Next to equipment, labor is the number one cost for most valve manufacturers. With increasing competition from overseas, finding new means to increase employee productivity with minimal investment is an essential component of ensuring ongoing business viability. Agree with me so far? Then if I were to tell you that the incorporation of lean strategies into company operations is likely the fastest and most effective means of achieving this objective, would you read on? My guess is probably not; so let me put it another way. Forget the concept of lean manufacturing and all of the hoopla that comes along with it. Lean is little more than organizing operations in a manner that improves efficiency, and it doesn't take a six-step program, a certification, or rocket science to achieve similar, if not improved, results.