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Carlos Conejo on the Importance of Benchmarking and Expertise

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This week, the Lean Frontline Podcast features Carlos Conejo who talks about the critical role of benchmarking, how different industries can learn from each other, and how to use new technologies to tap into subject matter experts who are closest to your customers. 

Carlos Conejo is the President of Lean Six Sigma Specialists, a management consulting firm based in Thousand Oaks, California. Conejo focuses on lean methodology training, Six Sigma Training implementation, trend analysis, and on-site training. With experience in a variety of industries, Conejo has conducted lean improvement work in finance, aerospace, health, and government agencies. Conejo earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Pepperdine University as well as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University. 

In this week’s podcast, Conejo explains the importance of benchmarking. “Part of getting people to start thinking differently is to start benchmarking. And so I use a lot of stories when I go into an organization of what other organizations are doing.” By telling the stories of other organizations in adjacent industries, teams can understand how processes work across other organizations. To further this concept, Conejo has organizations to visit other industries to see past their specific area of expertise. “So health care, I will take them to health care, radiology and so forth. You know, manufacturing, same thing. But I will take health care to manufacturing. I will take manufacturing to emergency rooms to see that it’s the same concept.” By expanding one’s view past their specific industry, new ideas can be formed and expanded upon to improve current industry processes. 

As the technological landscape begins to evolve into further dependency on automation and technology, will people become less important to these processes? Conejo states that people are still the most valuable asset to a company, as machinery is useless without someone educated to maintain and operate that machinery. “Where an organization can really invest dollars, especially in this transition time postcode, it is in really educating, empowering. They need people to get them to the next level of excellence, because once we do that, then together everyone achieves more.” According to Conejo, having a motivated workforce with objectives, strategies, and goals will increase efficiency, expertise, and profitability. 

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