Lean manufacturing – the high-efficiency, customer-value-driven, anti-waste management model pioneered by Toyota in the 1990s and successfully adopted by the auto and aerospace industries – is attracting a growing following among other types of businesses.
In October, Jose Macedo, chair of Cal Poly Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, was among the "lean" experts invited to Chile by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help teach senior managers and engineers from diverse industries how to take their companies to the next level.
The three-day Lean Academy was part of the MIT Professional Education program, and its first program in South America.
"It was highly hands-on," said Macedo. "Participants told us that they'd never experienced anything like it – they were used to conferences with lectures and case studies. Both Cal Poly and MIT have a style of active learning that worked that very well at the academy.
"Some might equate lean with mean, but the actual goal is to create a company culture that develops and engages the capabilities of the whole person – with the net effect being that the organization as a whole flourishes.
"I have conducted industry seminars like this for about six years, but this was the first international one, and it was very successful for all involved. MIT has asked me to join their Chile team again next year."
Read more about the MIT Lean Academy.
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