Leaning Forward in Detroit

Held on: Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aimée Cowher, City of Detroit Director - Lean Process Management


Motor City, Motown, America's Automotive Capital -- Detroit is now being tagged America's Comeback City ... again.

In late 2014, Detroit emerged from 16 months of formal bankruptcy proceedings to begin its next phase of redevelopment. Detroit was already tagged as one of America's great comeback cities having born the steep ups and downs of the auto industry. The next stage of Detroit's redevelopment embarks post-bankruptcy with the city restoring public services and retrofitting itself for a new economic future.

Key to this new phase in the city's history is doing things differently and deploying Lean Six Sigma methods for the benefit of programs and the Detroit citizens they serve. In an environment that puts a premium on every dollar, city staff needs to be as efficient as possible in all operations. A variety of collaborative initiatives has introduced a new transparency to municipal operations and is producing noticeable results.

The Detroit story has lessons and insights that can be applied to a broad spectrum of process improvement deployments, especially others in the service sector.

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Speaker Details

Aimée Cowher, City of Detroit Director - Lean Process Management


Aimée left her CEO position at Global Productivity Solutions to help lead the charge to turnaround the operations of the City of Detroit and to improve the value the city delivers to its customers. Aimée brings 20+ years of process improvement experience to the mayoral appointment. Early in her career, Aimée was one of the first industry Black Belts working in AlliedSignal's supply chain. In 1996, she started her own consulting business to deliver Six Sigma training and implementation support to companies such as Black & Decker, Northrop Gruman, Lockheed Martin, Kraft Foods, Dell, and Shell.

Aimée earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MS in Operations Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.