Come Hear the Manufacturing Executives from Purina this Thursday

By Michael Watson

Ken Dean, Vice President of Quality Systems and Bill Cooper, the Vice President of Manufacturing with all 47 Purina plants reporting to him, will present in my class on Thursday, March 14 at 6:30 in the ITW room of the Ford Building.  The talk and Q&A is expected to wrap up around 8:50pm.

I would like to open this event to all current and past MEMers.  Space is limited in the class, so please let Sue Fox know if you are going to attend.

Mr. Dean and Mr. Cooper will present Purina’s continuous improvement efforts which have transformed the company over the last 15 years.  This should be a very interesting talk.  When a company sustains improvement over a long time, it usually means they have tried and tested many ideas and allowed the best ideas to float to the surface.  Also, trying to transform a $12.5 billion firm is not an easy task.  It will be interesting to hear how the team at Purina dealt with the organizational and people issues.

For some background, Nestle won the 2010 Baldrige award for quality for this work.  You can get more information from the summary of their award and their application.

The Purina presentation will be video-taped and become part of a series of vibrant, quality case studies available to universities and executives.  These case studies are called “The Next Generation Quality Leadership” and are sponsored by Northwestern, ASQ and Buckman Associates.  Mr. Bob Galvin, (deceased in 2011) former Chairman of Motorola inspired the development of Six Sigma and founded the Galvin Electricity Initiative, has personally sponsored this effort. Mr. Galvin dedicated his life to quality leadership.

We hope you can make it to this presentation.

Michael Watson is a Northwestern University MEM professor and author of the book Supply Chain Network Design.

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