Russell Watkins
Russell Watkins

Russell Watkins is the Co-founder of Sempai®, assisting organisations serious about improving the performance of their business. He has held Operations, Materials and Lean positions within the Automotive, Aerospace and Construction Equipment sectors.

Russell’s Lean transformation work has taken him to shopfloors and boardrooms in the UK, Europe, the US, China, India, Japan and South America. He has consulted for 10 years to Toyota Group companies, created the JCB Production System and established Lean Academies for two $bn global manufacturing businesses.

He is also leading 'SempaiGuide' a digital start-up around lean skills, whilst helping manufacturers with his keen eye for identifying and supporting Industry 4.0 opportunities. Russell is the author of “Adventures in Leanland” a speaker and awards judge.

Sempai thrives on transferring practical knowledge, simply, to all levels. This is why our business is called “Sempai”. In the last 15 years we have helped businesses from £1m to £3bn turnover, giving us the credibility of having managed the complexity of lean transformations in large and small clients alike. We work with businesses and leaders who are truly committed to Lean thinking & doing.

Russell is Toyota Production System (TPS) trained by Toyota Japan sensei, has experience within Automotive, JIT sequencing, Aerospace, Construction and Medical Devices. His extensive hands-on Lean experience comes from working, on shop floors and in boardrooms, throughout the UK, Europe, the US, Mexico, China, India, Japan and South America.