Developing a Continuous Improvement Culture 

Date and Time: Tuesday 7 March   2.15pm - 2.45pm



Facing significant market changes and increasing pressure on the health dollar, in 2013 the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s Manufacturing Division decided to pursue a lean continuous improvement culture in order to focus its processes more fully on customer requirements without increasing risks to donors or patients.  This presentation describes the successes and failures of the early attempts, some of the breakthrough moments, how the whole organisation was brought on board and where the Blood Service has reached in developing the desired culture.



  • Quick Wins
  • The importance of Executive engagement
  • What we’d do differently next time



Mitra Burns, National Lean Advisor, Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Mitra Burns is the National Lean Advisor responsible for planning, coaching and support to build Lean capabilities within the Blood Service and deliver a culture of employee engagement and improvement aligned with leadership direction and strategy to create a truly "Leading Edge" organisation. Mitra was introduced to Lean in 2004 when she started at Kenworth Trucks where Lean was a way of life. During this time, Mitra learnt the foundations required to build a Lean culture through practice and application in her daily duties. Moving to Eaton Corporation, Mitra demonstrated her Lean capabilities, leadership and change management by improving customer relationships and building high performance teams. Mitra later expanded her expertise through the creation and delivery of Lean programs in a number of industries such as Service, Mining, Constructions, Food, and Rail such as BlueScope, Bradken, Schweppes, Alcoa, and Metro Trains.

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