Virtual Conference Event | June 15-19, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Daily

$99 PIA Members | $149 Non-members

Register now!

Get CI Ready!

Every company should be looking for practical ways to reduce operational costs, speed throughput, and boost customer experience and satisfaction. Printing Industries of America's CI Ready! virtual conference event features five sessions presented over five days that will focus on helping printing and converting companies achieve operational excellence by using the concepts of Lean thinking and other management systems.

CI Ready! is ideal for executives and managers who play a vital role in seeking operational excellence and want to make a difference in their organizations. Get ideas and real-life examples that you can use to cut costs, reduce waste, improve performance, and inspire change--get CI Ready! and and register today!

You Will Learn...

  • How Lean thinking transforms printing companies and drives greater profits
  • What it takes to create an improvement culture
  • A better approach to problem solving
  • Why visual communication in work areas makes a BIG difference and how to do it
  • How constant scrutiny and the right system can reduce spoilage to an absurdly low level
  • How one company found a way to involve everyone and improve its processes daily
  • A proven method for boosting your own productivity

Who Should Attend

  • Owners and top leaders
  • Plant managers
  • Operations and manufacturing managers
  • Quality managers
  • Continuous improvement champions and facilitators


CI Ready! will be presented in five one-hour sessions over five days via an easy-to-use virtual meeting platform. Attendees can participate from the comfort of their office, watching presentation content on their computer or tablet and listening via their phone or computer speakers. This is an interactive event--attendees can ask questions and receive answers throughout. Specific login instructions will be provided upon registration.

Speakers & Schedule


Monday, June 15, 2020

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Transforming Your Business with Visual Management

Shannon Kearney, Certified Lean Facilitator, Gill Studios

This producer of custom decals and bumper stickers experienced early success implementing Lean; however, sustaining those successes proved disappointing. The lack of visual management was pinpointed as a primary reason. In response, Gill developed various visual tools, and the approach quickly became an effective and necessary way to improve processes and sustain its performance gains. Its visual management methods are now standardized, simple, and effective. Gain new ideas and discover what visual management tools could do to improve your work environment and bottom line!


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Spoiling Profits: How to Reduce Rework and Reruns

Steve Kirk, Vice President, Operations, GLS Precision Marketing

Is your company strong or weak when it comes to controlling rework, reruns, and other profit-draining waste? Spoilage is a more significant problem than most executives care to believe (in fact, most companies don't measure it). Leaders like GLS Precision Marketing have well-developed systems for spotting and tracking spoilage, putting effective fixes in place, setting goals for annual improvement, and showing employees real-time numbers. Kirk will reveal how GLS's system has pushed spoilage to lower and lower levels and how it engages employees to preempt unplanned waste.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

A Lean Thinker's Guide to Organizing Processes, Developing People, and Improving Every Day

Ryan Tierney, Director, Seating Matters Ltd

Seating Matters transformed itself into a world-class Lean manufacturer of specialty seating in a span of three years by following the principles of 2 Second Lean (explained in the book of the same name by Paul Akers). The Northern Ireland-based company had grappled with excess inventory, slow production, and vendor issues and only began to truly thrive after practicing Lean thinking. Hear about the company's experience with introducing and implementing Lean, and how employees hold each other accountable to the highest standards as the company continues its never-ending journey of continuous improvement. Tierney will discuss the company's daily meeting, 3S program, improvement system, and how it manages bottlenecks.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

The Problem with Problem Solving

David Veech, CEO, Leadersights, Inc.

Have you ever experienced the same problem over and over? Have you ever had a team get so hung up on a problem that they couldn't make any progress toward solving it? Have you ever gotten finished with a fishbone diagram and still wondered what the root cause of your problem was? Have you ever had a solution you were trying to find a problem for? In this discussion we'll explore why these and other issues occur while you're trying to solve a problem. We'll offer some tips and techniques to avoid these issues in the future, and focus on critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and certainty.


Friday, June 19, 2020

2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Personal Kanban

Rhonda Huskins, Regional Vice President, South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Personal Kanban is a highly customizable tool that allows individuals and teams to visualize work, facilitating the shift from endless to-do lists to a simple work management system that produces dramatic results. For the purposes of this topic, work becomes inventory. With Personal Kanban, the same pull-system principles that allow for plant-based inventory management are utilized to manage work. Not limited to the office or plant, the methodology can be used anywhere tasks need to be completed.


Access Anytime*

Introduction to Lean Manufacturing (online course)

John Compton, Principal and Founder, Compton & Associates

Lean methods can be learned. The core idea of Lean is to maximize customer value and increase "flow," while minimizing the eight types of waste. A Lean organization understands customer value and focuses their key processes to continually meet those needs. This 60-minute program will provide an overview of why Lean has become a popular continuous improvement strategy, its philosophy, and some Lean tools most commonly used in print manufacturing.

*This course is included in the CI Ready! resource center along with all of the recorded presentations from the event. It's recommended that you view this recording prior to the CI Ready! event.

Reserve my spot for CI Ready!

The 2021 Continuous Improvement Conference will be held April 18-21 in Columbus, Ohio.


About the Speakers 

John Compton, Principal, Compton & Associates

Compton is owner and principal of Compton & Associates, a consulting company dedicated to improving the people, processes, and profits of its clients. He is professor emeritus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he taught quality systems and process improvement while serving as director of the Center for Quality and Productivity in the Graphic Arts. More recently, he served as vice president of quality and training at Vertis Communications and prior to that, as vice president of quality and organizational development at Fort Dearborn Company. Compton has authored and co-authored several books dealing with quality and productivity in the printing and imaging industry. A Master Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt, he has served as consultant to the Continuous Improvement Conference since 2010.

Rhonda Huskins, Regional Vice President, South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Huskins is regional vice president and certified Lean Manufacturing specialist with the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP). A non-profit operating under the U.S. Department of Commerce, SCMEP provides consulting services for all types of manufacturers in order to improve their profitability and spur economic growth. She has over twenty years of manufacturing and senior engineering expertise. Prior to joining SCMEP in 2006, Huskins was the director of Continual Improvement for Wikoff Color Corporation, a manufacturer of printing inks and coatings. She has been a workshop leader for the former PIA/GATF Center for Lean Practices and a speaker at the Continuous Improvement Conference.

Shannon Kearney, Certified Lean Facilitator, Gill Studios

Kearney is a Certified Lean Facilitator at Gill Studios in Lenexa, Kansas. She leads improvement projects related to process and continuous improvement in the areas of quality, operations, productivity, and cost reduction using Lean methodologies and tools. She also facilitates groups and teams, manages projects, monitors sustainability, presents results, and develops metrics and measurement tools. Kearney has worked for Gill Studios for 14 years in a variety of positions that include graphic designer, digital print specialist, administrative assistant, and value stream manager. Gill Studios is a family-owned company that employs 450 people across two plants to produce promotional products for distributors. It is very likely the largest manufacturer of bumper stickers in the U.S.

Steve Kirk, Vice President, Operations, GLS Precision Marketing

Kirk joined GLS Precision Marketing as vice president of operations in 2013 and brought his zeal for quality improvement to the company. He became a Lean expert and Six Sigma Black Belt during the implementation of Lean manufacturing within Quad, Taylor, and Cenveo Inc. He has over 30 years of experience in the print industry developing customer-focused and results-oriented environments. Before joining GLS, he was the general manager for Cenveo, a leading global provider of print and related resources. Kirk held positions in senior management for several other leading printers and worked at Quad from 1979 to 2006. He has been sought out for his industry expertise throughout the years and has addressed audiences at several print industry seminars. He formerly gave this presentation at the Continuous Improvement Conference.

Ryan Tierney, Director, Seating Matters Ltd

Tierney is a director and co-owner of Seating Matters, a specialist seating manufacturer based in Northern Ireland with divisions in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. The family-owned company was started by Ryan's mother, an occupational therapist, and is now managed by Ryan and his two brothers. He has worked in the business for the last 13 years, since graduating from school. After stumbling across Paul Akers' book 2 Second Lean, Ryan led the company's transformation into a world-class Lean producer in an astounding three-year period. The company is now recognized worldwide for its culture, leadership, constant improvements, and remarkable performance (watch the many YouTube videos about Seating Matters). Tierney is a passionate Lean thinker who eats, sleeps, and breathes Lean.

David Veech, CEO, Leadersights, Inc.

Veech is the author of two best-selling books: Leadersights: Creating Great Leaders Who Create Great Workplaces and The C4 Process: Four Vital Steps to Better Work. He is busily at work on his next book, High Speed Problem Solving, due in the fall of 2020. For over 30 years, David has carefully studied leadership and work systems, looking for practical strategies his students or clients can effectively apply. He's a retired Army officer and has taught on the faculty at four prestigious universities. He has built two successful international consulting firms whose clients include the U.S. Postal Service, Owens Corning, Rolls-Royce, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, and Nationwide Insurance. Veech is a passionate and inspiring speaker whose messages move organizations to obliterate obstacles, accelerate innovation, and elevate performance--leaving everyone motivated and engaged for the future.

Following the event, all recordings from CI Ready! will be posted in a resource center where you can access and view the presentations and other resources at your convenience.

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