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The Detroit Free Press
November 24, 2020



Fiat Chrysler's Detroit assembly plant manager says the place to be is on the shop floor

For Michael Brieda, the best place to deal with a problem is at its source.

As the manager at Detroit's first vehicle assembly plant to be built in decades, that place is the shop floor.

“You can't really solve a problem. You can't really help somebody unless you're on the shop floor where the problem exists so you can analyze it, discuss options, root cause, so on and so forth," Brieda told the Free Press recently. “If you're in the office talking about problems and you’re like 500 yards away from the problem where it actually takes place, you're kind of just guessing.”

Brieda, a 27-year veteran of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its predecessor entities, has been tasked with leading the launch next year of the new assembly plant on Detroit's east side. As Detroit Assembly Complex Mack Plant manager, the 49-year-old will lead a workforce of almost 3,900 building a new three-row Jeep SUV and the next generation Grand Cherokee.

Brieda, who has a background in mechanical engineering, previously managed the Windsor Assembly Plant, where he led the launch of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. This marks his sixth year as a plant manager.

The Mack plant will work in tandem with the nearby Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which is also getting a piece of the $2.5 billion investment that FCA is putting in its Detroit plants. As he spoke about the need to be on the shop floor, Brieda mentioned the term, "gemba," something he learned about through FCA's World Class Manufacturing production process. It's a ***anese term with automotive roots from Toyota that various dictionaries define as "the actual place."

The idea is to go and see where things actually happen.

Mack Plant Manager Michael Brieda stands in the body shop of the new plant. FCA is investing $1.6 billion to build the first new assembly plant in nearly 30 years in Detroit, bringing 3,850 new jobs to the city.

It's what Brieda does every day. He said he spends several hours each morning on the shop floor. A typical weekday begins when his alarm wakes him at 3:15 a.m. He then heads out for a three-mile run and tries to be at work by 5 a.m. His goal is to wrap up his work day during the week by 5:30 or 6 p.m. Saturdays are a bit shorter, at eight or so hours.
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How have we not see anything about the new GC? I get everything was delayed, but we were supposed to see this before we saw the Wagoneer. What's the deal? The GC & Wrangler are Jeep's two most important products.
 

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“You can't really solve a problem. You can't really help somebody unless you're on the shop floor where the problem exists so you can analyze it, discuss options, root cause, so on and so forth," Brieda told the Free Press recently. “If you're in the office talking about problems and you’re like 500 yards away from the problem where it actually takes place, you're kind of just guessing.”
The idea is to go and see where things actually happen.
This is quite good actually. I say this from experiencing it myself where I work. People sitting in an office thinking they know more about your job than the one who actually does it(going on 12 years now) ME. Get out and try it themselves or at least observe what is going on is what I've always said.
 

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Taking a moment to look back, it's amazing the reincarnation of GM, Ford and Stellantis over the past ten years.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone...Be safe!









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Yup, Unfortunately, Chrysler is not Chrysler anymore, it’s just one minivan.
 

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So they are taking something that is plain as day and making it this mystical ***anese thing "Gemba" as if the ***anese invented going out to the shop floor to see the actual problem? And they need to teach this?
 

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Yup, Unfortunately, Chrysler is not Chrysler anymore, it’s just one minivan.
I wonder how long they'll keep it around, though I guess indefinitely - probably cheaper to keep slapping the Chrysler name on one product vs. the cost of shutting down the Chrysler division and buy out the dealers.
 

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So they are taking something that is plain as day and making it this mystical ***anese thing "Gemba" as if the ***anese invented going out to the shop floor to see the actual problem? And they need to teach this?
Gemba is actually a part of Lean Six Sigma, and is taught formally both in academic settings as well as in employee training sessions at businesses across multiple industries.

I've done Lean Six Sigma training as part of my apprenticeship in elevator/escalator repair and maintenance, and my wife who is an RN at Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto has done so as well.
 

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Is Gemba anything like jambalaya? Asking for a friend.
 

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Gemba is actually a part of Lean Six Sigma, and is taught formally both in academic settings as well as in employee training sessions at businesses across multiple industries.

I've done Lean Six Sigma training as part of my apprenticeship in elevator/escalator repair and maintenance, and my wife who is an RN at Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto has done so as well.
Ah, that explains it - came from the era where everyone thought the ***anese would rule the world and did no wrong. Sadly, in hindsight we see ***an is more of a train wreck with a couple of bright spots.
 

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Ah, that explains it - came from the era where everyone thought the ***anese would rule the world and did no wrong. Sadly, in hindsight we see ***an is more of a train wreck with a couple of bright spots.
When did we cross over to the realization that everything ***an makes is junk?


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Back to the story, think about it for a moment, a NEW PRODUCTION PLANT IN THE US of A!

:clap:
 

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When did we cross over to the realization that everything ***an makes is junk?
I don't think anyone did. :)

However, the crisis that ***an faces currently is that they are not "making" enough ***anese babies, resulting in an aging and declining population. Maybe they need to apply Gemba concepts to the bedroom? ;)
 
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