Nashville, TN (March 2016 ) - The 2016 Applied Lean Leadership Conference was recently held in Tupelo, MS in January, with over 150 attendees. The Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers coordinated the four-day event, with support from the NIST MEP national office.
The program was a dual track event focusing on lean leadership and Hoshin Kanri in manufacturing and health care. The targeted audience included leaders, future leaders, and those planning to make sustainable gains in their organizations. Facility tours included Toyota Manufacturing Mississippi, North Mississippi Health Care, Hunter Douglas, MTD Products, Tecumseh Products, and Innocor.
Breakout session topics covered Lean Leadership and Transformation, Hytrol Corporation’s Journey, Lean in Health Care, Japanese Kaizen Events, ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s cultural transformation, TWI in Healthcare, and Lean Practical Applications. The final day consisted of training sessions in Toyota Kata, Lean Problem Solving, and a TWI overview.
One keynote speaker from the conference was internationally recognized leader John Shook, CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, who says about Lean: “it saves money, increases production, but it really begins with quality, you know, saving money is kind of an efficiency thing and what we all know is before you try to be efficient, you better be effective, you better be able to make good cars before you try to make them at a lower cost.” Other keynote speakers included Isao Yoshino, retired Toyota Motors executive; Patrick Graupp with the TWI Institute; and Art Gonzalez, CEO of Denver Health Care.
The event was a huge success this year and with feedback from some of the 150 attendees, UT Solutions Consultant Michael Codega says “the participants, including some traveling from as far away as the Netherlands, felt the event was very useful in helping them to bring sustainable improvements to their organizations and to network with other continual improvement professionals.” In addition to many exhibits and sessions, student lean projects were exhibited and Mercedes Benz of Alabama presented on the Mercedes Benz manufacturing system.
Several notable organizations sponsored the event including the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, Autozone, Hytrol Corporation, Itawamba Community College, North Mississippi Health Care, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Sullivan Consulting Group, Toyota of Mississippi, TWI Institute, University of Memphis Herff School of Engineering, University of Tennessee Graduate Education Program, and Wright Medical.
This year’s conference was the second Applied Lean Leadership Conference hosted by the regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers, following last year’s event in Tennessee. The next Applied Lean Leadership Conference is scheduled for this winter in Alabama.