Augusta Manufacturers Recognized at Georgia Tech Lean Consortium

Approximately 75 Augusta area manufacturers attended the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium recognition luncheon at the Augusta Country Club on May 18 to share ideas and recognize best practices. Representatives from local companies Elanco, E-Z-Go, Olin Corporation, RBW and Thermal Ceramics were each recognized for their outstanding lean and quality initiatives.

Craig Cochran, a project manager with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and author of The Continual Improvement Process, gave the keynote address on “A Strategy for Success.” He has served in management roles in multiple industries—including textiles, glass manufacture, semiconductor, and telecommunications—for nearly 20 years. He has also written three books and numerous articles in national and international publications and is frequently featured as a speaker at conferences on quality, performance improvement and management.

“The Lean Recognition Banquet provided us an opportunity to not only get a refresher on the visits to other firms through the year but also an update on their ability to sustain what we all saw on the visit,” said Chad Walters, the continuous improvement engineer for Thomson Plastics. “In addition, the banquet provided ample opportunity to network with other firms that we might not otherwise get to do during plant tours or training sessions – the banquet is about relaxation and recognition, as well as celebrating our collective lean victories.”

Through shared training and peer-to-peer relationships, the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium is providing organizations with a forum to advance their knowledge and effective use of lean principles, a set of tools widely used in manufacturing to help identify and steadily eliminate waste from an organization’s operations. Already, 11 south metro Atlanta companies, six Augusta area companies and seven northwest Georgia companies are participating in the Lean Consortium through shared training and peer-to-peer relationships.

As part of the Consortium, member company representatives rotate hosting the group at their facilities, where they present their vision for lean and the challenges and successes to date. After a plant tour, the group provides feedback to identify areas of success, as well as opportunities for further improvement. Members are also offered exclusive training classes in areas that they help to select.

Organizations from any economic sector – including manufacturing, service, government or health care – are welcome in the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium if they have a vision for lean within their organizations, a strategy and commitment to its implementation and successful experiences to share with the consortium.

To learn more about the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, please contact Larry Alford (404-895-5237); E-mail ( or Elliot Price (706-721-4522); E-mail ( or visit

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

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Writer: Nancy Fullbright