Michael  Tanner

Michael Tanner

Senior Lecturer in Management Sciences
Associate Director, Center for Operational Excellence

Center for Operational Excellence (COE)

Management Sciences


Mike Tanner is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management Sciences. He teaches undergraduate operations classes that include Introduction to Operations as well as Process Improvement for Operations. In addition, he has been teaching graduate-level Management of Lean Enterprise classes and operations management sessions in Fisher’s Executive Education program.

Tanner spent 35 years in operations management in a variety of roles, including 16 years at Rockwell International, where he started as a production supervisor and moved through a variety of positions to eventually lead its largest automotive division facility as a plant manager. Tanner then moved to TI Automotive as a multiple plant manager before taking responsibility for all thirteen fabrication plants of the brake and fuel division in North America. During this time he went through extensive training in lean tools and traveled internationally teaching lean within his organization.

While at TI, two of his plants were honored with the Shingo Prize, an award given annually to facilities that excel in continuous improvement.

After leaving TI, Tanner worked for MetoKote Corp. as a general manager with responsibility for the company’s 10 northern North American operations. During this time, he led the launch of a continuous improvement program throughout North America.

Areas of Expertise

  • Turnaround of Manufacturing operations for quality and productivity
  • Implementation of Lean tools in an Operation
  • Training of Operations Managers


  • MA, The Ohio State University College of Business
  • BS, The Ohio State University


  • BUSMGT 3230 - Introduction to Operations Management: Improving Competitiveness in Organizations

    Introduction to operations and supply chain management to improve manufacturing and service organizations; analyzing, controlling and improving resources and processes to increase productivity, generate value-added output and meet business goals. Prereq: Econ 2001.01 (200), 2002.01 (201); and Stat 1430 (133) or equivalent. Not open to students with credit for 3130 (430) or 630, or to students enrolled in UUSS, UExp or PreBSBA-PR.

  • BUSMGT 7233 - Strategic Global Sourcing

    Focuses on major decisions related to global sourcing, starting with ownership (make-buy) and location (offshore-onshore). Among other topics, students explore fundamental trade-offs in sourcing organization, such as centralizing or decentralizing. Prereq: MBA 6231 and 6232, and enrollment in MBA, WPMBA, or MBLE program. Not open to students with credit for 837.