Optimization seems to collide with innovation, but with the Claire method they are both connectable. How do you do that?


The Claire working methodology is based on #LEAN ideas, lean is a management philosophy in the field of operations management that aims to add maximum value for the customer with as little waste as possible. By eliminating wastage, operational costs are reduced and there is more attention for quality and turnover, which in general leads to an improvement in the operating result.

The principles of lean manufacturing come from the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, where they focused on quality planning, improvement and control. Because of the successes of Toyota, this philosophy gained more publicity and followers.

Claire Automotive Support has translated this philosophy into a practical working methodology and tooling for the workshops.

The lean thinking exists for 25 years; reason for a party, you would say. And that is also the case, because there is and still is a lot of progress based on the lean / Claire thinking and working method. But on the other hand, it is also no reason for a party, because even after so many years, part of the transformations fail. This is partly because it is sometimes difficult to understand because of the apparent paradoxes that make up the Claire management system. Here 6 of those apparent contradictions.


# 1. Go faster by going slower

We know lean from, among other things, the short lead times. That speed is created by giving attention to the process. Attention that takes time. This applies, among other things, to always checking every car completely in order to do your work in 1 time right and complete. So we always look better, because of this we see more and the quality increases and repeat repairs are prevented. But also optimal work order preparation, in which we will investigate beforehand what really needs to be done to add maximum value for the customer. Many people have trouble investing this time and put the pressure on the boiler to have the car out as soon as possible, with a counterproductive, recurring effect. Tip 1: Faster is not better, better is always faster!


 #2. Do what we did vs continuously improve

One of the cornerstones of the Toyota Way is ‘continuous improvement’, while lean also assumes stability. The point is that we are so busy working around the clock to solve problems that we do not have time to solve the cause. Then we become directly and indirectly only busier, logical. If we do not take the time to look for the source cause, continuous improvement will always remain a utopia and we will do what we did. Tip 2: No improvement without process change!


#3.Standardization vs. creativity

Unfortunately, standardization is often seen as a killer of creativity. This while clear limitation is necessary to create room for freedom and insights. Within Claire we work with fixed, standardized working methods. This working methodology was developed through years of insights and measurements of the process. A standard must not be cast in concrete, because that blocks progress. In that respect, Claire works with a conveyor belt. You first have to learn the basics and only when you have total control and the end product is always perfect, is there the freedom to add creativity without doing the basics. Often we do not have the patience to learn the basics, we prefer to do our own thing or walk along with the conveyor belt, leaving things to the left and right of the assembly line. Tip 3: Claire puts his finger on everything that goes wrong in the process!


#4. Respectful and demanding

According to the Claire working methodology work is demanding. A target of 30% less waste? Always in 1x good? € 35 more turnover per passage? 1700 billable hours per mechanic per year? A keen goal is not to be compelling, but because such a high but realistic objective requires a more holistic approach to the problem. To continuously improve, it is good to set a challenging goal. But important is that this always happens with ‘respect for people’, the second pillar of the Toyota Way. The challenge is therefore not thrown over the fence, but in consultation and with the necessary help. Otherwise, lean immediately gets the negative load mean. And that is not the intention. Tip 4: Claire is Team Sports!


#5. Work harder vs work smarter

When we become busier we tend to work harder, with the result that more things go wrong and then we start to work even harder and …. The Claire working method has been developed to work smarter. When we eliminate day-to-day disruptions of our work process and complete our work in 1 time, when we avoid activities that do not add value such as walking, waiting or mistakes, we will add more value to the customer in a shorter period of time, and only for value customer willing to pay. Tip 5: Value = Advantage – costs!


#6. What wants the customer quality ore cheap

In our daily lives, we tend to take our own insights and needs as a guide for the needs of others. However, within Lean Management, “the voice of the customer” is leading. It is therefore up to us to provide as transparent as possible an insight into the complete state of the customer’s car, with associated repair costs, so that the customer can determine with the help of the service advisor what we do and what we will not do. Tip 6: Think with the customer, not for the customer!


Please note that no improvement will happen!

The Claire process changes your mindset, the culture of your employees, the quality of your organization, the satisfaction of your customers and the profitability of your organization. But that will never happen! We are happy to be of service.