With declining sales and resulting layoffs from some of the world's largest companies, manufacturing headlines of late have been grim. But amid these headlines there is the saving grace of new product development – often the key to survival for many manufacturers.
More and more companies are required to develop innovative new products and bring them to market faster and more efficiently in order to remain competitive. It is not only manufacturing's survival of the fittest and the fastest but, above all, the leanest. To help manufacturers stay ahead of the competition, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced its second Lean Product Development Conference.
Set for November 18-20 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, this three-day, high-level conference is designed to create a forum for sharing tools and best practices. As with a similar conference this past April, companies are encouraged to attend in cross-functional teams which may include managers, product development professionals, design engineers, manufacturing engineers and others.
SME general manager and executive director Mark C. Tomlinson said, "The event is a must for companies and product teams looking to build their portfolios in order to become lean on costs and mean on profits ahead of the competition. Teams from our last conference have mentioned that learning key lean product development principles have helped them get from point A to Z or from concept to the customer."
At this fall's conference, participants can look forward to case studies, keynote presentations, and a new, interactive team experiment with a prototype Obeya as well as an engaging Lunch & Learn session.
A morning keynote from Sarah Caldicott Miller, Thomas Edison's great grandniece, will kick off the event on Tuesday, November 18. Her presentation, "Innovate Like Edison: Five Steps for Creating a Competitive Advantage for your Business" will reveal how companies can implement Edison's key innovation competencies.
Ron Mascitelli, founder and president, Technology Perspectives and well-known lean expert will lead, "Real Tools for Lean Product Development." This all-day workshop scheduled for Wednesday, November 19 will present tools to slash waste, increase efficiency and ultimately enhance the bottom line.
"Ron will engage participants with case studies and group exercises. They should walk away with a good understanding of how to identify waste and learn step-by-step methods for greater team efficiency," said Tomlinson.
Targeted Convergence Corporations founder and CEO Michael Kennedy will present the keynote presentation "Learning First Product Development – Adapting Toyota Principles to Your Business" on the final day of the conference.
"He'll share what all companies need to do to replicate Toyota's gold standard of manufacturing excellence," added Tomlinson.
For more event highlights and up-to-the-moment information about this fall's Lean Product Development Conference, please visit www.sme.org/leanpd.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.