"Less is more." It's one of the fundamental concepts of lean manufacturing, and it was the model for Brady Corporation's "Peer Best Practices Lean Roundtable" on June 2-3. The roundtable, which was purposely offered to only 10 companies, gave industry leaders a unique opportunity to dive deep into peer to peer discussions, learn from the lean processes of fellow colleagues and leave with action items and tools to advance their own lean initiatives.
"We all know how difficult it can be to share your story and get your questions answered at big lean conferences with hundreds of attendees," said Larry Foley, a national account manager for Brady. "That's why Brady created the roundtable - because there was a need for a more personal event to network, share best practices and use each other's experiences to improve our own lean journeys."
Attendees of the roundtable event included company presidents, vice presidents, principal engineers, WCM directors and lean managers of companies like Harley Davidson, Frito-Lay, MillerCoors, Actuant, Fibermark, Trane and Rhodia Chemical, among others. Each company was responsible for presenting their lean journey and demonstrating the steps they used to create and sustain lean processes. Presenters highlighted key learning points discovered along the way and shared the strategies they found most effective in their companies.
"There was an openness among the companies and a willingness to share information – experiences as well as their shortfalls," said Leonard Bouwman, asset management director for MillerCoors. "It was interesting to see the vast number of approaches being taken in the lean journey. Some great tips and tools were identified."
According to Foley, Brady surveyed the group weeks before the event to determine what topics should be addressed, and then designed the event based on the feedback received. To ensure all of the attendees' questions would be answered, Brady invited two well-known lean consultants to present at the event as well – one on Visual Management and another on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Harley Davidson and Brady Corporation also offered plant tours as a part of the two-day event.
"The roundtable event was an overwhelming success," said Foley. "Some of the attendees have been to hundreds of conferences, but said that this roundtable was the best they've ever been to. In fact, we've had so many requests for another roundtable that Brady has decided to turn it into an annual event."
For more information on Brady's Peer Best Practices Lean Roundtable, or to inquire about attending next year's roundtable event, contact Larry Foley at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the ideas, best practices and solutions that Brady offers for lean manufacturing, visit www.bradyid.com/visualworkplace.
About Brady Corporation
Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect premises, products and people. Its products include high-performance labels and signs, safety devices, printing systems and software, and precision die-cut materials. Founded in 1914, the company has more than 500,000 customers in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, education, medical and a variety of other industries. Brady is headquartered in Milwaukee and employs more than 7,800 people at operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific. Brady's fiscal 2008 sales were approximately $1.523 billion. More information about Brady Corporation is available at www.bradycorp.com and to learn more about Brady's complete line of products and offers visit www.bradyid.com. In Canada, visit www.bradycanada.com.