About the Center for Operational Excellence

“Instead of having to work through consultants or intermediaries, the COE gives us direct access to other companies pursuing op ex—companies we can meaningfully learn from. These connections are ongoing, and are much deeper than what you could establish at a single conference.”

Tom PaiderAVP, I.T. Build Capability, Nationwide


Who we are

We are leading academics and researchers, students, and member organizations from many different industries. Despite our diversity, we hold something critical in common: We recognize that operational excellence is not a destination, but a journey—a never-ending pursuit of new strategies for working better, faster, and smarter at every step.

What we do

We work alongside our members to foster a problem-solving culture that’s grounded in tried-and-true operational excellence tools, and that’s constant and far-reaching. We’re here to help you drive changes in behavior—so that operational excellence becomes a goal in every process, start to finish. By partnering with us, our members work to: 

  • Optimize value at every step – for you and your customer
  • Build op-ex leaders
  • Create a continuous learning culture
  • Improve quality
  • Increase speed to market
  • Strengthen supply chain relationships
  • Reduce lead time
     

Why COE matters

Operational excellence is a mindset. By engaging your associates in the COE, you immerse them in a culture that’s firmly rooted in problem solving. Here they learn to dig deeper, ask harder questions, and look for more creative and thoughtful solutions. And because the COE engages associates at all levels of your organization, your team becomes more agile and cross-functional—as they share a common understanding of operational excellence best practices and strategies.

What’s in it for you

Tap into researchers and academics

As a COE member, you have exclusive access to the leadership, industry research, and expertise of our in-house experts. A broad base of knowledge among our faculty and researchers translates into a sharp, customized focus for your organization’s operational excellence challenges.

Connect with practiced professionals

Connect with industry peers to share best practices on neutral territory, and learn from high-ranking executives who bring broad and deep experience in operational excellence. You’ll meet members from a wide array of industries, and—if you experience what many of our members do—you’ll soon find you’re able to take even the most unlikely peer’s operational excellence learnings and apply them to your challenges, too.

Engage with rising leaders

Our members’ insights and experiences strongly influence how and what we teach students in our operational excellence programs at Fisher—which means that when our grads leave to become professionals, they’re prepared to face real-world challenges head on. We invite members to present to our classes, host our students for on-site visits, and connect directly with students for internship and employment opportunities.

What if every one of your employees could see the flow of value to your customer? What if they knew how to anticipate potential roadblocks to that flow, and felt confident in stopping them before they became problematic? That’s the goal we help you achieve. When you focus on fixing processes before they break, you create value for your customer and your company—value that translates into revenue and topline growth.

what we offer

Our most satisfied members are our most active members—organizations that tap into the insights of our thought leaders and researchers often, interact directly with our operational excellence students, and regularly participate in events and activities.

  • Annual Summit - A premier multi-day event invites your team to take a deep dive into operational excellence best practices and industry-leading research—featuring internationally recognized speakers, breakout sessions and simulations, and more.
  • Educational Seminars - Day-long professional development seminars are led by key business leaders and open to multiple employees from member companies. Many are webcast and archived as members-only content on the COE’s website.
  • Interactive Forums - Discussions focus on lean, innovation, supply chain, women in operations, plant management, and other member-directed topics.
  • Peer On-Site Tours - COE members are invited to attend on-site visits at the facilities of peers who are pursuing operational excellence efforts—providing key opportunities for benchmarking.
  • Student Connections - Meet the next generation of operational excellence leaders enrolled in Fisher’s student programs at COE networking events. Learn from students’ fresh insights, and connect with them about potential career opportunities in your organization.
  • Executive Leadership Education - Belonging to the COE opens doors to customized executive education opportunities for your developing leaders—ranging from our Master of Business Operational Excellence degree program to lean manager certifications.
     

How to make the most of your membership

 

Want more information?

Peg Pennington
Executive Director