Too Much of a Good Thing?


Some stories here about the impact of lean manufacturing on two companies in Pella, Iowa. The article says, “Highly productive workers are keeping manufacturing jobs in tiny Pella, Iowa. But they're also foiling economic growth.” It's not an argument that lean is driving jobs away from those two companies. In fact, they have increased employment by 650 employees over the past 12 months. Other companies are scared away because the resulting labor market is so tight, some claim. With all of the other plants that have closed around Iowa, I'm not sure if I understand or buy the main point of the article. But, either way, there are some details about those companies' lean success.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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