Upcoming Events

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Sept. 13: Professional Development Meeting
The Blackwell | 10:30am - 2:30pm

Featured keynote: 'Designing the Future' | 10:30am - noon
Jim Morgan, senior advisor, Lean Enterprise Institute; co-author, Designing the Future

It’s easy to find ourselves with our heads down, working to improve how we deliver products and services to our customers. What opportunities are we missing upstream?

COE’s fall kickoff event features a keynote from Jim Morgan, co-author of a new book, Designing the Future, that argues we should be focusing more of our time and resources on applying operational excellence principles to product and process development. Creating reliable, disciplined processes around a steady stream of products and services, in fact, can make a lasting impact on cost and quality.

In Morgan’s keynote, he’ll look inside the “black box” of development and draw from a variety of case examples to highlight a framework of concrete practices that can break down functional silos and foster a collaborative system of simultaneous processes. Using the principles of lean product and process development that Morgan outlines, organizations can create and sustain a “living development system” that’s centered on the customer and geared to pursue product perfection.

Afternoon session: 'Venturing Into Lean Product/Process Development' | 1-2:30pm
Matt Long, VP of continuous improvement
John Miller, engineering manager
Herman Miller Inc.

Maker of the iconic Eames Lounge Chair, Herman Miller Inc. is a more than $2 billion-a-year office furniture and home furnishings manufacturer based in Zeeland, Mich. Revered for its culture and design excellence, the company also is a benchmark in lean manufacturing best practices – but leaders discovered in recent years that a lack of focus on lean product-process development was delaying product launches and jeopardizing sales.

In this afternoon session, drawn directly from a case example in Miller’s book, two leaders from Herman Miller – Matt Long, VP of continuous improvement, and John Miller, engineering manager – share how the company embraced a new system of cross-functional collaboration that entailed reframing how the company used development milestones. The result of the company’s transformational effort boosted trust across departments and brought its on-time program delivery rate beyond 90%.

in-person or livestream 



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Sept. 26: Lean Leaders Benchmarking  |  9:00am - 2:00pm 
Cardinal Health  |  7000 Cardinal Place, Dublin, OH 43017

COE's upcoming Lean Leaders Benchmarking event features leaders from Cardinal Health, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, and Nationwide Children's Hospital as they share the results of an extended value-stream mapping collaboration the companies completed earlier this year. 


In the interest of sharing best practices and reaching across boundaries, the organizations partnered to explore the inefficiencies in flow on a single product – from manufacturing and distribution to communication and customer service – with the end customer, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in mind. Through Gembas, process mapping, cross-functional discussion and research, the project team identified disruptions to product, information, and communication flow responsible for a variety of issues, including backorders to the end customer. The results included not only a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities across multiple businesses, but also the creation of an open communication environment, new supply chain metrics, and reduction in lead time between product back-order release and customer receipt.

This unique end-to-end value stream case will serve as a springboard for further discussion on how supply chain partnerships can be leveraged to drive and sustain continuous improvement across the value stream.

This limited capacity session is open to senior-level leaders at COE member companies. Please email Jackie McClure at McClure.92@osu.edu to register one attendee per member company (you may designate an additional attendee for the waitlist). 

Download Supply Chain Partnership Event Flyer

Leading a devops transformation

Oct. 8: IT Leadership Network
Pfahl Hall | 8:00am - 11:30am (breakfast included)

Featured keynote: Leading a DevOps Transformation

Mike Orzen, co-author of Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise and The Lean IT Field Guide


Any organization currently engaged in a DevOps transformation (or considering it) knows the value of leadership in affecting change. Yet, the majority of organizations don’t take the steps necessary to position leaders to effectively create the environment needed for DevOps to flourish.

This session explores key factors that drive successful DevOps Initiatives, the obstacles faced in creating a DevOps culture, and most importantly, what we can do about it. We’ll also explore what  the presenter believes is  the “secret ingredient” to successfully completing a DevOps Transformation. This event will include time for break-out sessions with your colleagues to share ideas, successes and setbacks. 

Michael Orzen delivers a unique blend of Lean, Agile & DevOps to  IT and Service Operations. He has been coaching and consulting clients for over 30 years and is recognized internationally as a thought leader in Lean, Enterprise Transformation, Lean IT, and DevOps. Michael is  coauthor of the award-winning book Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Enterprise and the follow up The Lean IT Field Guide.

As a member of COE, your company has up to five allotted slots to this event. Because this is a limited capacity session, you will be placed on a waitlist if your registration exceeds the five allotted slots per company. If you are waitlisted, you will be notified within one week of your registration. 


Download Leading a DevOps Transformation Event Flyer


Sustainable Supply Chain

Oct. 18: Supply Chain Symposium: Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Pfahl Hall | 8am to noon | Includes networking breakfast with MBA/MBLE students 


How are companies pursuing the triple bottom line (people, planet, and profit)? In today's business atmosphere, it's not enough to just be financially profitable. Customers and regulatory agencies are placing increasing pressure on companies to ensure that products and services are being provided in an environmentally conscious and socially ethical manner.

COE’s annual collaboration with Fisher College of Business' Supply Chain Association (previously named OLMA) graduate student group focuses on how companies are approaching sustainability from all angles of the supply chain: sourcing, operations, and logistics.

You will have the opportunity to listen to representatives from several companies putting emphasis and focus on their triple bottom lines: the success stories and challenges of how sustainability practices intersect with varying components of the supply chain.

Speakers for the event include:

  • Sourcing: Katie Fornadel, Global Supply Planner, Patagonia
  • Operations: Josh Zabek, General Manager - Columbus Brewery, Anheuser-Busch InBev
  • Logistics: Emily Davis, Sustainability Program Manager, DHL
  • Life-Cycle: Kevin Kish, Vice President of Manufacturing, Advanced Drainage Systems

Please join us for this great opportunity to learn about sustainability in supply chain management, join the conversation through a Q&A panel with speakers, and network with Fisher MBA and MBLE students pursuing careers in supply chain.


 Download Sustainable Supply Chain Event Flyer Here



Leveraging Your Innovation Center

November 21 |  9:00am - 2:00pm | EDGE Innovation Hub  

With so many organizations placing innovation at the forefront of their strategic goals, the creation of physical innovation spaces is growing. Innovation work spaces are an opportunity to change how, where, and when people connect for value creation through the development of new products and services. In an increasingly digital world, these spaces encourage face-to-face collaboration, daily interaction with technology, and a shared entrepreneurial focus on developing new methods, products, and ideas.


The Center for Operational Excellence and the Center for Innovation Strategies invite you to this benchmarking session featuring leaders from AEP, Donatos, and SafeliteGroup. Hosted at Edge Innovation Hub, a food technology innovation center founded by Donatos, attendees will have the opportunity to experience a hands-on ecosystem driving food industry innovation while learning about alternative approaches to physical innovation spaces, reviewing best practices, and learning to innovate with OpEx in mind. Speakers include: Craig Turner, Executive Director, EDGE Innovation Hub Ashley Weaver, VP, Operations and Performance Transformation, AEP Bruce Millard, VP, Digital & Customer Innovation, SafeliteGroup Paul Reeder, Executive Director, The Ohio State University, Center for Innovation Strategies

This limited capacity session is open to senior-level leaders at COE member companies. Please email Jackie McClure at McClure.92@osu.edu to register one attendee per member company (you may designate an additional attendee for the waitlist). 

Download Leveraging Your Innovation Center Event Flyer Here



December 6, 2019 - Professional Development Meeting

January 17, 2020 - Women's Leadership Forum

February 21, 2020 - Professional Development Meeting

April 7-9, 2020 - COE Summit 2020