Saturday, October 6, 2007

Update on Northwest Shingo Prize Annual Conference (Good things for Lean Office)

This past September the Northwest Shingo Conference took place in Seattle. The event was in general terms "good". The participants had the opportunity to be exposed to the activities that some companies are doing specially in the area of implementation of lean in the office.

The was also some good examples of implementation of lean in the manufacturing sphere, but in my opinion the examples of lean in the office were better, since currently there are not that many companies implementing lean in the office.

I was a little bit disappointed with the presentations of Boeing as well as with the tour that was given to their facilities. The Boeing facility that was visited is far away of being a true lean company. In all fairness to them, they are just starting the journey.
I just thing this was not a good choice for doing a lean tour.

The best company of the conference, was by far Virgina Mason Health care. This company has undergone a transformation. They have implemented Lean in their offices and in their healthcare centers.

The company presented excellent examples of how to use all the lean tools in an office environment. This company is an eye opener for companies that want to make the leap from implementing lean in the production processes to implementing lean in the offices.

Overall I would recommend to all the people interested in lean to participate in such conferences. It is a good way to create a network of people interested in Lean, as well as a good way to get new ideas about how to boost the implementation of lean in your own companies.

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