Michel Baudin is an engineer, author, and consultant who graduated from Mines-ParisTech in 1977. Moving from research to manufacturing, he felt like Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, bemoaning “years of academy training, wasted.” Once over the culture shock, however, he began to appreciate the relentless pragmatism of manufacturing, the camaraderie of factory people, and their ingenuity.
His career has taken him to Japan, Germany, and finally to the US, where he lives in Palo Alto, California. He has consulted for leading companies worldwide supplementing direct observation on the shop floor and stakeholder interviews with data mining on clients’ systems, often identifying unknown patterns in product demand or manufacturing operations, leading to specific advice on both management and technology.
Michel has taught courses in-house for clients, and for UC Berkeley, the University of Dayton, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the University of Buckingham, and training companies in multiple countries. He has authored five books: Manufacturing Systems Analysis (1990), Lean Assembly (2002), Lean Logistics (2005), Working with Machines (2007), and Introduction to Manufacturing (2022). He has contributed chapters to the Handbook of Supply Chain Management (2006), RFID Applications and Cases (2006), and the Routledge Companion to Lean Management (2017). He has written in refereed journals, professional magazines, and conference proceedings. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and has published 950 blog posts since 2011 at michelbaudin.com.
During his opening keynote session, we will speak about “Human work engineering”, which is neither a major in any university nor a job title. Its content is currently split under many labels, but isn’t it what Industrial Engineering (IE) was supposed to be? The pioneers of IE - Taylor, the Gilbreths, Gastev, Ohno and Shingo - focused on human work. To the IISE today, however, IE is mostly OR.
"Provide leadership," Lean leaders say, "and technical matters will take care of themselves." Leadership and culture, however, are no substitutes for engineering. You can't improve business operations without engineering. A factory is a system, with multiple, equally important dimensions. The Toyota story shows what you can achieve by giving the engineering of human work the attention it deserves.