Sunrise Hosts Lean Manufacturing Workshop

September 22, 2011

Forty-two managers from a broad variety of industries have gathered at the Sunrise Windows plant in Temperance, Mich., this week for a lean manufacturing workshop. The University of Michigan College of Engineering selected the vinyl window manufacturer to host the three-day event, which features Toyota Kata experts offering hands-on training and demonstrating the competitive advantages of lean principles in a live environment, officials note.

“Being asked to host this University of Michigan workshop is not only recognition of our five years’ progress in our lean journey,” states Mark Wallach, Sunrise's manager of continuous improvement, “but it also gives our team the next tools to enable our continued process improvement efforts.”

Attracting industrial managers from as far away as China, the workshop presented a management approach to lean that enables companies to move effectively through unpredictable territory to a higher level of performance. “Toyota Kata is a way of managing to meet daily challenges,” explains Jay Vander Zwaag, one of the workshop instructors. “There is a shift in focus going on in the lean community, moving away from periodic continuous improvement staff-led events to daily coaching for improvement by line leaders and managers.”