Pittsburgh, Pa., — The economic slow-down is presenting printers with an opportunity to re-evaluate operations and implement cost saving techniques. In an effort to help companies learn from successful peers, 12 case studies will be presented at the 13th annual Continuous Improvement Network (CIN). Sponsored by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), this year’s conference will be held at the Monteleone Hotel in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, February 17–20, 2002.
"Peer-to-peer case studies are candid and void of commercial influences. This is the best way to share practical experiences in implementing continuous improvement programs," said Jim Workman, GATF director of training programs. Attendees will be able to choose four of the 12 case studies.
For those just beginning, the first case study offered will highlight the key points of starting, managing, and maintaining a quality program. Dwyane Lee, managing partner of Dwyane Lee & Associates will provide information to help develop dependable strategies that improve key processes and assess needs to help maximize efficiency.
Rich Szolwinski, corporate project manager for International Envelope Company, will present a case study on how his company replaced its traditional management system with high-performance work teams. As the teams matured a skill-based pay compensation system was developed with the assistance of the hourly employees, working to eliminate the previous job descriptions and job levels. Compensation was then tied to technical, team, and business skills attained by the employees.
Attendees will also learn how to utilize a great, untapped resource—customers and vendors—to develop and implement a quality system. Hammer Lithograph Corporation found that having customers and vendors participating in its quality system continuous improvement process helps strengthen the relationship. Chuck Fowler, quality assurance service manager for Hammer, will lead this interactive case study session.
Other case studies will discuss constructing an e-commerce capability, recovering from disaster through crisis planning, benchmarking to reduce spoilage and rework, and taking a Six Sigma approach (gathering data for statistical analysis to eliminate defects). The improper handling of feedback on rework will be discussed and more effective approaches reviewed. Pat Dolan, president of The Resource Network, will outline a step-by-step process for escalating the war on rework and present a case study of how one printer, using this process, reduced rework by 80 percent.
In addition to the case studies, this year’s conference, with the theme "Driving Down Costs through Process Improvement," will include seven general sessions and networking opportunities. An optional plant tour of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Michoud Assembly Facility hosted by a technology transfer officer for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is offered.
The 2002 conference was planned to provide printing executives and quality managers with improvement ideas to reduce costs in the face of slower economic growth. Registration to the conference is $695 ($595 for GATF/PIA members). All companies can receive a $100 discount on their second registrant. To obtain a free brochure detailing the conference or a registration form, call the GATF/PIA fax-on-demand line at 888/272-3329 and request document number 13003
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