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Translean brings lean processes to Excel

Apply lean processes from inside Excel with this free set of worksheets.

Leanmap's Excel worksheets help busy people apply lean management techniques to nearly any business. Translean is a set of free worksheets for reducing waste and costs in a wide range of business processes, including transportation, labor, inventory, defects, and production. While most of its worksheets are free, it also includes a couple of try-only tools from the Pro version. We tried it in Office 2010.

Clicking any of Translean's worksheets opens Excel directly, but be sure to extract the zipped download to a familiar directory so you'll be able to browse quickly to it from inside Excel. As we've found with Leanmap's other products, Translean's worksheets are clear, crisp, and professional in appearance and layout, with lots of information available in the form of the provided example data (in blue) as well as balloon tips. Most include charts and diagrams as well as tabular data. We opened the 10-Point 5S Checksheet, the 4M+3M Checklist, the Lean Diagnostic Tool, and others, though we have to admit we were hardly experts when we began. But we've used many Excel worksheets, and we know a competent tool when we come across one. And in any case, Leanmap's worksheets work like any other Excel templates; simply save a copy and replace the data with your own. What you do with it is your business (or, more specifically, determined by your business) but you won't have any trouble with the spreadsheets. Translean also includes the Cost of Quality Calculator and Kanban Designer Database, two "pro" worksheets from the paid upgrade, which lets users see what's available without forcing them to pay for it. We think most users will know when it's time for more advanced tools than the freeware package offers.

Lean processes were once innovative, but in lean times, they're essential. Leanmap Translean shows how even small businesses and other (all-too-lean) enterprises can benefit from mature, proven processes, and inside a familiar enterprise environment, Microsoft Excel.

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