Operational Excellence Apr 11, 2018 6:00pm-8:00pm

Leadership Academy Pillar: COLLABORATIVE

No matter what your products are, striving for Operational Excellence along the entire value chain is the key to success and leads to competitive advantage. Porsche has been tackling Operational Excellence through continuous improvement for more than 20 years. The journey began with manufacturing but did not stop there. The proportion of added–value activities was not increased by boosting performance but by eliminating waste in all direct and indirect processes. Porsche transformed its business from the inside-out. Porsche Consulting shares lessons learned from Porsche and has provided companies in a variety of industries, ranging from automotive and aerospace to construction and consumer goods, with proven methods and tools to achieve Operational Excellence. The approach is to improve the performance of all processes, not only increasing delivery service and quality but also reducing cost and complexity. Simple and fast procedures support clients successfully on their path to becoming a lean and flexible company that outperforms itself.


Greg Peters was born on April 27th, 1947, in Eugene, Oregon USA. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering from Oregon State University and an MBA from Duke University, North Carolina. Greg is an accomplished Operations executive serving in senior leadership roles (including UTC, Goodrich, Rohr, and General Electric; managing P&L’s up to $2B). He has demonstrated an ability to walk into a factory, quickly grasp the potential for Lean Transformation, skillfully guide a leadership team to embrace opportunities for improvement, and follow through in maximizing performance and associated value. 
  • Spent 17 years in positions of increasing responsibility in General Electric's Manufacturing Management Program
  • Joined Rohr Aircraft Corp. in 1986 as Director of Manufacturing Engineering
  • Starting in 1990 began a series of leadership assignments as plant manager.
  • He was exposed to the Toyota Production System principles (Lean Manufacturing) in 1995 and began to aggressively implement the TPS in all future roles.
  • Rohr acquired by Goodrich in 1997
  • In 2001-2002, led a team that successfully implemented a "full suite" SAP/Metaphase business systems upgrade across the Aerostructures business unit
  • After the SAP assignment, assumed responsibility for Airbus programs and Operations
  • Named President of Goodrich Aerostructures in 2008
  • Transitioned to Executive Officer of Operational Excellence at Goodrich Corp. in January 2010
  • With the acquisition of Goodrich by UTC assumed role as Vice President, Quality and ACE Shared Services, for UTC Aerospace Systems until retirement from UTC in March 2014.
  • Former member of the Board of Directors for the Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego
  • Former member of the Board of Directors of FACC with a seven-year term that ended in May of 2016. FACC is a composite manufacturing company based in Austria.
  • Currently consulting in the areas of Continuous Improvement and Leadership.

Norman L. Firchau is a graduate of the mechanical engineering program of the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, where he also earned his doctorate. Firchau began his professional career as an assistant professor in engineering design in 1998. In 2003, he joined Porsche Consulting where his main focus was optimizing products and processes, mostly in the areas of automotive research & development as well as supplier integration. In 2009, he assumed the position Manager, Business Development at Porsche Cars North America, Inc. where he led all strategy and corporate development projects before taking up his present role in October 2011. Porsche Consulting is one of Germany's leading management consulting companies with seven offices worldwide. Their experts in Operational Excellence advise companies worldwide in the automotive and aerospace industries, among many others. Firchau is adamant that lean transformation and operational excellence requires a rigorous adherence to added value as everything else is waste.