Podcast #272 – Steve Thompson, Lean Supply Chain Lessons from Automotive to Healthcare


My guest for Episode #272 is Steve Thompson, Director of Patient Driven Supply Network initiatives for Cardinal Health, a global, integrated healthcare services and products company. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, dating back to his time spent working in the automotive industry.

In today's episode, we talk about his lessons learned from General Motors and Lear Corporation and how he's helping healthcare leaders apply these lessons to improve their supply chain operations.

In the past year, I've had a partnership with Cardinal Health, which has led to content like this webinar and article. That partnership led to the chance to meet Steve last year, and I'm very pleased to have him on the podcast. Enjoy!

Streaming Player (Run Time 52:55)

Download MP3
podcast subscribe

For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/272.

Topics and Links for this Episode:

  • Please introduce yourself and your background… how did you get introduced to Lean?
  • What are some of the key lessons you learned in the auto industry?
    • About Lean, materials management, and supply chains?
    • What does Scott say “Lean doesn't do?”
    • Why you should start with Lean to get things under control and then apply Six Sigma
    • About leadership? How can leaders be “friendly toward change”
      • How do leaders need to learn how to lead differently
  • What lessons do you see as most applicable to healthcare organizations and supply chains?
    • Examples of healthcare supply chain improvement?
    • Change management challenges and advise for dealing with them?
    • Is it hard to get healthcare leaders to accept applicable ideas from other industries?
      • Cars are designed for productivity… are healthcare supply chains?
  • Advice for healthcare materials or supply chain leaders?
    • Advice for healthcare executives about the strategic importance of the supply chain?
  • Steve is speaking at LogiMed U.S. 2017, being held this March in Austin.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android apps, or via Apple Podcasts.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher. Please leave us a review and rating!

Thanks for listening!

Podcast Summaries and Articles:

You can also read and download this 5-page PDF summary of the podcast:

Steve Thompson Lean Blog Podcast Summary

Click for hi-res PDF for printing.

You can also read these summary articles on LinkedIn:

Presentation by Steve Thompson:

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous article2nd Post for the Deming Institute Blog: The Failed “Livonia Philosophy”
Next articleYou Don’t Build a Culture of Continuous Improvement by Waiting Until Your Culture is Totally Ready for Continuous Improvement
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.