From the Founder’s Desk
We are passionate about helping manufacturing companies improve their performance.
Growing up in the mid-West in the 1970s and watching friends and neighbors suffer as plants were shuttered and factories left idle, lit a fire in me. I thought “Isn’t there a way we can run these plants so they can stay open and competitive?”
This driving question led me to learn everything I could on what differentiates successful manufacturing management techniques. Along the way, I earned three degrees from MIT, and a position as a Research Fellow at MIT’s Leaders for Manufacturing Program. But, the best learning happened when I started working in factories where I was up to my eyeballs in the day-to-day challenges of keeping a factory humming and staying one step ahead of fierce competitors.
My career began in the automotive industry, where I was fortunate to see how techniques like the Toyota Production System work exceptionally well in a high-volume, low margin environment. But later, during a stint at a large, make-to-order environment in the metals industry, I struggled to apply these high-volume techniques to the much more complex high-mix world.
That got me thinking. How could we adapt automotive techniques like Kanban and Lean so that they would be just as successful in a high-mix industry? Fortunately, with supportive mentors and the opportunity to learn by trial-and-error, my teams and I were able to find answers to this question. Our efforts to improve plant performance paved the path to a better understanding of how Lean works best in these environments. This led me to a new job opportunity: demonstrating the approach in yet another high-mix industry: electronics assembly.
As I shared these case studies at various conferences and trade shows, I heard from many folks in other high-mix industries facing the same struggle: how to reap the benefits of Lean if your operations don’t mirror those of an automotive company?
And that is why I founded Invistics in 1999: to help high-mix manufacturers increase competitiveness and enjoy the benefits of Lean. Over the years, Invistics has been fortunate to have been joined by an array of subject matter experts who share this same passion. My colleagues and I continue to forge new ground on these topics, developing the expertise and software tools to help companies in electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment, textiles and a variety of other high-mix industries improve performance and stay one step ahead of their competition.
We continue to learn and share best practices and welcome every opportunity to pursue our passion: creating manufacturing heroes.