IIE Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference 2015
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Q&A with Tom Knight

Tom Knight is the founder and CEO of Invistics, a provider of proven consulting and software solutions for high-mix manufacturers. He will be giving his keynote presentation at the IIE Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference Tuesday, Sept. 24. 

How do lean and Six Sigma methods play a role in what you do at Invistics?

We leverage lean and Six Sigma to right-size inventory levels across extended supply chains. Lean is valuable for its waste reduction methods, and Six Sigma is valuable for its variability reduction methods. The combination of lean and Six Sigma is particularly powerful when combined, as it allows companies to reduce both the waste and the variability of material flow, excessive inventory levels, and order cycle times.

What is the biggest issue or challenge surrounding lean and Six Sigma implementations?

Lean techniques like pull methods are well-known inside high-volume manufacturing operations like the automotive shop floor, but less well-known across extended supply chains, particularly at companies that manufacture or distribute a large mix of products. I’ll share my experience using lean and Six Sigma in these high-mix, end-to-end supply chains, including inbound materials, manufacturing, assembly, distribution and logistics.

What do you plan to discuss in your keynote presentation?

I’ll be sharing my experience working with a variety of companies to implement lean pull methods – both within their manufacturing operations and across their extended supply chains.  I’ll include best practices, case studies and practical examples.

What would you like attendees to take away from your presentation?

I would like them to learn best practices for implementing lean pull methods and be able to identify how these methods could be applied in their companies.

Click here to view a video of Knight discussing lean and Six Sigma topics with the ARC Advisory Group. Knight also co-authored the article, "Electronically Pulled Production," for the March 2013 issue of Industrial Engineer magazine. 

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