Dean Foods 
Intermediate level
Value Stream 4 Extended Enterprise

Engaging leadership in an enterprise system

Tuesday, Oct. 20 Location Code
9:30am-10:30am Room 203/204, 2nd floor TP/04

Using lean to integrate a diverse organization into a singularly-focused enterprise

Discover a unique blend of well-known lean techniques and homegrown tools used to achieve cost savings and efficiency gains; integrate diverse operations into a focused entity; effectively engage leadership and employees at all levels in achieving common goals; hear about leadership/leader standard work strategies.


Learn how to use lean for integrating diverse operations into an exceptionally focused organization. Hear about a unique combination of standard lean techniques and homegrown tools that helped the company drive significant cost savings and efficiency gains. Follow the Dean Foods journey as it transitioned from 100 mom and pop dairies into the largest dairy producer in the United States, with an end-to-end standard system that engages leadership - from the C-suite to the front-line employee. Get practical strategies for building leadership/employee involvement sparked by new, unique approaches in lean thinking. Hear learnings about integrating organizational elements to achieve common goals. Explore leadership/leader standard work and organization-wide standard work in a system that brings together all functions and levels.


Dean Foods is a leading U.S. food and beverage company. It is one of the nation’s largest processors and direct-to-store distributors of fluid milk marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands and private labels. Dean Foods distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, bottled water and other products. Its products are processed with the help of 19,000 dedicated employees working in approximately 75 plants across the United States.

Speaker: Benjamin Tanner

Benjamin Tanner is the director of continuous improvement for Dean Foods. He has experience in the military as well as in the aerospace, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), food and beverage industries. Tanner, who has served on AME regional boards since2008, focuses on helping organizations understand how they can unlock the potential of their people by using lean systems.