Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
Tel: 765-960-6416

Jeff Smith Bio

Auburn University Graduate 1989 - Operations Management, School of Business
New United Motor Manufacturing/Toyota - 9 years
Roles: Labor Relations Representative, Group Leader, and Assistant Manager
Toyota Supplier Support Center, TSSC - 1994-1997
Roles: Plant Design and Consolidation, and System Kaizen
McKinsey Manufacturing Practice - 1997-1998.
Self Employed Business/Operations TPS Consultant - 22 years.

As a business consutant I enjoy partnering with leaders of companies. My most important goals are:
  • elevating peoples’ abilities in group endeavors by modeling new behavior,
  • improving technology,
  • strategizing learning approaches that challenge but do not intimidate or inhibit people from creative expression.

I continue to learn and apply this approach in client relations. Technical change is necessary, such as combining facilities, simplifying supply chain flow, reducing footprint in the four walls, improving safety conditions, and making and delivering work in shorter lead times while raising its value. Each real success has a common thread: people working together to create, and to implement new ideas and then to observe, vision, and recreate cyclically new versions of what is effective. This environment enables a company to compete successfully in changing markets and to meet customer demands. Innovating personnel work systems produces a happier and more efficient work force.

I look forward to meeting you and working with your leaders and people to create a better way forward.

A few real examples of leader ah-ha moments:

*VP Car Company: I am a former attorney and labor lawyer, and now I am in top management. So, I expect some conflict to occur in order to create progress. However, the situation developed so that everything was a grievance. Our union was in constant arbitration, which created an unhealthy environment for people doing the actual work. Investigating and experimenting with procedures and policies, observing the facts with humility, and inventing new technical skills enabled us to actually prevent and solve problems, all in record time-it was actually hard to find issues to grieve and arbitrate.
*CEO food services: I observed flow from dirty dishes/carts to meals on planes. Everything was handled with big machines and with scattered layouts. I completed one order start to finish in 40 feet vs using an entire building. I get it! I am not going back to huge spaces and isolated people not communicating.
*VP Stamping: I was viewing a field of large totes holding 1000 pieces each, with no visible floor space left. A simple tool change that took 15 minutes solved the problem: I now see how executed tactics, work flow and people, and policies open up floor space for new business-a dramatic improvement!
*VP Coffee: We had people waiting out the door for service. However, by focusing on the work to be done at the bar and elevating people’s skills with better techniques, the business dramatically improved service volume, and, more importantly, our people learned, grew and enjoyed the actual work.
*President Appliance manufacturing: the highly finished goods our customers desired always had hidden quality issues. This problem eroded our market share and customer base. By focusing on what really worked and by being more flexible, the volume increased, and we dropped stocks at both ends while having higher quality and a shorter lead time. Our employees could understand this. Learning this in real time is very different from reading books, seeing video, or listening to experts. It’s the type of learning that occurs on the job in real life situations.
*VP Supply Chain: We always looked back into the supply chain for solutions. Actually, by starting to listen to the customer, we improved our process. By using customer expectations, we improved quality, timing, and cost, making production dramatically easier, and improving supply chain performance. Who knew you had to start at the actual customer interface with sales and manufacturing to improve supply chain? Just incredible and inspiring to see with all my years doing it the other way.
*VP Engineering Design and Layout: We approached layout as an isolated activity away from logistics and scheduling. It always came back to bite us. Partnering with our Union and carefully designing the information flow to physical units that could flex up and down was a real eye opener. Our job laying out equipment became much easier when looking at rates of flow for real requirement ranges. Since we partnered with the folks we usually fought with we learned that we both wanted the same thing-a trouble free flow for people to work in.
*President of Assembly facility small mobile carts: We scheduled orders into production for which we had no parts, half built them, and finished everything end of month, barely on time. Our labor costs were high, logistics were poor, and profits just ok. I noticed that 15% of what was scheduled was finished the same day, and that’s absurd. I looked at my policy for materials. We were taught what real customer requirements were with a functional supply and logistics method, when to bring in what was needed, and where to change relationships that hindered this. Floor space cleared up when resupply was physical, as opposed to being in a computer, the plant accommodated new business, and what we scheduled was built same day, without a mountain of defective product at the end.