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John Bicheno

by Roland Buresund last modified 2010-01-04 19:34

John Bicheno, BSc (Eng), GDE (Witwatersrand), MA (Lancaster), MBA (Bradford), PrEng, CFPIM (APICS), FIOM, FSAPICS

John was born in South Africa. He graduated with Engineering degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and spent 12 years in industry and local government in South Africa in the areas of project and design engineering, management services, operations research, and operations management. One of his jobs was Chief Solid Waste Engineer, where he was line manager for 1200 people and 400 vehicles. At current prices, the annual budget controlled by this post was over £30m.
In 1987 he came with his British wife and three boys to live in England and took up a position as Senior Lecturer in Operations Management at the University of Buckingham. He became a Reader in 1990 and was Dean in 1992. His interests are in lean operations, both in service and manufacturing. Becoming 'lean', he believes, should be a priority for all operations-led organisations.

John is the author of several best-selling books including The Lean Toolbox and The Quality 60. He has lectured to Master's students at Warwick University, Cranfield University, London Business School, Cardiff Business School and at Fachhochschule Wedel. At Cardiff University’s Lean Enterprise Research Centre John directs the MSc in Lean Operations, and has been involved in a number of research programmes, such as the LEAP project. His particular interests are in JIT Scheduling and shop floor continuous improvement. In 1999 he initiated and became Director of a new MSc programme in Lean Operations at Cardiff Business School. Modules of this unique part time programme are held at factory locations. Around 50 one-week on-site modules have been held at almost the same number of companies since the program began. The programme is now in its seventh year, and the course is always over-subscribed. He teaches on about half of the programme, and has supervised about 50 Masters student  dissertations in the area of Lean. In 2005 he helped initiate a new MSc in Lean Service that began at Cardiff Business School in 2006.

John mentors several companies, and trains in the areas of Lean, Productivity improvement and measurement, and Quality in Britain, Germany, Denmark, and South Africa. He runs regular CPIM and Lean training programs in Denmark (for DRF) and participates in Lean programmes for The Manufacturing Institute Trafford Park.

He has conducted many in-house Lean training programs, ranging from 1 day to 8 weeks.

John’s former operations and industrial engineering students are to be found in major manufacturing and consulting organisations (including C&L, Andersen, PW, McKinsey, World Class International) in Britain, Germany, Austria, South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Six former masters students each run their own consulting businesses. He has supervised over 80 successful Masters theses and dissertations, the majority of them in the Lean area.

Organisations that he has mentored or consulted for include Jaguar Cars, Caterpillar, Reliance Gear, BNFL, Anglian Water, GEC, British Steel, Cooper Fuses, Shayler Cosmetics, Wolstenholme Int., Rolls Royce, Ford, UEF, English China Clays, Brink, Portmeirion Potteries, HWAM Heat Design, Corus, and numerous small businesses in service and manufacturing.

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