An AMA. How would you rate the general state of manufacturing?

My Question on Reddit, Ask Me Anything (AMA) to Michael Baudin, Lean Manufacturing Consultant

How would you rate the general state of manufacturing in the U.S. from an "opportunity for improvement" standpoint? I assume you've seen businesses at all ends of the spectrum, but how would you rate things overall?

I  have never seen a plant with a shortage of improvement opportunities. In the best companies, the managers know of these opportunitie; in the not-so-great ones, they think they have "optimized" operations. The plants I have seen in the US, however, are a tiny sample of the existing plants, biased by the fact that they have invited me in. 

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