Seminar Series
Financial Services &


Customer Service
& Marketing
Women In Business
Human Resources



28th Annual Operational Excellence Seminar
October 2-3, 2002.

Speakers / Co-sponsors

The Partner’s Program’s Annual Operational Excellence Seminar

If you missed the Operational Excellence Seminar last week, make sure you put it on your calendar for next fall. As one participant was overheard remarking as he left the auditorium, “this one conference has been worth the price of my entire partnership.” And that’s quite a testimonial given that Partners in Business has a long, rich history of attracting world renowned talent to the Utah State University campus. Former Partner’s speakers have included Alan Greenspan, Tom Peters, George Zimmer, Dave Thomas, and Dan Quayle.

This year’s Operational Excellence Seminar featured speakers from a wide range of industries and organizations throughout the United States both civilian and military. The conference started with a discussion that emphasized the importance of articulating company visions and proceeded through a series of presentations primarily focused on developing continuous improvement systems that can be synchronized throughout organizations, and new approaches to Lean financial management.

Robert Whitman, the CEO of FranklinCovey, kicked off the seminar with a discussion about the importance of clearly articulating a company’s vision. He noted that the primary reason management fails to translate their organization’s vision into reality is that a huge gap exists between the vision and the employees’ execution of that vision. He emphasized the need of prioritizing employees’ actions to match company goals and developing a “follow through” culture.

Lloyd Hansen, a Ford vice president, discussed revenue initiatives that played a key role in the company’s $5 billion profit increase during the late 1990s. He focused on his unique revenue management perspectives that have been featured in both The Wall Street Journal and Business Week. He discussed current attempts at leveraging resources to improve marketing efficiency and increase sales. He explained that these areas are critical to the automaker’s turnaround strategy because at Ford each one percent revenue increase equals a 33 percent profit increase.

On a similar note Joe Knight, the owner of Setpoint, Inc., a roller coaster and automation machine manufacturer, discussed the importance of financial information. He credited his commitment to sharing the company’s financials with employees for empowering them to make good decisions. He also pointed out the advantages having open financials engenders in today’s economic environment. So far, his strategy has been so successful that Inc Magazine recognized Setpoint as one of the 500 fastest growing American companies.

Thomas Johnson, a professor of business administration at Portland State University, capped off the financial discussion by sharing the results of his latest research. His thought provoking presentation focused on how companies traditionally monitor Lean operations. He indicated that current attempts to evaluate work performance are misleading, and that any work which fails to add direct value to the process should be eliminated. His innovative ideas about linking measures directly to work flow will be discussed well into the future.

Robert Kups, the vice president of manufacturing technology and Jim Greco the director of continuous improvement discussed the way Parker Hannifin does Lean, and conducts Kaizen events. Kups focused on how applying Lean methods has positively changed the company’s day-to-day business operations. He discussed the impact of deploying continuous improvement methods and using revenue management. Greco emphasized the amazing results Kaizens have achieved for the organization.

Gary Peterson, a vice president with O.C. Tanner detailed what policy deployment is and how it works. He emphasized that at O.C. Tanner policy deployment focuses each team member’s thinking and actions on the role they play in meeting customers’ needs. In a similar vein, John Martino, the quality manager for Baxter Healthcare, discussed how to set up an efficient quality management system and deploy it throughout an organization. According to both speakers, successful policy deployment achieves amazing results.

Major General Scott Bergren, the Commander of Hill Air Force Base, described how benchmarking, industry partnerships and lean manufacturing techniques have helped Hill successfully achieve its mission. Bergen and Christopher Roybal, the CEO of The Economic Development Corporation of Utah, both also discussed how their organizations impact the local economy.

Another regional endeavor, Woodland Furniture of Idaho Falls, was represented by David Fenton and Trent Coates, the co-directors of manufacturing. They discussed the company’s lean journey and explained how their motto, “Assume Good Faith” makes a difference. And, on a very local note, a USU production major and the author of The Only BAD MISTAKE You Make IS the One you Never Learn From: Lessons From the Battle Front, spoke on the value of mistakes. He reminded us all that being able to laugh at yourself is important.

Dr. Kermit Hall, USU’s president, discussed the impact that focusing on operational excellence presents for the University. He described the institution’s current challenge of attempting to do more with less. His primary focus was on the importance of developing realistic goals that can be easily reviewed and used for strategic planning. Hall’s overall goal is to keep Utah’s current economic shortfall from negatively impacting USU’s ongoing pursuit of academic excellence.

Each speaker delivered a powerful message that provided the impetus for reexamining your company’s overall business objectives and improving daily operations. The Partners program helps managers make a difference in their organizations everyday. Make attending the seminars the focus of your company’s operational excellence plan. See you at the 26th annual Accounting Seminar on November 14th. For more information about upcoming seminars in this year’s series, contact the Partners in Business Program toll free at (800) 472-9965.

back to top

Keynote Speakers
Major General Scott C. Bergren

Major General Scott C. Bergren
Commander, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base

Continuous Process Improvement Improves Warfighter Capability

Kermit Hall
President of Utah State University

Education Precedes Operational Excellence

Lloyd Hansen
Vice President-Revenue Management, Ford Motor Company

Revenue Management at Ford: Focused on the Customer

H. Thomas Johnson, Ph.D.

H. Thomas Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of Business Administration, Portland State University

Learn by Seeing: Financial Management and the Questions not Asked

Robert J. Kups

Robert J. Kups
Vice President-Manufacturing Technology, Parker Hannifin Corporation

Lean . . . The Way We Do Things

Gary S. Peterson

Gary S. Peterson
Vice President-Manufacturing, O.C. Tanner Company

Breakthrough Management: Policy Deployment

Robert A. Whitman

Robert A. Whitman
CEO & Chairman of the Board, Franklin Covey

Translating a Vision into Results

Concurrent Speakers
Douglas E. Dawson

Douglas E. Dawson

The Only BAD MISTAKE You Make Is the One you Never Learn From:
Lessons From the Battle Front

David Fenton David Fenton and Trent Coates
Co-Directors of Manufacturing, Woodland Furniture

Developing a Lean Culture
Trent Coates
John A. Martino

John A. Martino
Quality Leadership Process Area Manager, Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Team-Driven Excellence

Joe Knight

Joe Knight
Owner, Setpoint, Inc. & Senior Consultant, Business Literacy Institute

Open Financials at Setpoint: Life on a Roller Coaster

Jim Greco

Jim Greco
Director of Quality/Continuous Improvement, Parker Hannifin Aerospace

The Mechanics of Conducting a Kaizen Event

Christopher A. Roybal

Christopher A. Roybal
President & CEO, The Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCU)

Economic Development for Performance Excellence

APICS - The Educational Society for Resource Management - Salt Lake Chapter
APICS - The Educational Society for Resource Management - Sundance Chapter
American Society for Quality - Golden Spike Section 620
American Society for Quality - Salt Lake Section 615
The Economic Development Corporation of Utah
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership - Utah
Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Utah Manufacturers Association

Partners in Business Home Page Jon M. Huntsman School of Business