By December 6, 2006 0 Comments Read More →

Livonia’s not Lean-vonia

As Auto Prosperity Shifts South, Two Towns Offer a Study in Contrasts – New York Times

Here’s a free Detroit News version of the article. My hometown, Livonia, Michigan is hurting with the prolonged slump in the auto industry. I grew up in Livonia 1979 through 1991 and then worked there at a General Motors engine plant from 1995 to 1997. It seems like Livonia is maybe on its way to becoming another Flint (where my Mom grew up). I hope not.

My old plant is still open, but not sure how well they are doing (they’re losing work and jobs in recent years with). The plant really used to struggle, then we got a NUMMI-trained plant manager in 1996 who really started turning things around through his retirement in 2002. But, many of the sites in town are hurting or closing down. It’s too bad lean couldn’t have been used more aggressively for more of those GM and Ford plants. I’m not blaming lean, I’m blaming lack of leadership or lack of effort with lean.

The article shows a contrast in the growth and hope of a Toyota town with the despair of a GM & Ford town. It shows, in part, why you should choose lean.


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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