When I arrived in Virginia recently to continue my career in business process improvement and management consulting, I was looking for a network of organizations and individuals with similar interests and backgrounds that support my professional interests. I was invited by a colleague to attend a company presentation and site visit hosted by VBEC. Once there, I realized that I was surrounded by individuals from various companies from all over Virginia that had the same passion for implementation of business improvement processes, such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and ISO. VBEC welcomed me as a guest to a few of their site presentations and I have been impressed with the quality and depth of the presentations given by company representatives on how they implemented key improvement methodologies. I recommend contacting VBEC if you find yourself looking for networking opportunities and real-life practical application of business process improvement methodologies.

VBEC is well on their way to supporting their vision of having its members share current best practices while increasing the potential value to their customers by improving business process performance. To better understand the value VBEC is providing to its members, here are brief descriptions of the presentations I have personally attended:

  • A Virginia-based medical device company gave a presentation on their 3 year initiative to insure there was clear line of site of all business objectives throughout the organization. They successfully demonstrated their use of Lean initiatives that were deployed at all levels of their manufacturing organization to support this key initiative. They provided a plant tour to demonstrate these process improvements and lessons learned.
  • An Eastern Virginia-based utilities company presented their approach to a few specific Lean-Six Sigma projects that optimized processes to minimize wastes and save the organization significant time, money, and support resources. A plant tour was also conducted to walk through these processes.
  • A leading Virginia financial company presented a high level overview of their Lean-Six Sigma and Process Excellence program. This included covering their unique vision and specific principles about the program as well as detailing their hands on training throughout all levels of the organization to support this culture change.

As you can see from the examples above, these are not just events where you would attend a lecture and leave. These sessions are interactive with the presenters and attendees to provide a true learning experience. As VBEC states on their website:

"In tough economic times, one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to get the support and help they need to improve their businesses is through a consortium like VBEC. Our primary focus is to deliver programs, sharing and learning opportunities that add value to our members' continuous improvement efforts."

I personally will continue my involvement with this organization in the future and would recommend any individuals or companies in Virginia seeking these kinds on networking opportunities to research them. If interested in learning more about VBEC, please visit their website at www.vbec.org