— About Me —

Background

I founded my consulting practice so that I could make an impact on small-to-mid-size manufacturers.  I've been in large companies, but the smaller, private companies really get me excited because you can move fast and make a difference.

I’ve worked in manufacturing for 35 years, with 20 of those in a variety of executive positions.  Over that time span, I’ve seen a lot of things.  I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and I want to share my insights and lessons with you.

I’ve been a hands-on executive leading major change in six organizations.  I've sat in your chair, and I know what it feels like.  I know the rewarding feeling you get during the good times, and I understand the tremendous pressure that you feel when things are not going well. During the 2008 recession, I had to lay off half of my workforce.  It still makes me sick to my stomach to think of the impact on those families.

Of the six companies that I just mentioned, the changes at five of those were successful, and one was not.  I learned a great deal from each of these experiences.

During my time at these companies, I developed a deep understanding of Lean and EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®.   Lean and EOS® have shaped my perspective on what it takes to create an effective leadership system.

As a consultant, I’ve advised dozens of organizations.  My approach is always to listen, learn, teach, and coach.  The management teams at my clients always have ample expertise about their industry and products, and they don’t need me for that expertise.  Instead, I work to provide new ideas about how they can lead their companies differently and more effectively.

In 2019, I published my first book “How to Fix a Factory”.  The intention of the book was to share my approach to getting a struggling operation back on the right track.  Writing a book was on my bucket list, and it was a rewarding and challenging experience.  If you want to take a deeper dive into the way I think and approach situations, the book is an excellent resource.  There is a link at the bottom of this page.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, and I’m a graduate of the Minnesota Executive Program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Testimonials

"Rob was a tremendous help to our leadership team. He was able to quickly identify some of our underlying challenges, and he helped us fill those gaps with some practical management tools. We saw immediate results, and those improvements have stuck with us to this day."

Charlie Westling

CEO, Computype

"Rob's in-depth knowledge of operations and approach to profitability management has helped my company improve our results. He merges his practical operational expertise with a great understanding of effective leadership. This is a powerful combination to help any company to excel."

Joan Schatz

Co-President, Park Industries

"We may have had the answers, but we don’t always ask the right questions. I feel that’s a big part of what Rob does for us – he asks the right questions to get us thinking in a way that leads us to the right answers.  Rob forces us out of our comfort zone, pushes us to face the hard decisions, pokes holes in our tried and true, leads us through listening, and teaches not tells."

Sarah Elder

President, Kalisher

"Rob had a tremendous impact on helping us turn around one of our factories in just four months. On-time delivery improved, output increased, and our processes were stabilized. That also helped to boost employee morale and engagement.  Bringing in Rob was one of the best decisions that we made this year."

Dave Huml

Senior VP EMEA, APAC, Marketing & Operations - Tennant Corporation

Core Values

Doing the right thing. It's easy to say, but not always easy to do. I was fortunate to have great role models growing up that taught me to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult. 
Valuing and respecting every person. Each of us brings unique talents and value to the world. I strive to demonstrate profound respect for every person.
Being a source of energy. There are people in this world that give energy, and there are those that sap energy. I am committed to providing energy, enthusiasm and goodwill.
Positive intentions. I come to the table with the assumption that people have positive intentions. I believe that this sets the stage for healthy discussion and debate, which leads to better outcomes.

How to Fix a Factory