Theme: Innovation

Creative catalyst for change – The 3P Process

Using innovation to solve complex business problems using Production, Preparation, Process (3P)


Practitioner Presentation
Wednesday, Nov. 1 Location Code
1:45pm-2:30pm Huntington Convention Center WS/37



This content will not be available on-demand.

Discover creative problem-solving through hands-on activities used to solve complex, significant business problems with Madonna Buhr.


Discover creative problem-solving through hands-on activities used to solve complex, significant business problems with Madonna Buhr.

When doing what you have always done doesn't get you where you want to go, it's time to think differently. In this presentation, learn a highly effective, innovative approach for:

  • understanding current states
  • radically redesigning existing processes, tools and equipment
  • designing new products, services, or processes

Try out exercises to get your teams thinking differently, uncover the breakthroughs needed for business transformation and solve your most challenging problems. Learn to apply these activities within the framework of Production, Preparation, Process (3P), a powerful, advanced lean tool that looks to nature. Through evolution, nature shows us how to solve problems simply and efficiently. Reduce the complexity of the production process by:

  • mapping flow
  • understanding the transformational steps occurring throughout the process
  • eliminating waste
  • building the right-sized equipment
  • creating mock-ups for experimenting with possible solutions
  • rolling out new design processes based on flow

Bring back what you learn to improve every aspect of your business.

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought." – Matsuo Basho (Japanese poet)


Ameren, a Missouri and Illinois public electric and gas utility company, works daily to provide reliable energy, reduce outages and quickly restore power. Ameren is committed to keeping pace with future energy needs as the company proudly continues to serve, support and invest in its communities.

Ameren Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AEE. It is the parent company of Ameren Illinois, based in Collinsville, IL, and Ameren Missouri, based in St. Louis, MO. Ameren Transmission Company, also based in St. Louis, designs and builds regional transmission projects.

The combination of three Illinois utilities (CIPSCO Incorporated, CILCO Inc. and Illinois Power Company) and Union Electric Company of St. Louis created Ameren. Employing more than 9,000 personnel, Ameren powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers across 64,000 square miles. Ameren Missouri ranks as the largest electric power provider in Missouri, and Ameren Illinois ranks as Illinois' third largest natural gas distribution operation based on the total number of customers. Ameren companies generate a net capacity of nearly 10,200 megawatts of electricity and own more than 7,500 circuit miles of transmission lines.


Madonna Buhr is a recognized continuous process improvement leader with successful supply chain, office/non-factory and shop floor experience in a variety of industries, including aerospace, healthcare, social services, and public utilities. Buhr is a senior continuous improvement engagement and transformation office manager for Ameren. She was a material handling/packaging engineer, operations foreman and lean CI practitioner/manager for almost 40 years at Boeing.

Buhr joined Ameren six years ago as a senior lean CI engagement manager. With over 25 years of lean CI experience, she has led organizational transformations with significant improvements. Buhr has guided leaders, teams and projects to increase productivity, cost savings, change management and innovative breakthrough process redesign. She has used Production, Preparation, Process (3P) to redesign factories, warehouses, social service agencies and emergency departments.