July 2014

We are pleased to announce we have finalized the High Level Agenda and Breakout Sessions for the Conference!

Click here for breakout sessions descriptions!

Click here for the High Level Agenda!

Lean in Action 

Amway is a global leader in direct selling with annual sales of $12 billion. Products are sold exclusively by 3,000,000 Amway distributors throughout 100 countries and territories.

Freedom, Family, Hope, Reward. As a values-based employer, Amway will always support the fundamental freedom of people to determine their own future, allowing them the time and resources to protect and nurture their families. In addition, Amway will always offer hope to individuals and the opportunity to receive reward in proportion to their efforts. In fact, our Founders’ Fundamentals are so much a part of who we are that they are literally carved in stone outside the World Headquarters in Ada.

Amway’s vision, “Helping People Live Better Lives”, is accomplished through the products we make, through the business opportunity we provide people, and through programs like Junior Achievement. Amway’s One by One campaign for children is a global citizenship program. Recently celebrating their 10th anniversary, the program has helped 10 million children globally, logged 2.7 million volunteer hours and raised $190 million dollars.

Amway products are designed, manufactured and shipped by Amway employees. Product categories include:
•    Nutrition (vitamins, supplements and sports nutrition) with a “Seed to Supplement” sourcing strategy, many of our botanicals are grown on Amway organic farms.
•    Beauty (skincare and makeup) our Artistry® brand is among the world’s top five largest-selling, premium skincare brands and top 10 premium cosmetic brands.
•    Bath & Body (hair care, body care and oral care) our Satinique®, Body Series® and Glister® brands have patented technology.
•    At Home (laundry, surface and disinfectant cleaners, Water Treatment and Air Treatment systems) our Legacy of Clean® brand delivers safe and effective cleaning. Our eSpring® Water Purifier systems are certified to reduce more contaminants than any other unit. 

Continuous improvement at Amway has roots dating back to its early years - business excellence is one of Amway’s strategic pillars. Enterprise Excellence is a central-led office supporting continuous improvement activities globally. To date, we have certified more than 250 Lean Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts who are working within many of the day-to-day functions around the world. We’ve advanced continuous improvement beyond manufacturing and into administrative processes!
Enterprise Excellence offers four continuous improvement service programs. Each is designed to empower the organization to implement improvements that are strategically aligned to help achieve transformational goals. 
•    Lean Maturity Assessment (LMA) – An assessment of the current state that results in development of a clear pathway toward an ideal future state.
•    Business Improvement Program – A repeatable series of steps that performs across disciplines to manage a portfolio of improvement projects.
•    3P Program – A systematic, collaborative design process that achieves optimized flow and process efficiency, and reduced capital investment.
•    Talent Development Program – A program that introduces Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques, the key to achieving business excellence.
Enterprise Excellence also provides continuous improvement training and support to a variety of non-profit organizations: Kids Food Basket, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids Public Schools and Secon. 

To learn more about Amway visit or contact Alan Simpson via LinkedIn.

Call for Speakers! Save the Date for October 10 Healthcare Symposium!

We Need You!

Michigan Lean Consortium Third Annual Healthcare Symposium on October 10, 2014 in Spring Lake, Michigan.

This year’s theme: Lean Strategies in Transforming Patient Care

The planning committee is now seeking presentations for this year’s Healthcare Symposium.  If you have experiences to share or expertise to help attendees put into practice the behaviors necessary to support lean thinking and culture in regards to healthcare, we invite you to submit a synopsis for  a “hands-on” workshop, “lessons learned” case study or “skill application” presentation that you would like to share with other lean learners and practitioners. 

We are very excited about this year’s Healthcare Symposium and thank you for your willingness to share your experience with others. 
To submit your program synopsis, please fill out the form (click here) and submit it with your biography to Vera Szram-Senyk at

The Leaning Edge
The Leaning Edge Radio Show, led by MLC Co-Founder Debra Levantrosser, airs every Friday and Saturday on the Michigan Business Network. 

Tune in on Fridays at 11 am, 5 pm, 11 pm and Saturdays/Sundays at 5 am, 8 am, 1 pm, 6 pm, 11 pm. You can also listen to and download past episodes on the website. If you are interested in being a guest on the show email Debra at

Please note that hits on the radio show determine whether or not it stays on the air. Thank you for your support. Please listen and email the station with your positive feedback if you love the show!


If you haven't already, Like us on Facebook and Linkedin for continuous updates!

Upcoming Events

Annual Conference - August 7-8, 2014 in Traverse City

Lean 103 - September 24, 2014 in West Olive

3rd Annual Healthcare Symposium - October 10, 2014 in Muskegon

Benchmarking at Amway - November 21, 2014 in Ada

End of Year Event - December 5, 2014 in Troy

If you have an idea for an event or would like to host an event, please email our Event Commitee co-leads at & Thank you!

Click to Register Now
Michigan Lean Consortium 2014 Annual Conference!

---People: The Heart of Lean--
August 7-8, 2014
Traverse City, Michigan

If you attended the Michigan Lean Consortium Annual Conference in the past, you know this is a great opportunity to network with colleagues, share experiences with other lean leaders and learn new approaches to drive the Lean journey at your organization. Click here to see photos from past year conferences.

We are heading to the Brys Estate for a winery networking event on Wednesday, August 6 at 6 pm. There will be an additional small fee to attend. Stay tuned for more information. You can visit their website for more information on the location:

If you have not attended in previous years, we hope to see you at the 2014 conference. It promises to be even better than ever! Plan now to join us at The Hagerty Center in Traverse City and watch our website and newsletters for updates. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Stay tuned for information on our PRE-CONFERENCE Kata Workshop on August 6 in Traverse City lead by leaders in the Kata philosophy! Plan now to attend!

Volunteer Spotlight

Stacy Makela joined the MLC in 2013 in order to further her knowledge about how to implement “Lean” in a non-manufacturing environment.  Stacy works for Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA), where there is an immense commitment to lean and environmental standards at their only US manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, TN.  After attending training at the plant’s Lean Center in early 2013, Stacy wanted to help bring these tools back to the office environment at the VWGoA Parts Logistics department in Michigan.  Finding the Michigan Lean Consortium online seemed like a perfect way to continue pursuing this goal.

Stacy has been with VWGoA since 2008, currently in the role of VW Group Standards Specialists.  She has two main responsibilities: strategy and training for the Volkswagen and Audi service parts catalogs for North America, and also maintaining the standards, processes and all document management for the cataloging team.  Prior to her current role, Stacy began her lean journey back in the mid-1990s while employed at Eaton Corporation in Saginaw.  She volunteered to become a certified QS-9000 internal auditor in addition to her position as a Design Engineer.  Her interest in this area continued into her next role at General Motors Service Parts Operations as a Business Analyst for entertainment products from 2005-2008.  There, she revised process manuals, metrics, and the audit structure in addition to conducting vendor facility audits resulting in several process improvements and $500K per year in cost savings.  

Stacy recently joined the MLC Event Committee, volunteering to create a template for maps/directions to future events and any other assistance needed.  She has found the MLC to be a great source of learning for its members, with a great variety of course offerings and the opportunity to understand how to apply continuous improvement principles in a variety of settings.  Since joining the MLC, she has combined her past experience and recent training to create and present a half day “Lean Office Workshop” to her team at VWGoA. 

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