Mike Louderback: Strengthening Morgan Advanced Materials’ Supply Chain and Operations

The LeanDNA-List celebrates the hard work of our customers, who work day-in and day-out to optimize inventory, reduce shortages, and empower their companies to operate more efficiently. These winners represent the tenacious, knowledgeable, and hands-on users and champions of LeanDNA.

Mike is a modernizer. As we’ve all watched and experienced the growing complexity in supply chains over the years, Mike has been an innovator in leveraging technology to transform modern manufacturing. His work and partnership have been a gamechanger for not only his business, but for how our technology is being deployed globally to improve factory performance.
Richard Lebovitz
CEO and Founder, LeanDNA

Mike Louderback will be the first one to tell you that today’s manufacturing landscape is becoming increasingly fast-paced and complex. With 25 years of executive experience in the aerospace industry, Mike—the Vice President of Operational Excellence for Morgan Advanced Materials—directly contributes to Morgan’s increase of profitable revenue streams and organic growth by staying focused on standard production framework deployment, respective continuous improvement, and technology to help his teams.

To stay competitive and successful in the modern market, Mike knew that Morgan’s workflows and operational best practices needed fine-tuning. To develop a customer-driven organization and create parity with Morgan’s customers, Mike sought to transform their business into a world-class enterprise through standardization and rigor. 

Mike recently joined Richard Lebovitz for IndustryWeek’s January 2021 webinar, “Why Factory Operations Have Become Key to Manufacturing Survival,” where he discussed this transformation.

Mike deployed three primary actions to enable Morgan’s transformation and assure the business was tracking to strategic plans and was able to implement actions based on live and consistent data: 

  1. Define and standardize systems across the business with golden KPIs. 
  2. Put the standardized work and data into an accurate and accessible central hub. 
  3. Leverage technology for better factory intelligence and data-based actions.
LeanDNA has been a key piece of proactively managing our enterprise. We’ve been able to not only deploy rapidly, but as we mature our systems, LeanDNA has matured nicely with us.
Mike Louderback
VP of Operational Excellence, Morgan Advanced Materials

 Mike leaned on LeanDNA to align Morgan’s procurement team, providing technology that complemented where they were as an organization and their strategy to modernize their business

But Mike wasn’t just looking for the right technology platform; he was looking for a partner who could adapt and grow with Morgan.

You have to have somebody on your team that understands change is a journey, has the experience, and is patient enough to work with you rather than tell you what to do. LeanDNA, in our case, has been a very patient partner. We've done a lot of really good things as a result of working with LeanDNA.
Mike Louderback
VP of Operational Excellence, Morgan Advanced Materials

By taking into consideration Morgan’s internal cultures and systems and effectively leveraging technology, Mike and the rest of the team at Morgan were able to take their business where they wanted to go. The result: A solid foundation for a more resilient supply chain. Morgan has been able to effectively weather today’s ever-changing market and the unique supply chain challenges brought on by COVID-19, and the team (Mike included) feel more confident in their daily inventory processes.

For manufacturing leaders eager to commit to change in their business, Mike advises eating the apple one bite at a time. “The most common mistake I’ve seen—and to be fair, I’ve made it, too—is trying to [transform your operations] too fast. Or, trying to do it as an all-encompassing event,” Mike says. He adds that to see that transformative journey through successfully, there needs to be a commitment to change, especially from the leadership team.

Mike’s ultimate advice for navigating a successful company-wide change? Finding a trusted partner who is willing to grow and mature with your business.

You have got to have somebody that's willing to go on that journey with you, and who's willing to adapt, evolve, and improve their platform with your feedback. We found that with LeanDNA. It's an experience and relationship I personally enjoy, but I wouldn't be telling you this if it didn't have a significant impact on our business.
Mike Louderback
VP of Operational Excellence, Morgan Advanced Materials

Want to hear more from Mike? Watch Industry Week’s January 2021 webinar, “Why Factory Operations Have Become Key to Manufacturing Survival.”