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Continuous Improvement Vital to American Industry's Success
Thursday, August 25, 2011 | GBMP

The Northeast Shingo Prize is counting down the days until the 2011 Annual Continuous Improvement Conference on October 5-6, 2011 in Springfield Massachusetts. The conference theme, "Made Lean in America," focuses on how Lean means creating employment opportunities at home: good jobs, a strong tax base and a brighter future. America can compete through the use of lean thinking, in manufacturing, healthcare and government.

This year's featured keynote speaker is John Shook, President and CEO of The Lean Enterprise Institute. John learned about lean management while working for Toyota in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and subsequently to other operations around the world. While at Toyota's HQ, he became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined Toyota's North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, Kentucky, assisting North American companies implement the Toyota Production System. As co-author of Learning to See, John helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. John also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. In his latest book Managing to Learn, he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership.

More than 30 additional industry-leading experts and lean implementers will also present their lean acumen, including Jamie Flinchbaugh who co-wrote The Hitchiker's Guide to Lean: Lessons from the Road and writes the Leading Lean column for Assembly Magazine; Mike Rother, co-author of Learning to See with John Shook and also of Creating Continuous Flow and Toyota Kata; Craig Long, Vice President of Quality and Performance Solutions at Milliken; Harry Moser, Chairman Emeritus of GF AgieCharmilles, Industry Week Hall of Famer and founder of the "Reshoring Initiative;" Gary Conner, Shingo-Prize winning author of Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop; Alan Robinson, University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management faculty member and author of Ideas Are Free and Corporate Creativity; and Jerry Bussell, founder of the Jacksonville Lean Consortium and former VP of Operational Excellence at Medtronic Surgical Technologies.

The conference also includes an entire track dedicated to the implementation of lean in hospitals and other healthcare settings, including presentations by a panel of doctors from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the continuous improvement officers from Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Dana Nelson-Peterson, a Kaizen Manager from the Virginia Mason Production System. The track also includes a presentation by Dr. Sami Bahri, aka "The Lean Dentist" and author of Follow the Learner, and a video tour of his Jacksonville Florida dental practice.


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