W.P. Hickman Co., Asheville, N.C., shared the stage with companies such as Delta Air Lines, Delco Remy, MIT, and North Carolina State University at the 3rd Annual Lean Management Solutions Conference in Atlanta, in September. The conference, sponsored by the Institute of Industrial Engineers, featured high-quality technical sessions, plant tours, pre- and post-conference workshops, and expert presenters.

Jeff Imes, W.P. Hickman president , along with Deborah Porto, NC State's director of the Industrial Extension Service Lean Enterprise Advancement Program, presented a paper at the conference. Titled Small Manufacturer Develops a Lean Production System- Case Study of Year One, the presentation detailed the first year process of implementing lean manufacturing techniques at the Hickman.

"Our experience with lean manufacturing has been remarkable. By applying these Toyota Production System-based techniques, we have improved our quality and delivery times, and seen some impressive cost reductions," says Imes. "We were honored to be selected by the Institute of Industrial Engineers to tell our story at this conference."