The lunchtime keynote was "30 Years of Success: TOC & Throughput Improvement at GM" by Jeff Miller (GM) & Kevin Kohls. I've heard elements of this story from time to time, but it was great to see it put together. GM developed a TOC-based internal process called TIP (Throughput Improvement Process) in the late 1980's, only a few years into the development of TOC. They started at a single plant that was struggling and turned it from "worst to first", which gained the attention of other plants who had similar results, which gained the attention at higher levels of the company which generated further results - even as the sites would say "that won't work here, we're different."
As more and more plants implemented TIP, the constraint decidedly moved out of production and into new product development. GM has continued to use the concepts of TIP to improve flow. One element they highlighted is that TIP is largely a manual effort of collecting data, analyzing, looking for bottlenecks, rinse and repeat. But as the company collects more and more data about everything, there needs to be ways to move to more automated signalling with a focus on key areas. They are looking at ways to identify emerging bottlenecks (is a machine starting to degrade, are lead times increasing) as a means to pro-actively resolve problems. They are also looking into "manufacturing 4.0" concepts of cyber-physical systems, further automation and simulation (again with the simulation) to help drive the right choice.