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The Leadership Team


At Simpler®, we understand that the work we do for our clients can only be as good as our people. You'll see this reflected in the caliber of our team members at every level. We don't expect newly minted MBAs to tackle complex problems with textbook solutions.

Our leadership team is made up of former CEOs and senior business managers. They have held operations management roles with P&L responsibility during Lean Conversions at companies like HON, Danaher, The Wiremold Company, Hillenbrand Industries, Freudenberg NOK, Pratt-Whitney and Allied Signal. They bring this level of knowledge to every Lean Transformation they do.


MANAGEMENT BIOGRAPHIES

Click names to view biography

Marc Hafer
Chief Executive Officer
Nick Middleton
Executive Vice President

North America

Michael Chamberlain
President
Keith Sieverding
Senior Vice President, Operations
Tom Goetter
Senior Vice President
Steve Matteson
Vice President, Healthcare
Timothy M. Whitmore
Vice President
Lee Alves
Vice President and Regional Director, Atlantic South
Steve Montes
Vice President, Business Development

Europe and Asia Pacific

Jon Armstrong
Managing Director
Chris Lloyd
Vice President & Controller
Chris Cooper
Global Director, Simpler Design SystemSM
Loic Pichot
Director, Business Development


David Simmons

General Manager

Joining Simpler in 2008, David Simmons is a multilingual senior business leader with a proven track record in transforming complex and diverse international, multi-site organisations, including extensive commercial, operations, and acquisition experience.

He has a strong reputation for the achievement of sustained profitable growth, through the development of individuals and leadership of effective teams, in a multicultural environment. He is an entrepreneurial culture change leader with a passion for customer satisfaction supported by the application of Lean, Toyota Production System, and six-sigma.

His industrial experience includes plastics, chemicals, metals, precision metal products, packaging, machine building, heavy electrical engineering and printing in both a corporate and private equity backed environment. Markets served include off-shore oil, steel, automotive, instrumentation, mobile equipment, aerospace, beverage, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and industrial distribution. Since joining Simpler David also has experience in the health care sector.

David’s Lean journey began in the 1990’s with Parker Hannifin and continued after 2000 under the guidance of Yomo Consultants with Alcoa, gaining his division recognition for Lean transformation.

Between 2000 and 2008, David led several large-scale Lean transformations as a business leader resulting in significant performance improvements: €20 million cost reduction in a sixteen site European printing business in 12 months; over 50% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and a 21% increase in capacity without investment, in a private equity backed industrial materials company, exceeding the 5 year plan in 18 months; doubling profitability in a pan-European packaging business, supplying the beverage sector by rapid product development and supply chain optimisation; and increasing the return on capital employed (ROCE) from under 1% to over 20% in 2 years at an industrial chemicals manufacturer.

David is a Chartered Engineer and a Production Engineering graduate. After 11 years in Germany and 2 years in France, he now lives in England with his wife.

Loic Pichot

Director, Business Development

Joining Simpler in 2006, Loïc Pichot has over 20 years of leadership experience in the delivery of successful Lean transformations in the automotive industry sector. Within his seven years experience with Simpler he has expanded his Lean transformation experience across several industry segments include pharmaceutical, aerospace, plastics, metal, energy, maintenance and repair, precision metal working, consumer products, and building products.

Loïc’s Lean journey began in 1992 as General Manager and Manufacturing manager of Valeo Closure Systems. Under the guidance and intensive coaching of Japanese sensei from Toyota, he helped lead the whole Lean transformation across Europe and was part of the team that developed the Valeo Production System (5 axes) and implemented a system to manage the whole company’s culture change and sustainment.

Between 1992 and 2001, Loïc led several successful Lean transformations throughout Europe, including a €150 million Valeo French facility, a €120 million Valeo Spanish facility, a €125 million business unit that included research and development (R&D), sales and marketing responsibilities. Through these transformations, productivity, quality and lead times improved year over year in double digit speed.

Over the next 5 years, between 2001 and 2006, Loïc was involved in the acquisition process when MAGNA took over the Donnelly Mirrors leadership. Over a 2 year period, Loïc led the Lean transformation efforts in Europe to improve the manufacturing excellence level of the five European plants to increase the consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by 8%. The next year Loïc led the manufacturing reorganization in the United States, reducing five plants to three by implementing value stream management by products and customers, reducing overhead by 50%. The last year Loïc led the foot print implementation of a Slovakia plant in Europe to increase Magna Donnelly’s market share by 10% in Europe and restructured manufacturing to implement the same value stream model to reduce overhead by 25%.

Loïc is part of the Lean thinking community and he has presented at conferences with James Womack in 2005 in Barcelona, Spain. He is fluent in the French, Spanish, and English language. Loïc is an Engineer and earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 2001 from the Dijon University in France. He lives in Barcelona, Spain with his wife and two children.

Marc Hafer

Chief Executive Officer

When Marc Hafer joined Simpler® as a senior consultant in 2002, he brought years of leadership experience in sales, marketing, product development, strategic planning and general management with him. His skills as a gifted teacher and visionary leader were evident from the beginning, and he quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming President of Simpler North America in 2007 and CEO of Simpler Holdings in 2009.

He learned the Toyota Production System and Lean tools working with one of the foremost US practitioners, the Shingijutsu Consulting Group. His experience in Lean Transformation ranges from manufacturing companies that produce high-volume, standard products to entrepreneurial organizations creating lower volume, custom engineered products. He has successfully applied Lean principles throughout entire enterprises, from shop floor manufacturing to office administrative/engineering functions and field construction crews.

Since joining Simpler, Marc’s experience has expanded even further. It now includes healthcare, the service industry and military assignments both in the United States and the United Kingdom. As CEO of Simpler Holdings, he is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of Simpler Consulting around the world. Marc also coaches client leadership teams. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and volunteers in support of industry organizations such as the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Shingo Prize, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Steve Montes

Vice President
Commercial, North America

Joining Simpler® in 2003, Steve Montes has over 18 years of leadership experience in the delivery of successful large-scale Lean transformations across a broad range of industries including high-tech, automotive, home building, aerospace, health care, retail, and US military operations. His experience includes leadership of over 400 Lean/Six Sigma events covering North America and Latin America, both in the manufacturing as well as the service/administrative operations.

Prior to joining Simpler®, Steve personally led Lean transformations with Fortune 500 organizations in the automotive and high-tech industries. He has held several key positions within these industries; including Director of Operations, General Manager, Program Manager, Sales Manager and Director of Quality Engineering. He is experienced in delivering results for a demanding client base which includes: Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Apple, Toyota of Japan and North America, Honda of America, Chrysler and General Motors. Steve successfully led several Toyota Platform launches in North America supporting several automotive sites within the Toyota Motor Company organization. His strategic and holistic application of Lean-Six Sigma tools and techniques for the manufacturing and service sector clients has led them to achieve long term sustainable results and culture change. Steve received his Masters in Business Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco and his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Stanislaus. He is the recipient of the "Outstanding Graduate of the Masters Program". Over the last several years, Steve has also taught Lean Operations courses at California State University, Stanislaus as an Adjunct Professor. In addition, he volunteers his time as a member of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) West Coast Chapter and the Business Advisory Board for California State University, Stanislaus.

Michael Chamberlain

President
Simpler North America

As President of Simpler North America, LP, Mike leads more than 100 proven experts who deliver game-changing Lean Transformations to manufacturing, military, banking, construction, government, finance and insurance clients every day.

Mike began his career at Simpler® as a Senior Consultant in 2001. As he built a track record of success for our clients—and for Simpler—he climbed the ranks from Manager to Vice President, Senior Vice President and General Manager and now, President.

Mike's expertise in the integrated use of a wide range of improvement tools including Lean and Six Sigma has led to hundreds of millions of real dollars in savings to clients. Today, he spends the majority of his time focusing on business development, marketing and innovation for the public, commercial and healthcare sectors. He is a sought-after speaker, both in the United States and internationally, and is interviewed regularly to provide insight about enterprise transformation effects on transforming business.

Keith Sieverding

Senior Vice President
Operations, North America

Keith Sieverding has an unusual challenge within the Simpler® organization. Among his other responsibilities, Keith is charged with continuous improvement inside the company, following the Simpler Business System model. In other words, his job is to make sure we walk the Lean walk—he is Simpler's "sensei to the sensei."

Keith also oversees new, product-focused developmental services and is responsible for knowledge management within the Simpler organization. He is a strategic leader, exhibiting remarkable insight as a seasoned Lean veteran.

Before joining us in 1999, Keith spent 20 years with Hill-Rom, a global producer of medical equipment for the patient room environment. It was at Hill-Rom, under the coaching of the Shingijutsu Group, that he developed his repertoire of Lean tools. He has implemented Lean concepts in a variety of applications, from manufacturing to administration, engineering and customer service, throughout Hill-Rom acquisitions in Germany, France and Austria.

His career assignments have included diverse positions relating to aspects of design, development and manufacturing. He has overseen the delivery of varied goods, from custom-designed make-to-order field-erected steel and concrete structures, to high volume/high mix short lead time consumer products.

Steve Matteson

Vice President
Healthcare

Steve Matteson's Lean journey started with a visit to Japan in 1989, and it continues to grow every year. Steve has more than 25 years of experience across different industrial sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, defense and banking. He’s worked in an equally impressive array of capacities: Production Manager, Plant Manager, Division Manufacturing Manager, General Manager, Director, VP and Executive VP.

Trained as an engineer and holding an MBA, Steve measures success by results. By his own measure, he's racked up successful Lean results for a number of clients. In healthcare, he changed a hospital's operating room charge capture process to avoid missing revenue potentials and increased revenue by $ 1.14 million. And he reduced patient flow time in a clinic from 46 to 22 minutes; the clinic is now expanding business and revenue totals on existing assets.

On the commercial side, Steve turned around a privately held company, rebuilding 96% of the client portfolio and raising profitability 2.5 times. He increased profitability for a division of another privately held company by 400%, reducing labor costs, increasing on-time delivery and generating nearly $70 million in new business without adding building assets. At a Fortune 500 company plant site with nearly 1,000 employees and significant labor strife, he turned a bottom line loss into a nearly 3% ROS profit. Sales increased by near $40 million, without adding space.

As a key player on the Simpler® Healthcare team, Steve is helping us bring these kinds of results to a host of healthcare organizations.

Tim Whitmore

Vice President

Tim Whitmore brings 28 years of operations leadership experience to every Lean Transformation engagement he takes on. He began his Lean journey as a plant manager for HON Industries, a Fortune 500 company, learning the Lean approach under the coaching of the Shingijutsu Group, the original architects of the Toyota Production System.

Tim's success with the application of Lean tools has led to a series of promotions, first within HON and then with other companies. Some of that success can be measured in numbers. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at SITONIT Inc., a startup manufacturer of ergonomic office seating, for instance, Tim achieved sales revenue growth of 118% and an increase in operating profit of 138% over a 20-month period.

But Lean Transformation is about more than sales and profits. Tim has also driven significant improvements in product quality, delivery performance and employee satisfaction.

Tim joined Simpler® Consulting in June 2001 as a Senior Consultant. He was promoted to Manager of Consulting Services in September 2001, and then to Vice President Consulting Services in December 2003. And he continues to grow within the company and be an important part of Simpler's success.

Lee Alves

Vice President & Regional Director
Atlantic South

Since joining Simpler Consulting, LP in 2001, Lee Alves has played a significant role in the success of US military process improvement. He received the DMC Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award in 2004, and has supported clients’ achievement of gold status for Shingo Excellence in 2005 and 2006, and two bronze Shingo medals for results achieved in F-15 aircraft and avionics shops transformations.

Lee is an articulate and constructive communicator, mentoring with experience and skill at an executive level. He is responsible for coaching the leadership teams across all Simpler® Public sector applications, including HQ activities, on successful transformation characteristics and behaviors. Lee is a tireless and effective collaborator, encouraging growth and change in his sphere of influence.

After earning an Industrial Engineering degree, Lee was quickly immersed in improvement practices at Pratt & Whitney; he led the initial Lean conversion to product cells under the mentoring of former Toyota executives. He furthered his Lean instruction with Ed Northern and the Japanese Autonomous Study Group (Shingijutsu). Lee’s pioneering transformation efforts at Pratt & Whitney were featured in the Womack & Jones book Lean Thinking. He has also led successful enterprise transformations at Honeywell (formerly Allied Signal Aerospace) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Lee brings an exceptional knowledge of military/Department of Defense applications to Simpler. He has successfully led in the transformation at multiple DOD sites. He is currently working with DOD leaders as a mentor and coach and has collaborated in the development of DOD-wide models being used across the services and agencies.

Jon Armstrong

Managing Director,
Simpler Consulting Ltd., Europe and Asia Pacific

Jon Armstrong first experienced Simpler® as a client and, even now, with 15 years of experience managing dynamic manufacturing environments, he describes the "Aha!" moment he experienced when he gained an inside look at the Simpler people and business model. He still speaks of the way he was impressed by the "sheer quality and character" of the Simpler organization.

So Jon joined Simpler in 2004 as a Sensei. The Scotland native quickly proved himself as a gifted Lean practitioner, becoming Manager of Consulting Services in 2005 and Vice President of Delivery in 2007. In January 2008, Jon was promoted to his current role, overseeing our European operations.

Jon brought some impressive credentials with him when he joined us. His Lean methodology background includes studies under Professor Hajime Yamashina from the Japan Institute of Plant Management and training with the Kaizen Institute. He has held key positions with Cummins Engine Company, American Axles, APW Electronics and Waukesha Bearings, giving him a wealth of knowledge in the industrial, automotive and electronic industry sectors. By the age of 28, Jon was running his first manufacturing plant, and he’s gone on to develop broad experience in both high-volume and low-volume manufacturing.

Since joining Simpler, Jon has led multiple-site transformations with the Royal Air Force on the Tornado platform, condensing four main operating bases into two. Savings from the first 24 months of Lean application activity exceeded £1 billion. Jon has also been personally involved in the strategic transformation activity within RAF Air Command, Joint Helicopter Command and the Royal Navy Fleet Headquarters.

Chris Lloyd

Vice President & Controller

Joining Simpler® in 2005, Chris Lloyd as a Senior Sensei brought with him a wealth of lean experience and expertise. Today, as Vice President – Healthcare in the European and Asia business unit, he is responsible for all aspects of Simpler’s business development and delivery for the European and Asian Healthcare market.

Chris has enjoyed notable success in a variety of environments over the past 15 years. With experience as both a managing director and as an independent lean consultant prior to joining Simpler, Chris’s lean journey included leading improvement at companies including Formica, Ltd in 4 Northern European sites and the Freudenberg Group in 10 European sites. Chris participated in one of the initial Kaizen events at Freudenberg NOK that is noted in Lean thinking.

While at Simpler, Chris’ military projects have included RAF Tornado RAF Harrier, where savings of over £1.3 billion were verified by the NAO. He also coached those clients to streamline Administrative and Operational support processes improving service and performance. Chris managed the Tornado Program for Simpler as Manager of Consulting Services, which involved directing multiple senseis and their transformation assignments across 4 MOBs and the IPT, with benefits of £50 million.

Since taking over responsibility for the Healthcare Sector, Chris has increased revenue three fold and successfully project managed the acquisition and expansion of several major contracts including a three year programme with a major London Hospital – Barts and The London – for enterprise wide Transformation and The Enterprise Wide Transformation of the NHS Blood and Transplant Service. Chris Is widely sought for comment about the application of Lean in Healthcare and regular contributes to articles in the London Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Health Service Journal. Chris is a regular speaker on the Healthcare circuit including the IHI/BMJ Quality and Safety conference and the NHS Confederation annual conference.

As a veteran leader, Chris brings a commanding knowledge of lean strategies and tools to his Healthcare assignment. He is a keen visionary who employs his insight and people skills to develop and give oversight to the Simpler’s healthcare senseis and their clients. Chris has had the opportunity of learning with over 20 Healthcare organisations in England, Scotland, Ireland, North America and Asia.

Chris is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He lives in Northumberland with his wife and two children.

Roy Garnham

Vice President
Public Sector, Europe and Asia Pacific

Joining Simpler® in 2002, Roy Garnham has over 20 years of management history, with almost the same number of years of lean experience in the delivery of successful large-scale lean transformations across a broad range of industries and companies. His industry segment experience includes Automotive, Healthcare, Defence and Interconnects products.

Roy’s lean journey began in 1992 under the guidance of the Sid Johnson Partnership & the AMP Incorporated transformation team. During this time he became leader of the team that led the company’s lean transformation breakthrough. He acted as Operations Director of AMP Corporation’s Interconnects Division, and served as Managing Director for Jarvis Porter Healthcare.

Between 1992 and 2010, Roy has facilitated over 500 major lean events and truly savors the reactions generated by participants. With experience in enterprise-wide transformation in supply chain, manufacturing, publishing, sales, commercial, administration, technical, and new product development, as well as within administrative teams, he says with regard to watching people achieve amazing results, it’s the only thing in his professional career that has made him both laugh and cry at the same time.

Where he developed and implemented Lean Transformation, leading multi-functional teams, reducing machine set up time by 55%, improving workplace organisation scores by 47%, reducing product defects by 46%, and designed and introduced new customer service process, structure, and culture that reduced customer lead times by 75%. He also created a business strategy combining two business units, reducing labour costs by 16%, lease costs by 50% and transformed profits by 200%, delivering the project within budget.

Since Joining Simpler working strategically in Public sector with the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Army, Joint Helicopter Command, Police Forces, Ministry of Justice and Charities . He has also directed transformation events with Veyance, Littlewoods, Markem, Honeywell, BAES, Westland Helicopters, and leading teams of senior consultants.

As Vice President, Public Sector, He works to employ the Simpler Business System in new sectors and environments, creating a learning network within the senior leadership of his clients in order to promote true transformation. Roy earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Manufacturing Management (DMM), Post Graduate Certificate in Operations Management, and ONC in Mechanical & Production Engineering.

He lives in Bedfordshire England with his wife and two children.

Chris Cooper

Global Director, Simpler Design SystemSM

Joining Simpler® in 2002, Chris Cooper has over 20 years of leadership experience in the delivery of successful large-scale lean transformations across a broad range of industries, companies and countries. His industry segment experience includes aerospace, defense, military, finance, marketing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and MRO.

Chris’s lean journey began in 1989 as a student of the Kawasaki Production System (TPS) while working for Europe’s largest defense company Baesystems. During this time he became part of the leadership team that drove the company’s defense division lean transformation all the way to a value stream organized company winning a queens award for export. Chris was then invited to be the companies first integrated product development teamleader (IPT) introducing Set-based-concurrent-engineering methods to Europe. During this period Chris was trained in Six Sigma and Design Six Sigma by Motorola. As IPT leader he won a chairman’s award for innovation, and a Mcdonnell Douglas Supplier award for introducing Lean techniques away from the shop floor. Chris’s final position before joining Simpler was as Lean Advisor to the Eurofighter program, then the world’s largest non-U.S. based military program. On this program Chris worked directly for, the Chief Engineer as member of his Staff team. Chris’s professional career in Lean and Six Sigma consulting began in 2002 when he joined Simpler in the early days of expansion into Europe and as a member of the European leadership team has grown the business ten-fold since 2002.

In his time with Simpler Chris has been at the forefront of the Lean revolution speaking at conferences, working with executive teams, and as an assessor for the Shingo prize. He has been the Sensei for many significant and pioneering lean transformations. Often being the first Sensei to introduce lean concepts to new sectors and organizations, Chris has worked extensively both in the commercial business field, and none-profits.

Chris is the author of the book: The Little Book of Lean and co-author of Winning by Design with Rob Westrick.

Chris is an aeronautical Engineer, the product of formal apprenticeship program with baesytems, and has a Btec HND from the University of Humberside. He lives in the North West of England with his wife and two children.

Nicholas G. Middleton

Executive Vice President
Global Account Development, Simpler Consulting Pte. Ltd.

Nick Middleton brings an engineer’s precision to his leadership role. And that’s only natural. Nick trained as an engineer and has 20 years of experience in the commercial manufacturing sector. He learned Lean principles while working with the Case Corporation.

He successfully applied these principles in various professional and management positions while earning his MBA. In 2000, Nick opened Simpler’s European-based arm. Staring from zero base, he built an impressive team of 40 of the world's leading Lean Sensei. Under his leadership, Simpler has been applying Lean knowledge in the commercial and public service sectors throughout the UK and in key European locations.

As a pro-bono contributor to the US-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 Lives Campaign, Nick got involved in applying Lean principles to healthcare. And he was one of the first people to bring Lean Transformation into the healthcare arena in Europe. It is now credited as one of the leading methodologies transforming the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

Tom Goetter

Senior Vice President

Tom Goetter joined Simpler with over 18 years of leadership experience in Lean process improvements in a variety of functional roles and manufacturing companies. His range of experience includes sales, marketing, engineering, customer service, project management, as well as extensive experience heading manufacturing operations in the US, Mexico and China. His industry background includes small, privately held companies and Fortune 50 manufacturers of commercial and industrial engineered products.

Tom’s professional career in Lean began with Walker Systems, Inc. when it was acquired by The Wiremold Company in 1993. Under the guidance of senseis from Shingijutsu, Tom was a member of the first RIE held for the Walker executive team. Responsible for all sales efforts, Tom was assigned as a mentor to a newly created value stream team. Three years later, Tom joined the Wiremold executive team leading all of the engineering functions where he launched QFD corporate wide for all companies within Wiremold. While leading the engineering team at Wiremold, Tom also assumed responsibility for a plastics manufacturing facility, allowing him to solidify his understanding of Lean methodology.

In 2002, Tom became the President of Ortronics, Inc., the leader in non-active data communications network solutions. Tom led the Ortronics transformation to Lean, including creating value streams and consolidating three manufacturing locations into one. Under his leadership, customer service and first order fill rates improved with lead times and inventory levels being reduced by 50%. Lean transformation efforts at Ortronics were rewarded with increased market share and profitability.

In 2006, Tom joined The Bilco Company as Vice President of Operations. He guided Bilco in their Lean transformation, as they created value stream teams and moved and consolidated existing domestic manufacturing facilities. Under his direction, Bilco insourced manufacturing both domestically and in Mexico. Inventory turns doubled, quality measures increased, lead times were reduced by up to 70% and on-time shipments were increased to 98%. In 2010, Tom started operations in China to serve the growing Far East markets.