Educational Program

*Please check back frequently as this page is updated with additions to our educational program.


Our experienced Steering Committee of manufacturing professionals mastermind the content for the Educational Sessions, to ensure they are in line with the industry’s key issues. They will cover both strategic and technical topics related to discrete and process manufacturing.

IMPACT brings together the challenges and the solutions and is scheduled in a way that is interactive and fun.

If you are interested in speaking at the IMPACT Manufacturing Summit or joining the IMPACT Steering Committee, please contact Emily Denooij at

The IMPACT Spring Educational Program will include:

  •  2 Keynote Addresses
  •  14 Peer Led Plenary Presentations
  •  6 Customer Led Case Studies


Targeted one on one Research Meetings with Carefully Selected Leading Solution Providers


Unparalleled Peer Networking Opportunities with other high profile Executives over onsite Breakfasts, Lunches, Receptions and Gala Dinner


Keynote Presentations

“Robots! The Latest Trends, Technologies and Emerging Applications in Robotics and Automation”

Erik Nieves, Director of Technology and Emerging Markets, Yaskawa Motoman Robotics

The field of robotics is growing at an unprecedented pace and having an increasing impact on our daily lives.
Robotics and automation systems can now be found across a wide-spectrum of applications in defense, biomedical, manufacturing, and consumer goods. The market forces driving this growth will be explored and the technologies behind recent advances described.  Emerging robot applications in manufacturing processes will be detailed. 

“Building on your Lean Transformation:  Exploring how to Sustain Performance on the Journey to Operational Excellence!”

Richard Saad, Senior Global Director Supply and Operations Excellence, Anheuser-Busch InBev

As many companies and their leaders consider what is the next “thing” in lean and ponder questions like, “What is Operational Excellence really?”, “What can Operational Excellence do for my organization?”, “How does Operational Excellence help me with the bottom line?”.

This topic will be an interactive session coupled with a case study about improving real KPIs where the presenter will focus on many current questions about sustainability and operational excellence and explore some of things Supply Chain and Operations Leaders can do to sustain performance that was realized with a Lean Transformation.

Breakout Sessions

"Leveraging Size, Scale, Technology, and Process to your Advantage"
Vic Versino, VP Logistics & Inventory, Redbox
  • Accountability and supply chain cost, down to the unit level
  • The challenges of reducing touches and assuring low cost
  • How can your company's size and scale work to your advantage?  
  • As you look at optimizing your supply chain network, where can technology enable efficiencies while enhancing reliability?

“Hierarchy of Global Supplier Rationalization”

Dave Berg, Vice President Global Sourcing & Logistics, Schrader International 

Present a ranking system to guide selection of subcontractors to minimize risk, control cost and drive continuous improvement.

  • Understand key aspects of subcontractor selection.
  • Show a methodology to select subcontractors that directly support the goals and needs of the business.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of supplier evaluation and how to use it to obtain continuous improvement from the supply base.


“Improving the Prototype Value Stream”

Jim Parejko, Vice President Continuous Improvement & Engineering, Bison Gear

Jordan Kapitanoff, Lean Innopreneur, Bison Gear

Speed, flow, and knowledge capture are three crucial elements of a successful prototype development process.  Through the use of basic lean tools and concepts, Bison has been able to improve customer lead time, project visibility, and at the same time increase the quality of its projects for a process that is essential for the company’s future success.  The presentation will describe the methodology used to create the new process, it will describe the process in detail along with the support systems used, and it will also touch on areas where there may be resistance to change.  This same methodology can be used for many different office processes, and is beneficial to more than just those involved with prototyping!


Improving efficiency by automating your production process”

Ed Kestel, Director of Manufacturing, Orbital Sciences Corporation

Today’s manufacturing environments are rapidly evolving and highly competitive. Every minute counts and automation is costly and time consuming. Engineering changes are always costly to implement and control.

In this session, you'll see first-hand how Orbital Sciences addressed common project manufacturing challenges by adopting a Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Learn how they applied best-in-breed processes and technology, with lessons learned and real-life, to select and implement MES. Applying the same principles will result in a dramatic improvement in your manufacturing efficiency and quality.


"Visual Management Everywhere! – Operations, Office and Sales"

Mark Preston, President, Riverwood Associates

Implementing Visual Management techniques is essential for any Lean Enterprise. It is critical for long-term sustainability. Visual Management is much more than posting process related metrics. It will drive daily management and continuous improvement. Key elements and examples of Visual Management systems will be delivered in this presentation. 

Attendee Takeaways:
  • Learn to design your own Visual Management System
  • Visibility of Waste by Going on a Rattlesnake Hunt
  • How to Create an Operational Excellence War Room
  • See the big picture using a Lego Layout
  • Sales and Project Management Pipeline Visibility 

Automation - At the Tipping Point"

Marcy Alstott, Vice President Operations, Grabit Inc.

China labor and transportation costs are rising.  Consumer pressure to buy products made in the USA is increasing. Internet shopping is driving demand for local warehousing and rapid delivery of product. All of these factors are increasing the interest in automation. Manufacturers and logistics providers are automating in order to afford to bring product closer to consumption.  History has taught us that automation can inhibit flexibility and can slow down product launches or process capabilities if not done correctly. The technology has progressed such that we are at a tipping point. It is now possible to solve the complex problems that used to be simply cheaper to complete with a person in a low cost location. There is a measurable sea change in the approach to manufacturing and logistics. The factory of the future has finally arrived.

Key Take-Aways

  • The factors tipping the equation from off-shore labor to technology-enabled solutions.
  • A discussion of today’s evolved automation which is not the hard tooling of yesterday.
  • Inhibitors to this movement and what this means for the future.
  • Techniques to assess an organization’s readiness for automation.
  • A review of how to start, move forward and partner in order to ride this wave of change?

"After 5S, Visual Management and Value Stream Mapping, where do you go?"

Rick Reed, Director of Continuous Improvement & Quality, WIKA

You have started your lean journey. You have done the 5S, Visual, Management and Value Stream thing. You have come to a fork in the road. Where is lean supposed to take you next? This session is a look at those next steps... I call them initiatives. We will take a look at them and decide which is the best route to take. 


"The Impacts of Leadership on a Lean/CI Culture"

Neil Eardley, Managing Director, Siemens Healthcare

Lean is typically talked about as a box of tools which can be picked up and utilised to drive a more efficient operation.  But only too often businesses fail or don’t make the sustainable benefit they could, why is this?  Neil’s belief is that the main contributor is leadership; not just from the top but right through the ranks.  Lean and CI applications cannot be viewed as ‘off the shelf’ tools that can be applied to any business.  The business’ local culture and leadership have to be taken into account and these elements evolved together.  Even worse, when you get it wrong the team become demotivated, the moral drops, people start to leave and the business can take a step backwards.

Great leadership without the right use of lean tools can lead to some good but inconsistent results.  

Poor to average leadership utilising lean applications can again get some average inconsistent results.  

Great leadership and a fully engaged, motivated team utilising correctly applied lean tools in a true CI culture can achieve consistent, sustainable improvement year on year.  All of this with fun and a team happy in their work.

Neil will happily share his processes, actions, and results with his open and candid views…


"Strategic Sourcing – Optimizing Value and Reducing Total Cost of Acquisition"    

Bency Thomas, Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager, Baker Hughes, Inc.

  • What strategic sourcing is and what it is not!
  • Benefits of strategic sourcing
  • Real life strategic sourcing examples
  • Pitfalls of strategic sourcing
  • How to develop and deploy a successful and sustainable strategic sourcing organization, regardless of the size of annual spend

"Being Proactive in Employee Retention in your IT Department"

Bob Brady, Advisor to Boeing

  • Understand the difference between retaining employees in your IT department, as opposed to your manufacturing operation.
  • What it takes to maintain an effective IT department in today’s environment.
  • The value of contractors over your own IT department.
  • The value of junior developers as a source of future developers.
  • How to strategize for the IT department you want to have, as opposed to the one you have right now.
"Global Product development and NPI - A Silicon Valley Perspective"
K.R. Subramanian, President, Strataplex Inc.
With the 'Made in the USA' initiative across various industries, and the need to balance the global partners in development, supply chain and logistics, this area has become super critical in staying ahead of the game. This presentation gives an insider view from the Silicon Valley, hi-tech companies, as to how they have continued to innovate, not only in the product area, but also from the NPI execution focus.
Key takeaways include:
  • Learn how to identify opportunities and create synergies to improve global product development efforts.
  • Accelerate growth for faster time to market and for achieving the highest ROI of development investment.
  • Learn to execute supply chain and logistics more effectively.  
“Continuous Improvement – Do you have the Necessary Courage?  A Case Study."
Bill Fogel, Manufacturing Manager, Johnson & Johnson
A 16B$ Global Paper Company: The charter was to take a transformational step in manufacturing to leapfrog the competition in a highly competitive and shrinking marketplace… shareholders and Wall Street applauded, customers and the competition yawned, employees and suppliers cringed, management scoffed, and consultants and lawyers dreamt of big bonuses…..
Follow their saga, learn from their missteps and discover what kind of courage you need for your CI journey.
“High Performance Leadership:  The True Competitive Advantage” 
Charles Grau, VP Information Technology, Aeroturbine co-presented with Tim Dorsey, President, The Dorsey Group

AeroTurbine Inc. is a global leader in the comprehensive solutions for the aviation industry.   Their success in satisfying customers has led to a sustained 24%+ annual growth rate since inception.  The executive team at AeroTurbine realized that the skills and processes that helped them launch the company would not be sufficient to take the company to the next level.

This presentation focuses on the leadership and their role in implementing and sustaining a culture of Operational Excellence. Since it was change AeroTurbine was seeking, they knew that they must use outside consultants to bring about the change.  After a thorough study of many consultants, AeroTurbine found The Dorsey Group to be the perfect fit for their company and its performance improvement goals.

In this presentation, the speakers, Charles Grau, Vice President of IT of AeroTurbine Inc., and Tim Dorsey of The Dorsey Group, will share their roadmap, strategies, and lessons learned during their journey to the next level.   The presenters will also explore the challenges encountered at the leadership level.

Key Takeaways:

• Leaderships role in implementing a “Lean” culture
• Understanding the difference between “Cost Cutting” and “Lean” 
• Creating the infrastructure for sustainability
• Accountability and difficult decisions
• 100% active engagement of all employees
• Learn how a strong audit system helps sustain the teams and evaluate leaders
"Building a Culture to Support Lean Improvement"
Jason Miller, Plant Manager, IAC Group
According to Industry Week magazine, less than 2% of all companies who have instituted a Lean program achieved their targeted results.  What role does culture change in building a sustainable Lean environment?
Takeaways :
  • Understand the difference between executive management support and support the management at the point of change
  • Review some of the pitfalls other Lean Journeys have run into
  • Explore the role of the front line supervisor in sustaining/growing the culture
"Learn by Doing – A “Right” Tech Approach to Implementing S & OP at Philips Home Healthcare"
Eric Kulikowski, Senior Director of Supply Chain Optimization, Philips Home Healthcare
There is really only one way to learn how to do something and that is to just do it. If you want to learn to throw a football, drive a car, build a mousetrap, design a building, cook a stir-fry, or implement S & OP, you must have a go at doing it. Philips Home Healthcare is implementing S & OP processes without the services of software or consultants to enable the initiative. It is a grassroots effort with significant executive leadership support. 
In this session, Philips will share why this approach is being taken, how it is being executed and what has been learned along the way. Key takeaways will be the steps being taken to Implement, Mature and then Optimize the S & OP processes as Philips moves beyond the Pilot implementation program. And it is all enabled by a highly motivated and engaged team of Philips employees who believe in the cause. The approach may not be high tech, but it is right tech for Philips.
"Lenovo Bold Workout"
Amedio Palmieri, Executive Director of Manufacturing & Operations, Lenovo
Lenovo has developed a new evolution to enhancing the culture while continuing to drive continuous improvement. This new Initiative is called Bold Work Out,  it engages all levels of our teams, cross-functionally and globally. It empowers everyone……..
Lenovo’s Bold WO takes its roots from the GE’s Work Out program that was developed by Jack Welch in the early 1990s In his light bulb factories.  It was put in place initially to quickly reduce cost and drive improvements in their factories. After about 6 month they starting reaping the benefits, Mr. Welch took Workout to all supporting groups of the factories.  We developed our own unique cross culture Initiative based on many principles of what GE did.  
The program is based on Lean Six Sigma principles and is composed of several speed driven steps that take efficiencies to BOLD goals. And, it is a great team event!
We found it was not just a new manufacturing initiative to drive efficiencies and reduce cost, it was much much, more.  And, it affects our culture in a good way….


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