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President & Lean Coach
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Unlike other lean specialist who may have learned about lean manufacturing from secondary sources, Jo Suria brings to the table one of the key ingredients for lean success: complete understanding of renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) as a result of 7.5 years of employment directly with Toyota in Asia.
Jo played an important role as a Production Engineer responsible for managing and coordinating a number of "milestone" projects at Toyota, including three new model introductions such as the Toyota Corolla and Camry models (two of the best selling vehicles). To ensure that Jo has been completely immersed in the Toyota Production System philosophy, Jo was sent to Japan to take numerous training and assist in the start-up of new model introductions during his employment at Toyota. Jo was based out of Toyota's mega complex in Philippines but also travelled abroad to sites in Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand as part of the production engineering team. In total, Jo spent one-and-half years at Toyota Honsha Plant and Toyota Motomachi Plant in Toyota City, Japan.
At Toyota, production engineers are considered key personnel and therefore are given multifunctional tasks and responsibilities to manage lean projects and cost reduction initiatives. As a result, Jo acquired intimate knowledge of both mechanical and electrical equipment designed to increase production throughput and reduce defects. In addition, Jo became well versed in the application of PokaYoke (mistake proofing) devices by applying the concept to real production issues.
Jo was involved in many lean implementation at Toyota, and therefore is well equipped to work with everything from a simple 5S project to highly complex manufacturing layout project. Toyota's philosophy of "always looking for ways to improve process, reduce cost" became Jo's personal philosophy, and he truly believes that effective cost reduction and process improvement happen with hands-on approach working directly with the shopfloor employees. This means jo feels comfortable providing on-the-job training to shopfloor folks and helping them understand and appreciate the concept of lean thinking.
Jo also understand what it means to apply lean to a smaller operations and to customized operations (low volume, high mix) because many of the Toyota suppliers and vendors fall in that category.
Jo is been doing lean consulting in North America since 2004 with 40+ companies including companies in the health care industry.
As a Lean Coach, his primary role is to provide timely advise on how to manage, implement and sustain lean projects. He also focuses on providing guidance for "softer skill" topics such as leadership, teamwork and how to motivate people through continuous improvement philosophy; in other words, Jo is all-around lean specialist.