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Northeast Shingo Prize Announces Conference Agenda

“Made lean in America” emphasizes continuous improvement, reshoring

Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 15:30

(GBMP: Boston) -- Conference agenda details have been released for the 7th Annual Northeast Shingo Prize Conference being held at the Mass Mutual Convention Center, in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Oct. 5–6, 2011. This year’s theme, “Made Lean in America,” emphasizes how continuous improvement and lean manufacturing techniques are the means for manufacturers and other organizations to remain competitive and profitable in our global economy.

This year, the agenda for the conference has expanded its focus to include not only lean for manufacturing but also lean applications in health care and government. GBMP Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit corporation that helps companies to realize millions in cost savings and increased sales through lean and continuous improvement education and implementation, coordinates the annual conference. GBMP is the official educational partner of The Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence from Maryland to Maine.

“Decision-makers, both in industry and government, have been quick to export manufacturing plants and jobs overseas,” notes Bruce Hamilton, president of GBMP, three-time Shingo Prize recipient, and author of the blog Old Lean Dude. “Lower taxes and lower wages provide short-term relief to manufacturers seeking immediate cost savings, but the long-term effects are devastating to our future quality of life. And the relentless exodus of good jobs from our shores is no longer limited to manufacturing. A radiologist confided in me recently that he hopes he’ll be able to hang on to his job… his profession is now being outsourced to lower-wage, overseas locales. With the relentless increase in health care costs, patients are opting to travel the globe for affordable patient care. Hospitals, too, need to find a way to continue to provide world-class health care at competitive prices.

“So in 2011 we resolved to rally our Northeast constituents to highlight organizations from manufacturing, government, and health care organizations that have emerged as market leaders through consistent use of lean philosophy and techniques,” Hamilton continues. “We believe that the tide is turning toward “reshoring” the jobs and capabilities that America has lost in the last two decades. Long-term thinking is emerging: America can compete through the use of lean thinking and can regain a leadership position for productivity and quality in a global marketplace.”

Some of the guests confirmed to speak at the event include:
• John Shook, chairman and CEO, The Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), and award-winning co-author of Learning to See (LEI, 1999) and Managing to Learn (LEI, 2008)
Craig Long, vice president, Milliken Performance Solutions. Milliken & Co. is a 145-year-old chemical and textile manufacturer that has been internationally recognized for its achievements in operational excellence
• Jamie Flinchbaugh, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean: Lessons from the Road (SME, 2005) and monthly columnist for Assembly Magazine
• Dana Nelson-Peterson, director of the Hospital Kaizen Promotion Office at Virginia Mason Medical Center
• Carlos Venegas, author of Flow in the Office (Productivity Press, 2007)
• Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Manufacturing Initiative
• Mike Rother, award-winning co-author Toyota Kata (McGraw-Hill, 2009), Creating Continuous Flow (LEI, 2001), and Learning to See (LEI, 1999)
• Walter Lowell, director, Maine’s Bend the Curve program, which is transforming how work is done in a government setting


What truly makes the Northeast Shingo Prize Conference unique is the Community of Lean Lounge—a place where peers on the lean journey share what they have learned along the way, how to overcome obstacles, keep employees engaged, sustain improvements, and more.

To learn even more about the event, speakers, and the agenda, visit www.neshingoprize.org.


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Based at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, GBMP is your one-stop resource for continuous improvement education and facilitation. GBMP stands for the “Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership” but the nonprofit organization works with companies all over the world providing suggestions and solutions resulting in millions in cost savings and increased sales. Each year GBMP trains more than 7,000 people on continuous improvement principles in customized, on-site classroom and shop-floor training sessions and educates more than 1,000 participants in public workshops, plant tours, and the Manufacturing Roundtable.