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Upcoming Events:
December 2: Year End Event at Automation Alley
                  Networking Event, Location TBD

Register now!
Have a great Halloween today and Thanksgiving this month... we sure are grateful for all of our awesome members!

Register NOW for the MLC’s Annual Year End Event!
Main Event: 12:00 - 4:00 pm @ Automation Alley 2675 Bellingham Dr, Troy, MI 48083
*After Event Networking Reception: 4:30 – 6:30 pm
The theme of the day is “This Year’s Challenge and What I Learned”! Your fellow Lean gurus will be sharing what challenge they faced this year, including:
•What was the Challenge Condition
•Why was this a Challenge Condition
•What barriers did you have had to overcome
•What did you learn from this
The last bullet is key! We are a learning organization and want to celebrate learning within organizations across the state. It is hard to find a better way to learn than hearing about successes and struggles from your fellow Lean practitioners. Join us for a fun afternoon of listening and learning. And as always, the Networking After Party is a great way to continue building relationships with like-minded people.
Lineup of speakers:       
  • Trina Poston from Haworth will be discussing the challenge of Strategy Deployment for a 6000+ member company
  • Anthony DeCaria from DTE will be discussing the challenge of implementing a “CI Culture Campaign”
  • Michael Grezlik from Great Lakes Water Authority will be discussing the challenge of starting Lean in a “Mature” company
  • Laura Kempf from Truven Health will be discussing the challenge of bringing a divided Kaizen team together after days of indecision
Join us! Register now!

Don't forget... SAVE THE DATE for August 2-4, 2017. We've already secured 2 keynote speakers!

The first is Jeff Fuchs (we will announce the second keynote in the December newsletter, so stay tuned!):

Since 2008, Jeff has served as the Executive Director of the Maryland World Class Consortia, a non-profit organization that helps members understand lean principles, achieve performance excellence, and strengthen the state and regional economies.  He served on the Consortia’s founding member Advisory Board in 1996, and has previously been a consulting service provider to MWCC member organizations.

Jeff is also President of Neovista Consulting, a services firm specializing in operational excellence, Lean Thinking, leadership development, change management, and building cultures of continuous improvement.

Jeff’s passion for Lean Thinking began 23 years ago, as the plant manager of a small aerospace firm where lean manufacturing provided the cornerstone of a dramatic multi-year business turnaround. He has served in other roles including quality manager, engineering director, and lean champion in industries including automotive, machining, aerospace, and solar power. 

Jeff was deeply involved in the creation and expansion of a nationally-recognized system of Lean Certification that is today jointly supported by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Shingo Institute, and the American Society for Quality.  He is currently pursuing his Lean Silver Certification and he has served on the Lean Certification Oversight Committee continuously since its inception in 2006.  

Jeff’s current interests are in lean leadership, using lean to improve personal and administrative processes, and lean government.  Jeff is the architect of several lean training and coaching programs that have together graduated over 1,000 lean leaders across a range of government agencies and from private sector companies.  He has designed the training curriculum for Virginia Tech’s Lean Academy program.

Jeff received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from West Point.  He is a lifelong student of team leadership, a combat veteran of the first Gulf War, and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal and a second Bronze Star for Valor.  He is an examiner for both the Shingo Prize and AME’s Manufacturing Excellence Award.  He is the past Chairman of the Maryland Advisory Commission for Manufacturing Competitiveness, and serves on the Board of Directors of Open Works, a Baltimore community maker space, educational resource, and small business incubator.
Check out this contribution from member Gary Kapanowski! If you'd like your lean story to be featured in the newsletter - please email Lauren at!

Identifying the 8th Waste

As lean professionals, we are trained to utilize our “lean eyes” to identify waste in organization’s processes.  For this discussion point, have we done a good job in identifying the 8th waste, i.e. the utilization of resources?  Below is my lean journey with the 8th waste.

I was faced with this situation two years ago with several of my continuing educational professionals.  They were having a difficult time finding work even after completing classes.  Using visual management, I documented every student on a spreadsheet and visual board.  I quickly realized that the segment having the most difficulty were women transitioning from a non-manufacturing to a manufacturing environment.  The group of nine women were contacted and asked to participate in a women’s forum to discuss their issues regarding employment.  During this lean ‘huddle’, we identified the gaps needed for employment and met the following week in a Kaizen blitz to improve each professional’s resume, LinkedIn profile, and elevator speech.  This was all completed in one session with industry experts for each area.  The results were impressive with seven of the nine women receiving job offers within 30 days and all nine receiving job offers within 60 days.  The response received from our knowledge workers (customers) was “HOPE”.   

As I witnessed the change of attitude with the women’s forum participants, my understanding of the lean principles were enhanced along with the realization that lean is more than just the metrics but people too.
Copyright © 2016 Michigan Lean Consortium, All rights reserved.

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Michigan Lean Consortium · PO Box 763 · Saline, MI 48176 · USA

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