2020’s A-Listers Persevered Against the Odds: Read their success stories

This year brought massive challenges and unrelenting uncertainty for manufacturers. But with challenge comes opportunity. In a time when optimizing physical factory operations is more important than ever, our customers navigated new obstacles with grace and innovation. With 2021 nearing, we wanted to stop and take a moment to appreciate and recognize the tenacity of this year’s LeanDNA-Listers—whose work laid a foundation for efficiency and resiliency for whatever challenge came next.

Creating a foundation for agility—one step at a time

Ben Galka, Direct Procurement Manager, Terumo BCT

Early this year, Ben was laying the foundation for a future-proofed inventory operation, work that proved pivotal amid the pandemic. With LeanDNA in his toolbox, he charismatically led the procurement team through a supply chain transformation by creating a self-governing, manageable process for the Terumo buying team. His philosophy? Attacking daily tasks and inventory goals as you would eat an elephant: one bite at a time. With forward-looking shortage reports and the tools to help his team identify opportunities and take action, he’s equipped to reduce costs and build an agile team ready for anything.

“There is so much to do every day, the amount of work on a buyer can feel overwhelming. LeanDNA breaks the work down into manageable bites that anyone can work on.” —Ben Galka

Read how Ben and the Terumo procurement team set the foundation for an agile operation ready for anything.

Keeping people, processes, and systems standardized and productive

Tony Gonzalez, Global Lean Supply Chain Manager, Electrical Components International

Tony is driven to continuously deliver value for ECI’s customers. In May 2020, Tony knew supply chain agility was crucial, so he launched two LeanDNA initiatives in his organization: First, an Inventory Attack Team to accelerate critical inventory action completion, and second, a Shortage Attack Team to prioritize and avoid critical shortages. With these two programs, his team doubled their fixed inventory action completion rate and reduced critical shortages an average 30 percent across their sites in the first six months. Tony’s leadership frees up resources and working capital for ECI to continue innovating, and prevents critical shortages that may affect customer on-time delivery.

“It’s quite a big effort to develop a standard method for reading data and executing on a data-driven truth. LeanDNA gives us the entire picture of data, inventory, and trends across the organization, even working to bridge the gap between executives and frontlines.” —Tony Gonzalez

Read how Tony’s work to establish a control tower for all performance metrics adds total visibility and standardization in his organization—the pivotal foundation for a supply chain built to last.

Powering aligned leadership and camaraderie with total inventory visibility

Susanne McCalla, Materials Management Manager, and Richard Knutz, Director of Supply Chain, E-One

The self-described Batman and Alfred of E-One’s inventory operation, Susanne and Richard rely on LeanDNA to stay aligned on goals and informed about the team’s progress—garnering trust, accountability, and operational command in their organization. Their complementary leadership styles foster rapid, data-informed decision-making from an empowered buying team. As of September, their efforts had driven a 39 percent shortage reduction in just seven months, leaving E-One better-positioned to deliver on time to customers without penalties or expedite fees.

“LeanDNA puts the pieces together for us so we can finally see it. It gives me a sense of comfort to know that I can go in and see that things are progressing.” —Richard Knutz

Read how Susanne and Richard strike a balance between analysis and action to create camaraderie, trust, and swift results for the E-One inventory organization.

Transforming manufacturing and fueling change through data, process, and technology

Craig Jarman, Business Intelligence Lead, Safran Seats GB

Craig is always looking to gain efficiencies and improve processes for the procurement organization at Safran Seats Great Britain, looking to accurate, validated data for guidance. During his 15-year tenure, Craig shepherded teams through new technology implementations, drove a 61-day implementation and adoption of LeanDNA, standardized inventory practices across the organization, and fueled a 36 percent inventory reduction in three months.

“I’ve always been passionate and eager to learn how to do things faster and better, so naturally, I’ve always been keen on technology that can automate operations. Almost all areas of our business are using LeanDNA nowadays. It has become a pivotal tool for our business to improve and standardize our processes.” —Craig Jarman

Read how Craig’s devotion to data and technology keeps Safran innovating in today’s manufacturing space.


We’re proud to celebrate so many individuals and teams who went above and beyond to stay resilient and crush their inventory goals this year. Please join us in congratulating each of our 2020 A-Listers, and cheers to the new year. Know an A-Lister at your company? Nominate them here.