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Former Rolls Royce Executive Speaks About Lean Manufacturing at Tippie College

Lean manufacturing is the latest revolution in the way companies make products, cutting waste and reducing costs through a detailed review of the production process. One executive who successfully implemented this practice is Richard Lewis, former chief operating officer of the Rolls-Royce Corp.

On Oct. 12, Lewis will speak at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, focusing on the leadership skills required to move a company from traditional to lean manufacturing. His speech, part of the Pearson Leadership Lecture Series, will be from 2:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. in the Tippie Auditorium, Room W151 of the Pappajohn Business Building.

From 1998 to 2000 Lewis was president of Rolls-Royce North America, and from 2001 to 2004 was chief operating officer for Rolls-Royce Corporation. Under his leadership, the business delivered nearly 2,000 aircraft engines, improved customer satisfaction, won numerous awards and delivered exceptional profit and cash to Rolls-Royce. Before coming to Rolls-Royce, Lewis held several executive positions with the ITT Corporation and served in a number of civilian technical leadership positions for the U.S. Army.

Pioneered by Toyota, lean manufacturing focuses on eliminating non-value-added activities with a focus on continuous improvement. The process enhances quality, decreases costs, reduces lead times and empowers employees. Lean techniques are not only used by manufacturing companies, but also by many other types of businesses ranging from service industries to governmental organizations. Local companies using lean manufacturing techniques include Rockwell Collins, Pella, HNI Corp., John Deere; St. Luke's, Mercy and UI Hospitals and Clinics have employed these principles in the healthcare field.

In January, Lewis will be co-teaching teaching an MBA class in lean manufacturing at the UI's Cedar Rapids Center through the Lean Aerospace Initiative.


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