BOSTON, MA - GBMP is excited to announce that Lesa Nichols has joined GBMP as a product developer, trainer and consultant. Ms. Nichols most recently held the position of assistant General Manager of Toyota Supplier Support Center (TSSC) in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Sometimes adversity presents unanticipated opportunities. The precipitous drop in automotive production has caused huge reductions in force in that industry. Among those cutting jobs and offering buy-outs is Toyota and their loss is our significant gain.
Lesa is a very experienced Toyota Production System practitioner with 20+ years experience in Georgetown as a line manager, staff specialist and consultant both external and internal to Toyota. She was hired at Toyota originally by John Shook, Shingo Prize-winning author of one of the most influential books on Lean ever written "Learning to See".
For the first two years of her career Lesa was Mr. Fujio Cho's American speech writer, affording her a unique perspective on the thinking behind TPS. (Mr. Cho joined Toyota in 1960, and in1974 he became manager of the Production Control Division, where he was assigned to the Operations Management Consulting Department to learn the principles of the Toyota Production System (TPS) directly from TPS authority Taichi Ohno.)
Subsequent to that position, Ms. Nichols worked for Mr. Hajime Oba at TSSC, one of the creators of transplant operations to provide active support in developing a local supply base. Supplier support operations, such as TSSC in Georgetown, very effectively taught their U.S. suppliers about lean production and JIT. Key individuals such as Mr. Oba are now widely known in the industry for these efforts. More recently, Lesa spent several years as manager of powertrain operations at Lexington, though finally she returned to TSSC to work with President Hideshi Yokoi, successor in 2008 to Hajime Oba.
The model that GBMP presents is based upon materials developed by Lesa and others at TSSC. Her knowledge of TPS management, philosophy and techniques is extensive, and she leaves TSSC with Mr. Yokoi's blessing that she should share this knowledge with and through GBMP. This presents a truly unique opportunity for GBMP clients and customers, colleagues and friends, to tap into her more than twenty years of special study and learning and deep understanding of the Toyota Production System.