Riad Ardahji Lean Six Sigma

 Strategic and hands-on leader, an accomplished change agent with an over 27-year track record of leading cultural change, mitigating risks, managing assets, driving advanced technologies, accelerating growth, and maximizing ROI for manufacturing operations. Repeatedly delivered rapid and sustainable performance improvements in turnaround assignments and projects: restored double-digit returns to key business units, transformed operational systems, spurred revenue growth, improved morale, and positioned businesses for growth and/or divestiture.

Recognized for ability to solve complex issues utilizing 6σ tools, created blueprints for organic growth, and implemented systems to guarantee business growth and performance. Decisive professional and creative collaborator who brings a strong combination of vision, strategic planning, task orientation, and interpersonal skills to a leadership role.  He is also an Adjunct Professor in the College of Engineering at the Indiana Institute of Technology. He served on the advisory board at BTOES17 (Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit in Orlando, Florida 2017).  Riad is a frequent guest speaker at national and international conferences including BTOES, Noria Reliable Plants, etc. Riad has developed a new lean device named “Honky-Tonk” that is based on the TPS-Jidoka system, basically making any machine a smarter one.

Riad (Ray) is the former senior director of Production Engineering and Continuous Improvement at Leggett & Platt, Adjustable Bed Division. He led the division NPI activities and works closely with the commercial team to ensure that new products or customer products are properly developed, qualified, managed, and launched into production. This role also provided guidance and experienced technical and quality support to the production engineering and quality teams on critical issues such as quality and productivity improvement. 

He brings over 27 years of experience (over half in Japanese companies) in the areas of supply chain, asset management, production engineering, maintenance, and manufacturing, including fabrication, assembly and testing. Former employers include Zimmer Biomet, Toyota Boshoku, Leggett & Platt, Borg-Warner, Denso Corporation, Harley-Davidson/Utilimaster, and General Motors/ Saturn plant.  He is a subject matter expert in Operations Excellence. He is certified in Ergonomics, Lean Manufacturing, Total Industrial Engineering, Change Management and VA/VE. He has completed a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the University of Tennessee, Center for Executive Education.  Furthermore, Riad is also a Malcolm Baldrige Examiner-in-Training. 

Riad holds a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Management and a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Throughout his experience, Riad has learned that different cultures learn differently. His teaching style is very diverse and most importantly, he provides a can-do attitude. Those he works with often acquire a thirst for more understanding.

Riad’s favorite quote: “There is no end to the process of learning about the Toyota Way. I don’t think I have a complete understanding even today, and I have worked for the company for 43 years.” Katsuaki Watanabe