Tuesday – Friday | August 25-28, 2020

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA | USA

Lean in the Automotive Supplier Industry - What We Can Learn from Them

Date: Friday, August 24th from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Session Code: MFG2

Location: B301

Presented by: Virginia Tech

•  Urs Buehlmann, Professor: Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials 
Mathias Schmitt, Management Consultant: White Rock, LLC

This workshop will focus on describing how Lean is used by the automotive supplier industry and how Lean thinking enables companies to survive in this cutthroat business environment.  Serving a market that encompasses numerous suppliers but only a few, large buyers force suppliers to be highly competitive on a global scale.  Which Lean tools are automotive suppliers exactly using to achieve this level of performance?  How are the particular tools exactly implemented and continuously improved.  What are the challenges these companies face with their Lean programs and how are they responding?  This workshop will show examples to describe how automotive suppliers continuously improve their performance to sustain their business.  The application of these tools used by automotive suppliers in woodworking companies will be discussed.  Attendees will be able to contrast their own efforts against the examples given, which will allow attendees to use selected tools from automotive suppliers in their own operation.

About the Speakers: 



As a Professor for the Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials,Urs Buehlmannfocuses on manufacturing systems and on assessing industry competitiveness. Urs has given special focus to the impact of foreign competition on the wood products industry and its relationship with the U.S. housing market. He practices and promotes Lean Principles as a way to improve business results.

Urs has more than 15 years of experience working in industry, including serving as General Manager of Enkeboll Designs, Carson CA.



As Managing Partner at White Rocks LLC,Mathias Schmitt'sgroup focuses on company turnarounds/restructurings and Lean transformations across industries. Mathias has been actively involved in lean transformation projects around the world – throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Additionally, he worked with executives of Fortune 200 companies on M&A and divestiture activities as well as strategic initiatives. He also has led the establishment of business, market, and competitive intelligence programs to drive organizational understanding of the business environment.

Mathias has more than 10 years of experience working in industry and management consulting. He currently serves as a Regional Continuous Improvement Manager with Yanfeng Automotive Interiors and is the global lead on Value Stream Flow.

Other Session from Virginia Tech:
BMG4 - Apprenticeships Explained

MFG1 - Industry 4.0 - Industry Status and Examples

MFG3 - Think Light - Benefits and Opportunities of Lightweight Materials