Associate – Problem Solving and Lean Specialist

Simon has a wealth of experience and a passion for leading teams to achieve business results.

At Rolls-Royce, Simon devised an approach to process improvement that is psychologically, not tools based. The key element to this is the recognition that the people who work in processes day in day out are experts. Thus, in leading process improvement, Simon facilitates a simple structure whilst not seeing himself as the expert on the process being improved. Teams generate very simply an understanding in detail of the current process, what process problems there are and generate their own ideas for improvement which they themselves implement. When the teams implement improvements, they are making dramatic changes yet because the ideas are theirs, they enjoy making change. People don’t resist change, they resist being changed. Simon creates an environment where people motivate themselves with powerful results. Examples include the doubling of the capacity of an internal grind machine in two days and a 36% reduction in time to operate an office process.

Separately, Simon has much experience of problem solving having led over 200 root cause investigation teams over 18 years to find cause of technical problems in Rolls-Royce. From this experience, Simon developed new methods to find cause, based not on theory or text books but on hard experience when things didn’t go well. Simon developed new methods from this, dramatically reducing the time to find cause and giving much greater certainty as to the root cause. He then spread these methods across Rolls-Royce globally and was described as Rolls-Royce’s global expert on root cause analysis/problem solving.

Also at Rolls-Royce, Simon was a Lean Specialist leading Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Set Up Reduction and Cell Design workshops.

Simon also worked for Nissan’s Tyne and Wear factory. For seven years he was in Quality Assurance aligned to product quality in service. Simon gained a wealth of very useful experience in problem solving. He also led market research based product quality improvement, where a sample of customers were telephone interviewed, quality problems captured and prioritised. Counter measures then implemented were tested by customers for effectiveness by subsequent customer interviews on counter measured cars. This halved the average number of faults per car and was business critical – market research established that the top three reasons why people bought Nissans related to product quality.

At Nissan, Simon also very much enjoyed working in the training department for three years, delivering various training courses to Nissan’s training standards e.g. Leadership, Teamwork (outward bound in the Lakes), Problem Solving, Decision making, Presentation Skills, Training Techniques, Effective Meeting Skills…

Simon has similar process improvement experience to that described above whilst working with Kaizen Institute.

Other positions Simon has held are Quality Manager at Rover and a secondary school Maths teacher.

Simon has a General Science degree (mostly engineering subjects), a Masters degree in Quality Management and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.