Lean & Green 101 

Environmental waste impacts competitiveness, the bottom line, relationships with customers, facilities and operations. With Lean & Green, you can eliminate environmental waste to protect margins while increasing profitability, competitiveness and ensuring long-term sustainability. This workshop provides   a practical overview, real-world success stories and the hands-on tools needed to apply Lean thinking to include overlooked environmental waste, including the seven key environmental wastes that represent potential for significant savings. Take Lean to the next level with this one-day Lean & Green 101 workshop.

Kata Coaching Dojo  

Having good coaches that enable teams to be more innovative and faster at problem solving creates a climate that increases self-confidence and motivation to strive for real challenges and achieve outstanding results. These skills are some of the essential assets in competition today. Speed up your learning process with the Kata Coaching Dojo, a hands-on training method that provides a reliable approach for developing coaching skills at high learning speed using a series of specially designed training exercises that coaches can repeatedly practice in an offline environment. Learn how to establish a Kata Coaching Dojo with a set of exercises in your company so that coaches can regularly hone their coaching skills. The Coaching Kata, a pattern with five coaching questions, provides an excellent starting point for anybody aspiring to coach others. 

Lean Advanced Manufacturing (AM) Introduction Workshop

Advanced manufacturing promotes faster, more agile and more efficient processes through the use of automation technologies for consistent quality and productivity gains. Both Lean and Industry 4.0 promise to solve manufacturing challenges by uncovering the most effective way to reach the next level of operational excellence.