Developing daily problem solving capability with an engaged workforce

February 26, 2024 | 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Contact AME: 224-232-5980 |


Virtual Event

Enlarging your problem-solving footprint involves floor-level personnel in daily improvements as you strive to achieve a TPS-Lean culture. The problematic management paradigm that must be shifted is that people have been systematically and consciously removed from problem-solving activities. Much of the literature on lean manufacturing has lost sight of the basis of the Toyota Production System: cost reduction through the elimination of waste. You must make two significant paradigm shifts and a litany of lesser ones to achieve this objective. First, you need to create a kaizen mindset to eliminate the fear and negativity surrounding problems. Second, as a matter of policy, you must incorporate improvement activity into the duties of all workers, including the senior management and the value-added worker.

Improvement activities consist of two types of problems. First, the "large but few" can be handled using kaizen events or their equivalent. Second are "the small but many" problems. At the worst, "these small but many" are consciously and unconsciously overlooked. At the very best, they are stored and aged in databases to be later handled by an engineer. Finally, most people believe that if we do kaizen events and operator-driven kaizen, they are on their way to becoming TPS-Lean. Well, Not so fast. There is one more not-so-secret behavior that must be utilized: management.  Our mantra is, It's all about the management; the rest is just details.


Quality Consultants specializes in applying the Toyota "Respect for People" concept, which in leanspeak is workforce engagement. We particularly welcome those firms struggling to make the transformation and those who have tried and were less than successful.


Lonnie Wilson holds a degree in chemical engineering from Washington State University. He worked for Chevron Oil, where he spent 20 years in manufacturing management, including managing the engineering, operations, planning, environmental, and maintenance functions in 3 different refineries. He was also an in-house problem-solving expert and traveled extensively in that capacity. Wilson started Quality Consultants in 1990. Its clients include firms in manufacturing, education, health care and other service sectors. Quality Consultants serves small firms as well as Fortune 500 firms in North, South, Central America and China.

Wilson is a certified Master Black Belt and Six Sigma instructor and an expert in lean manufacturing techniques and applications. He not only instructs management professionals in the applications of these lean techniques, but he is also an on-the-floor and in-the-boardroom implementation professional. His focus is to assist firms struggling with cultural transformations and managers who have worked hard yet were not able to transform their company into a lean enterprise.

His books include “How to Implement Lean Manufacturing” (McGraw Hill, 2009,2015), which has been used as a textbook in 14 colleges and universities, including Beijing University, which facilitated the translation into Mandarin Chinese. He also wrote, “Lean Refining – How to Improve Performance in the Oil Industry” (Industrial Press, 2017) and “Sustaining Workforce Engagement-How to Assure Your Employees are Healthy, Happy and Productive" (Productivity Press, 2019). His most recent book is “Enlarging Your Problem-solving Footprint” (Wilson, 2021). In addition to his consulting practice, Wilson has taught quality and certification classes for ASQ. He also taught statistics and small group problem-solving at the University of Texas at El Paso. And for the last several years, he has been a guest lecturer in their MBA and executive MBA programs. He is currently working with Washington State University to develop their engineering and technology management degree program at the master’s level.


Monday, February 26, 2024

  • 1 p.m. Introduction and presenter presentation
  • 1:50 p.m. Q&A
  • 2 p.m. Event adjourns

Participants will learn:

  • Why employee engagement is important in problem-solving
  • How to improve employee engagement
  • How to develop daily problem-solving capability with an engaged workforce
  • C-level executives
  • Operational leaders
  • Change leaders responsible for lean and operational excellence transformation
  • Change management leaders
  • HR professionals

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone to fully participate and engage. Please email if you have any questions.

If you are not already a member of AME, we invite you to join at this time. Membership benefits include complimentary and discounted event registrations throughout the entire year. To learn more about membership benefits, please visit here.

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Cancelation Policy: This event may be canceled by AME for any reason. AME is not responsible for incidental costs incurred by registrants. For paid events, registration fee less a $20 administration fee will be refunded up to one week before the event. Substitutions may be made up to three days prior to the start of the event.