Be ready to revise any system, scrap any method, abandon any theory, if the success of the job requires it. – Henry Ford
The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (CIS) proudly presented to attendees of The Assembly Show South last month. Manufacturing experts from around the Southeast gathered to explore the possibilities of integrating workforce, lean principles, and technology with CIS’s experts; Tim Waldo for Workforce, Danny Norman for Technology and Keith Groves for Lean. The three experts presented their combined strategies for small manufacturers because there is so much overlap and potential if these three areas are working as a system. Their presentation uncovered some of many synergies and introduced ideas for efficiency, innovation, and sustainable growth.
Danny Norman began the presentation with an exercise that helps people use innovation as a discipline to manage current projects. Attendees were introduced to a mix of tools from Larry Keeley’s Ten Types of Innovation and Renée Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy.
Following the technology discussion, the focus shifted to workforce. The importance of creating a culture that encourages knowledge sharing, autonomy, and engagement was emphasized. Practical examples and success stories were shared, illustrating how an empowered workforce fuels innovation and productivity.
Keith Groves shared over 30 years of applying lean principles to eliminate waste, streamline processes, and maximize value for customers. Henry Ford’s quote above comes to mind as Keith shared his comprehensive approach to improving operations and preparing for investments in automation and involving workforce in the process.
UT CIS is thankful to The Assembly Show South for inviting us to present. Their show highlighted the potential of automation from vendors across the country. The event will be an asset to our region for many years to come and we hope to see many Tennessee manufacturers there next year. We at UT CIS look forward to providing the integration of workforce, lean principles, and technology to unlock automation and drive operational excellence for small manufacturers in Tennessee.