Jeff Kopenitz joined the DVIRC in 2002 to lead the Center’s Operational Excellence Lean Enterprise Practice. In this capacity, Jeff has been responsible for developing and delivering a broad range of Lean and Continuous Improvement programs for manufacturing clients. With deep industry experience, and expertise in consulting, instructing, mentoring and coaching, Jeff has become a national leader in Lean Enterprise program development and delivery.
Prior to joining the DVIRC, Jeff served in multiple capacities in the private sector—including Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Manager, Operations Manager, Director of Customer Support, and Director of Operations—for companies such as Stanley Tool and GE Medical Systems.
In addition to his formal education, which includes a BA in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and an MBA and MS in Organizational Development and Leadership from St. Joseph’s University, Jeff has trained at Japan’s Shingijutsu Institute under the direction of Yoshiki Iwata, Chihiro Nakao and Akira Takenaka, all pupils of Taiichi Ohno, creator of the Toyota Production System.
This deep base of experience positioned Jeff to help lead the development of national Lean/Continuous Improvement programs now offered by Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers throughout the country. Over the past thirteen years with the DVIRC, Jeff has taught, consulted and coached participants in DVIRC’s lean certification programs, and provided on-site training, coaching, and mentoring for companies across the country and internationally. Jeff is a recognized leader among his peers in the MEP system.
Jeff has led rigorous continuous improvement consulting efforts in dozens of companies such as Superior Tube (where Continuous Improvement teams have realized over $300,000 in savings and the company posted five consecutive years of increased profitability), and Turkey Hill (where savings from Lean projects and continuous improvement efforts exceeded $1 million annually).
Jeff is a Board member of Association for Manufacturing Excellence Mid-Atlantic Region, and serves on engineering advisory boards for Philadelphia University and Montgomery County Community College. As an adjunct professor at Philadelphia University, Jeff designed and taught a senior Industrial Engineering class—Systems Engineering. His students have gone on to hold key operational and management positions in industry. And as an adjunct at Montgomery County Community College, Jeff has taught courses in Business Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Business Accounting. Jeff has also been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
With more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing and service industries, Jeff’s expertise includes Six Sigma analysis, Operations Management, Quality, Engineering, Value Stream Mapping, Cellular Manufacturing, Visual Control, Total Productive Maintenance, Set-up Reduction, Plant Layout, Lean Office, and Toyota Kata.
His commitment to his profession and his clients is evident in his passion to make sustainable continuous improvement part of a company’s culture, which he accomplishes by incorporating organizational development, systems thinking, and change management techniques into his education training and consulting practice. With a keen ability to align tactical solutions to a long-term business strategy, and acknowledging the importance of giving people the right tools for the job, Jeff places a higher premium on leadership, effective communication, human interaction, and organizational dynamics as the keys to helping companies realize their visions for profitable growth.