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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  02 Sep 2009

CONFERENCES: Think Lean To See The Upside


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The timing could not be better for the third annual Lean Summit Africa, which takes place this month at Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The Summit takes place on 22 and 23 September, preceded on 21 September by a series of half- and full-day workshops. This conference, which has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2007, aims to increase the African business community’s knowledge of Lean tools, and promote the adoption of Lean as a means of boosting product and service delivery while cutting costs. Lean Thinking is gaining devotees in service organizations, manufacturing businesses, logistics companies and supply chains. Its goal is described as ‘to get the right things to the right place at the right time, the first time, while minimizing waste and being open to change’.

The speaker line-up for this year's Lean Summit Africa includes international authors and Lean experts Michael Ballé, Jim Womack and David Brunt.

Michael Ballé is associate researcher at Telecom Paris Tech, and holds a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Social Sciences and Knowledge Sciences. For the past fifteen years, he has focused on Lean transformation and has written several books and articles, including “Managing with Systems Thinking” and “The Effective Organisation”. More recently, Ballé has co-authored two business novels, “The Gold Mine” and “The Lean Manager”. A Lean executive coach whose expertise is sought by companies in various fields such as manufacturing, engineering, services and healthcare, Ballé is co-founder of the “Projet Lean Enterprise” and the “Institut Lean France”.

Lean Summit Africa presenter Jim Womack is recognised as an initiator of the Lean movement, having collaborated on the research that led to Lean thinking. Based in the United States, Womack is the founder and chairman of the Lean Enterprise Institute in Boston. This non-profit training, publishing, and research organization was established in 1997 to advance the ideas of Lean Production and Lean Thinking. In addition to his presentation at the Lean Summit Africa, Womack will also be undertaking “Gemba Walks” for several South African organisations during his time in the country.

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