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Ian Glenday - Repetitive Flexible Supply

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Summary Keywords

People, called, company, changeover, RFS, products, week, variability, plan, operators, factory, routines, machine, run, stops, big, book, line, Australia, fermentation.


Welcome to episode 91 of the Enterprise Excellence Podcast. It is such a pleasure to have someone on the show today whose book helped me so much directly when I was leading an Excellence Transformation early on in my career. Mr Ian Glenday is the author of Breaking through to Flow and Lean RFS – Repetitive Flexible Supply. I am so looking forward to this conversation as I know so many organisations are struggling, particularly with planning, scheduling and flow-through operations, to dispatch and then onto customers. Ian is a legend in this space, and I know many of you will gain tremendous value from this conversation. Let’s get into the episode. Ian thank you so much for joining us today. We are proudly sponsored by S A Partners, a world-leading business transformation consultancy.

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Remember, you can go to our website and apprise excellence to get hold of the Glenday Sieve I did many years ago after reading Ian's book Lean RFS. Please like subscribe and share this podcast to help others gain insights and create a better future.


In fact, the vast majority of companies, every company I work with their planning systems, whether they're bought or developed in-house, are fundamentally based on what's called economic order quantities. And that is fundamentally flawed.

Because you want to put an atelier when you say to the production managers, okay, who are your green people in red people? I don't know what you mean. Who are your firefighters? Oh! That's ...

Stability is fundamental for sustainable continuous improvement standards. And that equals quality. Yeah. If it's a different plan every week, and then it changes, sustainable, continuous improvement, it is practically impossible. Everybody does it their own way. Trying to get standards in place is very, very difficult, if not impossible, which means the basics to create better quality just isn't there.

Two Minute Tip

Ian, I knew this was going to be a cracking conversation. And it's been everything and more than what I thought it would be. Right, What would be your two-minute tip to all the organisations, people from organisations all over the world listening to the episode? What would be your two-minute enterprise excellence tip in this area of expertise?

Okay. I would say to senior management, right? Put a simple check sheet in place, right? To identify how many times the plan actually changes per week. you will be shocked, right? Because they don't know that the plan changes are going on. Right? So first of all, put a simple check sheet in, so every time the plan changes, you want the planner to put a little cross right?

Then you can start analyzing those crosses as to who's actually initiating those crosses. And the perception is it's the customer, it's all to do with the customer. You change because of the customer because of the demand. I will guarantee you that the majority of those changes comes from production and your own supply chain. Yeah. Those are in your control. The lines broken down. Right? The supplier didn't deliver on time. Well, the bloody supplier! Bang him on the head. No, no, we changed what we wanted from the supplier six times. And then he didn't deliver what we wanted.

Understand the amount of variability that's actually happening inside your own your own organization? Because that's where you need to start. Yeah, variability is the killer. Yeah. And if it's inside your own organization, it should be in your own control.

Yeah, that's, that's awesome. You'll clearly see it just by doing that simple approach and a similar approach to what you said the short stops and the same thing again, that's neat.

The Glenday Sieve

Key Takeaways

1. The Glenday Sieve: what a simple way to analyse your operation and find the high, mid and low volume items.

From this, you can look at the variability of demand and make decisions on how to improve. As Ian mentioned, this approach can be applied to any organisation from manufacturing to hospitals. I have personally found the Glenday Sieve takes all the complexity out of an environment and is a great starting point to enable you to see the forest for the trees.

2. Reliability.

Using simple tools such as a plotting chart for operators to show where a failure occurs. This really goes back to the saying "keep it simple, stupid". Using simple approaches to engage with frontline team members to gather data and lead improvement together. Thanks again for your time and knowledge Ian. Thanks for helping us create a better future. Bye for now.


Brad is proud to support many Australian businesses. You can find him on LinkedIn. If you'd like to speak to him about how he can help your business, call him on 0402 448 445 or email Our website is Ian is available on LinkedIn:

His email is

What next?

1. Watch our 2 min tip: Agile, Lean and Flow, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

2. Listen to the Enterprise Excellence Podcast, #75 Avi Schneier, Let's get better together, Part 1.

3. Join our membership page to access free planning resources.

4. Buy Ian's book - Lean RFS, available on Amazon.

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