Institute for Operational Excellence / Dexter Magnetic Technologies 
Intermediate level

Breaking through the lean plateau: The evolution from lean tools to operational excellence

Tuesday, Oct. 20 Location Code
10:45am-11:45am Room 263, 2nd floor SIS/04

Learn about the principles of operational excellence; hear how to design mixed model value streams for high mix, high customization environments; see how operational excellence can fuel business growth; hear about real-world results of operational excellence in action at Dexter Magnetic Technologies.


Many manufacturers have been employing lean tools for years. While their efforts have yielded improvements, the result is often slow, incremental progress that plateaus over time. In the past decade, some innovative companies have set a destination of operational excellence for their lean efforts to realize results in months, not years. Hear how Dexter Magnetic Technologies shifted from focusing on implementing lean tools to achieving operational excellence in the business side of its operation and on the shop floor. Learn about the training Dexter management and employees underwent, the value streams the company designed and how the operations now run autonomously, without management intervention. After achieving operational excellence, learn how employees feel more empowered while managers can to migrate to more strategic roles. Dexter has improved from 70 percent on-time delivery to 95 percent enabling the company to move further up the value chain for customers, by expanding from providing magnetic components to complete assemblies.


Institute for Operational Excellence is the leading educational center for organizations and individuals interested in learning how to evolve a lean enterprise into one that can achieve and sustain operational excellence. Its renowned faculty has helped hundreds of global companies – from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms – in all industries and all countries through a wide range of offerings, including training events, innovative products and academic resources.

Dexter Magnetic Technologies is the global leader in the specification, design and fabrication of magnetic products and assemblies. Since its founding in 1951, solutions designed by Dexter have and continue to positively impact our world daily – from life-saving medical devices to intelligent optics.As the essential magnetic system partner, Dexter offers highly experienced teams of engineers and support staff dedicated to delivering innovative technological solutions and services through a powerful combination of partnerships and expertise.

Speakers: Kevin Duggan / Robert Brinley

Kevin Duggan is a recognized expert in applying advanced lean techniques to achieve operational excellence and is the author of Design for Operational Excellence: A Breakthrough Strategy for Business Growth, Creating Mixed Model Value Streams and The Office That Grows Your Business – Achieving Operational Excellence in Your Business Processes. As the founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence and Duggan Associates, an international training and advisory firm, Duggan has educated and assisted many major corporations worldwide over the past 15 years. He contributes to many industry publications, is a frequent speaker at public and private conferences and lectures graduate students in business at colleges throughout the U.S.

Robert Brinley joined Dexter Magnetic Technolgies in October 2009 as senior vice president of business development. In October 2013, he was appointed CEO. Prior to Dexter, Brinley held various leadership roles within IDEX Corporation, most recently serving as group president of Health and Science Technologies, president of Fluid Management and president of Warren Rupp. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, is a certified six sigma green belt and has significant training in value stream flow methods.