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Subject: Re: Applying "Lean Manufacturing" techniques in the metals industry

Date: 07/08/01 at 8:52 AM
Posted by: Gary Conner
E-mail: Lean1mfg@aol.com
Message Posted:

In Reply to: Applying "Lean Manufacturing" techniques in the metals industry posted by Jack Harrison on 05/19/00 at 8:25 AM:

Good day
I have had the chance to work with over 40 companies nationwide and industry wide implementing Lean. My first love is the metals industry (precision sheet metal)
In general I'd say that the Metals industry seems to be ahead of most other primary manufacturers (i.e.: Plastics, Woods, etc...). Yet on a scale of 1-10 I would still only give them a 3 or 4 (where the woods industry is about a 1 or 2.
The process of transforming the food chain takes time, and while the automobile suppliers have had to catch the wave or die, the rest of the manufacturers have had their heads in the sand for the most part. The New-New economy should force the issue. Most company managers have been able to go along 'fat' (unlean), 'dumb' (uninformed), and 'happy' (profitable) for a long time now because of what looked like an unstoppable forward momentum. Now we have a situation where only 'World Class' operations will thrive (and maybe survive).
I see a huge gap between how OEM (original equipment manufacturers) and Job Shops (make to order) must approach Lean. And yet all the books I've ever seen on the subject are directed toward OEM operations. This group makes up less than 5% of all the companies in America, yet they get all the direction. It seems unfair to the Mom and Pop Shops, therefore I wrote a book on the topic based on the 40 Job Shop companies I have worked with. I hope that it helps smaller shops navigate through the transformation process.
my website is http://www.leanenterprise.bigstep.com
You can find my best selling book on SME (society of manufacturing engineers) website at www.sme.org and then go to the book store.

Thanks for listening

Gary Conner

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