When it comes to production processes or methods, Toyota has been and had been many companies and suppliers’ example. In fact, the Toyota Production System -- or TPS – has become the gospel for many aspiring automotive manufacturers. Preaching this gospel to nth/works metal-stamping firm is newly named chief operating officer and Toyota-trained former executive Paula Lillard.
nth/works is an almost 70-year-old stamper of washing machine parts that is relatively new to the auto industry. The company has been struggling to adopt the TPS, and so it tapped Lillard to make things right. “This plant just needs a little TLC," remarked Lillard while inspecting the company’s factory.
She told Automotive News that that she tries to acknowledge people. She remarked that if failed to expect the site for a few days, the workers would want to know her whereabouts and show her the improvements they have made in their area.
That is how Lillard works, according to Automotive News. She is like a teacher and mother who is aiming to take the company into a new level in the auto industry. Her manner may not divulge it but Lillard boasts of a deep background in the auto industry.
She was one of Toyota’s earliest employees in Kentucky in the 1980s, rising through assignments in the carmaker’s American production planning and strategic planning management, purchasing and supplier development in North America.
She helped set up Toyota's North American manufacturing base in Erlanger, Ky. She also helped build and launch Toyota’s engine site in Huntsville, Ala. In 2005, she was named by Automotive News as one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. [source: automotive news - sub. required]