Steelcase’s Lean Journey: There and Back Again


SteelcaseOfficeOffice furniture maker, Steelcase, Inc., has been on one heck of a journey in both Lean Manufacturing and Lean Product Development.  We’ve been following their progress for a number of years and now have an opportunity to get an update on where they stand today in an upcoming webinar with Steelcase’s internal ” Office Lean Consultant,” Tim Schipper, who has worked in multiple positions at the company, including CAD, product engineering and IT, before settling into his current role in their Lean Management Office approximately 10 years ago.

One unique aspect of Steelcase’s history with Lean Product Development is that it was originally driven by their Information Technology group who wanted to keep pace with and support the lean transformation going on in manufacturing.  From there, it was a less painful task to move lean improvement efforts to the development area and IT’s lessons learned proved invaluable to the product development office.  (See the form at the bottom of this post to request a copy of our article from 2005, “THE LEARNING CYCLE: Steelcase’s Journey from Lean Manufacturing to Lean Product Development”)

timschipperMuch has happened since their early days and Steelcase has refined their lean product development into a self-feeding system they call “Rapid Learning Cycles,” which closes knowledge gaps easier and speeds up innovation.  Tim Schipper will be talking about his company’s methods in an upcoming free webinar from Management Roundtable:

 Apply Rapid Learning Cycles to Development
with guest speaker Tim Schipper, LEAN Management Office, Steelcase, Inc.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 – 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Click HERE to register for this free session

Request a copy of our article: “The Learning Cycle: Steelcase’s Journey from Lean Manufacturing to Lean Product Development””

This webinar is being produced in conjunction with the “Lean Product Development Summit” being held August 19-21, 2014 on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
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