Don Smullen

As a DVIRC Business Solutions Advisor, Don guides area manufacturers in creating and implementing change initiatives for business and personal growth.

He works with DVIRC clients in the development and implementation of strategic plans and succession plans, guides executive teams through issues related to Lean transformation and productivity initiatives, and helps strengthen skills in building strong, collaborative employee teams.

A business leader with over 30 years’ experience in Engineering, Operations, and General Management. Don spent the first fifteen years of his career in various Engineering roles; Manufacturing, Industrial, and Product Development. He transitioned into Operations Management with functional experience in Planning, Procurement, and Plant Management; he has held multiple executive roles with full P&L responsibility. Don is a strong Lean practitioner across the entire Supply Chain, he has multiple Lean certifications and a Green Belt in Six Sigma.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.

Industry Experience

  • Injection Molding
  • Automotive
  • Stamping
  • Sheet Metal
  • HVAC
  • Microelectronics
  • Capital Equipment
  • Semiconductor
  • Machining
  • Medical Devices
  • Electrical Assemblies
  • Pumps and Controls

Significant Accomplishments

  • Successfully filled a one-year site leadership void after the sale of the company which resulted in significant improvement in morale and performance.
  • Drove financial cadence in an unstructured environment. Created departmental dashboards to control spending; increasing GP 3% within 6 months. The following year led a budgeting process and restructured overhead rates to eliminate a long-standing unfavorable absorption issue.
  • Managed the transfer and plant move of a $35M high-margin product line to Pennsylvania. Restructured floor leadership and stabilized high turnover of a Temp-to-Perm workforce; returned to pre-move productivity in four months.
  • Implemented Visual Management and Daily Gemba walks throughout five Value Streams to drive support to manufacturing. Expanded Visual Management to supporting departments including Purchasing; reduced Inventory 11% in the first year.
  • Created an employee hiring, training, and certification program that reduced the learning curve 75% for technicians in a highly customized environment.