Calling Chicago Area Lean Companies


Looking for help from Chicago-area lean folks….

I was contacted by a Quality Manager at a pretty small, privately-held manufacturing company in the Chicago suburbs. they are considering launching into lean and they'd like to talk to or visit with a company (or companies) who can share their experiences with lean (hopefully, successes).

If you'd like to get in touch with him, email me using the link on the left hand page and I'll make the connection for you.

It's a company of about 50 people, but they sell nationally and internationally. My emailer also said, when I asked him where they thought lean would apply:

“I was thinking that we would probably plant the seed and try to get everyone to buy-in company-wide because it is a culture change. We would probably look at production activities closely first because of the perceived “best bang for the buck” results. However, we need it across the board. This organization, like many, is rife with waste and redundant, non-value-adding activities.”

I've also suggested to him, via email, that he look into the Illinois MEP program as a potential source of contacts. Any other ideas for him?

In general, how *do* you find other lean companies to network/share with, other than looking for Google search results, in the news, or through some of the lean email lists or networks? What do you recommend for the Chicago company or for others??

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  1. Anonymous says

    The Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers are a couple of other sources they could contact. Chicago has two IIE chapters – one for Chicago and one for the Northwest Suburbs.

  2. andrew says

    Hi, Where in chicago, I can probably put them in contact with a large (7k staff) organisation who have been undertaking a lean journey for approximately 5 years.


  3. Mark Graban says

    Andrew – can you email me your contact info?

    The AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) might be another good resource.

  4. Dimitrios Saranteas says

    I would highly suggest he get in contact with the Chicago Manufacturing Center (

    His situation sounds prime for their services.

  5. Rob says

    I am interested in a similar subject. I have looked at all of the suggested organizations, but they only provide seminars. I am in the midst of the 2nd year of my organization’s lean journey and I am the lean manager. I would like to meet with other management professionals like myself to discuss our experiences and learn from each other. Is there an organization or group like that in the Chicago area?

  6. Mark Graban says

    it would be great if the local AME chapters did more in terms of lean exchanges.

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