LEAN: Learn, Educate And Network



At Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City, the tradition of sharing and learning from others on a lean journey launched the Northern Michigan Lean Learning Consortium (LLC) 10 years ago. Two years later, the Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC) was founded by a group of nine forward-thinking individuals who firmly believed that if every Michigan organization used lean principles, the state's economy would rebound. Richard Wolin, director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s Northern Lower office, was a part of the group that spearheaded the formation of this organization for lean learners, with members’ skills stretching from novice to advanced. To date, there are more than 1,100 members statewide.

Each year, MLC hosts a conference that brings together individuals from across Michigan and all areas of industry to learn and network. Our 8th Annual Conference will be held in Traverse City on August 8-9, 2018. A number of improvements have been made to this year’s event, with a significant change being a new registration website that eases the process of selecting breakout sessions and staying up-to-date on all aspects of the conference.

Several keynote speakers will present exclusive insights on the latest lean applications at this conference. One of this year’s keynote speakers is Karyn Ross, co-author of Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations. She will share how to gain value, get results and grow your business. Whether you are an executive, manager, consultant or frontline worker who deals with customers every day, you'll learn how take advantage of all lean has to offer.

Being a leader in a lean organization requires a special skillset. To address this, we have developed a leadership track series that encompasses a nine-month learning opportunity. This series will involve pre-work and assessments, and participants will be paired with a lean mentor for six months. More information about this offering will be shared at the conference, where lean industry leaders will deliver a designated break out session track for this series.

Networking, learning from others and entertaining are key emphases of our conference. This year, we will have a kick-off welcome session on Tuesday evening, August 7, at Traverse City’s Right Brain Brewery, which just started its own lean journey last fall. There will be no special registration for this event, as we encourage all conference attendees to come and enjoy.

Please register now and join us to see what else this conference has to offer. And – for those who attended last year – “Yes, there will be bacon!”

If you have questions about this event, or would like to volunteer, please contact me at ewilliams@nmc.edu.

Betsy Williams, Business Development and Training Specialist
Northwestern Michigan College,The Center- Northern Lower
As Business Development and Training Specialist at NMC, Betsy has more than 30 years of experience in operational development and management. In the past, Betsy worked as a travel executive and consultant, gaining experience in customer service and providing creative solutions to customers. Betsy currently serves on the Michigan Lean Consortium Board of Directors and Event Committee, and is a Certified Lean Champion. Her work is fueled by her passion for lean and helping clients achieve real results.
Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.the-center.org.

Categories: Lean Principles