Of all the words that might come to mind when describing a great workplace, Rich Sheridan has built a national reputation on one that likely wouldn’t top the list: Joy. Nearly 15 years into his tenure as the leader of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Menlo Innovations, Sheridan is now a sought-after speaker on the national scene | Read more…



A subsidiary of Center for Operational Excellence member Crane Group Companies is bolstering its parent’s portfolio with the acquisition of a PVC sheet pile business. Jacksonville-based Shoreline Plastics in August said Crane Group subsidiary Crane Materials International acquired its vinyl sheet pile business, including all related assets and intellectual property. Financial terms of the deal | Read more…



Only a few months into his presidency at The Ohio State University, Dr. Michael Drake took the time at a public forum to share his insights on the importance of university-business partnerships and what’s in store for one COE member on the brink of major change. President Drake, who stepped into the post June 30, | Read more…



Adding to the continued growth and diversity of the Center for Operational Excellence, specialty fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc. has become its newest member. Seattle-based Nordstrom was founded as a shoe business in 1901 and has grown into one of the leading specialty fashion retailers in the nation with more than 250 stores and a vibrant | Read more…



Even the best organizations don’t see outside their four walls sometimes, and those in search of the big picture often turn to value-stream mapping. As a tool in the lean transformation arsenal, value-stream mapping is a tried-and-true approach to finding bottlenecks, redundancies and other problems in the product or service’s journey to the end customer. | Read more…



For most of us, the sigma level – or defects per million opportunities – for New Year’s resolutions would be abysmal. We have 365 opportunities in a year to implement what we resolve to stick to and in reality, how many do we take advantage of? Whether it is skipping that dessert or going out | Read more…



One of the greatest challenges organizations face is choosing among multiple alternatives for improving a product or service. Our Master of Business Operational Excellence students last week got a crash course in a great decision-making tool. Holly Stein, director of operational excellence at Cardinal Health, introduced our students to the “design of experiments” concept, which | Read more…



Last year, COE talked to Fisher College of Business professors Aravind Chandrasekaran and Kenneth Boyer about fascinating new research they were preparing to publish about the health-care industry. That their work didn’t go unnoticed is an understatement. The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, or INFORMS, recently honored Chandrasekaran, Boyer and co-author Claire | Read more…



A common complaint from those resistant to lean thinking is that it can’t be applied to processes that aren’t visible, particularly office processes where most decisions are made with e-mail and phone calls. The InBox Simulation our Master of Business Operational Excellence students recently ran with the help of Peg Pennington, Gary Butler and yours | Read more…



Part of the work we do at the Center for Operational Excellence is collaborating with our member companies to ensure they’re connecting with our students for internships and full-time jobs. Dozens, occasionally more than 100, students each year head to our member companies for temporary or permanent employment. We’re exceedingly proud that one of our | Read more…