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Q&A with Joseph F. Paris

Joseph F. Paris is the founder of the Operational Excellence Society and chairman of the Xonitek Group of Companies. He will be giving his keynote presentation at the IIE Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference at Thursday, Oct. 1 at noon EDT. 

What do you plan to discuss in your keynote presentation?

Friction is the force that resists the relative progress of forward movement. If the friction is great enough, the forward movement will be slowed and substantial heat will be generated. If the friction becomes insurmountable, the forward movement ceases.

These points of friction are not always where the product is made on the shop-floor. More often than not, the root cause of these points of friction are elsewhere, perhaps in procurement or in engineering or in information technologies and the enterprise resource planning systems or in sales and customer service or even all the way to the C-suite and the board room. Within our businesses and throughout its value chain, there are a near infinite number of friction points, which serve to slow, or even prohibit, the achievement of our strategies.

At the macro-economic viewpoint, government policy and corporate politics are sources of friction at the strategic and tactical level. And at the micro-economic viewpoint, operational inefficiencies are sources of friction at the tactical and logistical level. Wherever these friction points exist, they cause energy and resources to be expended to overcome – they add costs without adding value.

What is an industrial and systems engineer? And what roles do they have in identifying and eliminating friction? How can we work toward achieving a "frictionless world," to accelerate connecting those that "have" with those that "need"? How can we eliminate from the process everything and anything that does not add value in the eyes of the customer? And how can this state be improved?

This session will delve into the various types of friction and their sources. It will examine some practical examples of processes and identify the root cause of the friction and determine the classification of the friction as "value-add," "non-value-add but necessary" and "non-value-add and unnecessary." And finally, it will review what it takes to affect the changes necessary and the "friction" associated with why things stay the same.

For more information about Joseph F. Paris and the other IIE Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference keynote speakers, go to the Keynote Speakers page at www.iienet.org/leansixsigma.