Dr. Alan Robinson specializes in lean production, managing continuous improvement, creativity, ideas and innovation, and is the co-author of five books. He is a professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.
Alan's latest book Ideas Are Free (co-authored with Dean Schroeder) was based on a global study of more than 150 organizations in 17 countries. He stresses that Ideas are the engine of progress. They improve people’s lives by creating better ways to do things. They solve problems related to quality and productivity. They build and grow successful businesses and keep them healthy and prosperous. Without the ability to get and apply new ideas, an organization stagnates and declines and eventually will be overtaken by competitors who do collect, apply, and benefit from new ideas.
In his keynote presentation Alan will discuss the vital role that employee originated ideas play in capturing a more rapid rate of improvement. He will introduce participants to global cutting-edge practices in managing ideas. The best organizations in the world now routinely get 50 or more ideas per person per year, with implementation rates typically 90 percent or higher. Not surprisingly, they perform at extraordinary levels. He will provide a framework and roadmap for integrating ideas and idea management into the way your company is structured and managed.
Alan also wrote Corporate Creativity (co-authored with Sam Stern), as well as the 1991 book Modern Approaches to Manufacturing Improvement, an introduction to the pioneering thinking of Shigeo Shingo (a developer of the Toyota Production System).
He has advised more than 200 companies in fifteen countries on how to improve their performance. Some of his best known clients: the Federal Reserve Bank, Lucent Technologies, Interbrew, Medtronics, and Toyota. He has served on the Board of Examiners of the United States' Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and on the Board of Examiners for the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing.
[Watch video of Alan Robinson.]
A Day in the Life of a Lean Supervisor
Mike Wroblewski, director, Kaizen Institute USA
Mike Wroblewski, director of the Kaizen Institute USA, has over 25 years of manufacturing management experience, strong technical skills and a passion for teaching Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. Mike’s clients include a diverse array of manufacturing, healthcare and office/administration services. During his career, Mike has held various management and leadership positions including industrial engineer, manufacturing engineer, manufacturing manager, manager of quality and continuous improvement, and director of operations. He is a hand-on leader that has conducted dozens of rapid improvement and Six Sigma projects.
In his keynote Mike will define the five standards essential to effective daily supervision and how to maintain these within a company's operating system. He'll also show supervisors how they can improve their own performance and promote lean by focusing on key needs shared by all employees. Mike's talk with be peppered with examples, both good and bad, and will reinforce the power of a few simple tools to help supervisors succeed.
Prior to joining the Kaizen Institute, Mike was the Lean Sensei for Batesville Casket Company which has been nationally recognized for their operational success by winning several Industry Week Top 10 Plant Awards. In addition, one Batesville plant was awarded the 2009 Assembly Plant of the Year by Assembly Magazine.
Mike’s journey into Lean manufacturing began in the 1985 while working for the Hill-Rom Company. Under the watchful eye of Shigeo Shingo, Mike successfully improved a die changeover from 45 minutes to less than 5 minutes. Mike learned first-hand from the master, Shigeo Shingo, the techniques of quick changeover along with the early teachings of eliminating waste from manufacturing operations.
On the web, Mike is the creator and author for “Got Boondoggle?” blog site featuring insights and practical articles on the lean manufacturing and Six Sigma methodologies.
Lantech is known as the leader in stretch wrap technology and innovation and as one of the earliest companies to implement the Toyota Lean Principles in the early 90’s, as chronicled in Lean Thinking by James Womack, as well as in the Harvard Business Review and other publications. Jim has participated in the Lantech Lean Journey for the past 21 years and is now the lead executive driving lean throughout the organization.
After significant gains from Kaizen blitz activity early on, the gains stopped coming. While the company thought it was the result of people lacking accountability, it soon realized that what was needed was a management system to maintain the gains. It became very focused on the details of the work, and spending time on the shop floor. What resulted was another step change in performance. Jim will describe Lantech's approach to Lean management.
Lantech, a privately-owned company, manufactures packaging and material handling machinery, including stretch wrappers, shrink tunnels, conveyors, palletizers, and case forming machinery. The machinery is sold worldwide primarily through a distributor network or directly to large consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, Lever Brothers, Nestlé, Miller Brewing, and Pepsi. With annual gross sales in excess of $100 million, the company employs approximately 350 associates at their headquarters in Louisville and another 100 in their international locations.
Prior to joining Lantech, Jim worked in the financial industry with Catalyst Energy in New York City. Then in 1990, Jim joined Lantech as a Sales Manager in the Customs Machinery Group. Following several promotions, he became President/CEO in 1995.
[Watch video of Jim Lancaster.]
Published on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 (updated 02/27/2013)