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Plant Manager

Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
August 29, 2017

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James R. O'Neil

**** ***** **. *********, ** **197

734-***-****(Home) 313-***-****(Cell)


Senior-level Manager with demonstrated expertise in operations/plant management, budget administration & reporting, strategic planning, process/system improvements, facility design/layout, LEAN manufacturing, staffing, employee relations, quality, health and safety across diverse business settings.

As Director of Operations, increased production by 34% in less than 1 year, by increasing efficiency.

Reduced costs, and achieved zero lost work days and zero environmental violations.

Designed, built, and managed $220 million world-class production line as mechanical engineering lead.

Achieved profitability in 1 year and generated most dollars per ton for Fortune 500 organization.

Led turnaround of 97-year-old plant operation facing aggressive global competition.

Attained record productivity for 4 consecutive years by initiating LEAN methodology in all areas.

Natural, decisive, hands-on leader who combines keen technical insight with commitment to growth and profitability throughout his career including bringing groups, in completely diverse commodities, into LEAN thinking.

Added $3.7 million to the bottom line in 10 months by initiating budget accountability at appropriate levels.

Spearheaded $700K revenue growth by increasing throughput and production availability by improving product flow, reducing waste and increasing up-time while meeting all quality specifications.

Cut $1.2 million (20%) in overtime costs while improving yield and quality.

Installed Lean attitude and direction to a 25-year old process, improving profitability and morale.

Strategic thinker with extensive leadership experience, who exhibits operational excellence in day-to-day business management to optimize results.

Attained 99% production uptime for key department by benchmarking performance, instilling LEAN methodology.

Produced 2.3 million-ton throughput with little modernization, attaining new departmental record via thorough evaluation of all processes.

Achieved 95.2% product yield by identifying, evaluating, and implementing minimal equipment upgrade.

Innovative problem solver with ability to design and execute action plans that foster safe, productive environments.

Reduced labor expenses 17% within union environment while boosting retention in industry experiencing high turnover.

Selected to turn around corporation's most vital plant operation; rebuilt employee relationships and refocused objectives.

Achieved zero lost-time accidents for 3 consecutive years, surpassing average across highly hazardous industry.

Strong, communicator with outstanding interpersonal, organizational, and negotiation skills in union/nonunion settings.

Effective team builder who motivates and empowers multifunctional groups to perform at top levels.

Continuous Improvement Leader with proven record of consistently finding enhancements to every facet of each process.

Extensive International business experience including Asian and European cultural knowledge, and world class benchmarking.


MBA, Management, Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN, 1991

BSME, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, 1984

Professional Experience

Hope Medical Clinic, Ypsilanti, MI 2013 - 2017

Clinic Coordinator

Provided leadership and direction to 450 volunteers and 5 staff members - administering free medical service to the underprivileged.

Spearheaded successful conversion to new EMR (Electronic Medical Record) from paper charts with zero funds. All time and equipment was donated or already free.

Liaison between the Medical Clinic and several universities and hospitals to facilitate free expert specialty services for our clients.

Continental Aluminum, New Hudson MI 2010 – 2012

Director of Operations

Increased production by 34% in less than one year by increasing efficiencies, increasing morale and employee involvement, and constant re-enforcement of goals.

Improved HSE: reduced lost work days to zero by increasing employee involvement, elimination of frequent hazards and high-risk duties, enhancing and improving all safety training, and providing constant awareness and eliminating hazards.

Reduced environmental exceedances to zero by re-enforcing production guidelines, eliminating high risk contributors and increasing prevention communication.

Reduced labor costs by increasing efficiencies, re-aligning tasks, re-enforcing existing guidelines and updating SOP’s.

Instituted operator knowledge base including cross training, written testing and performance evaluations, leading to pay for knowledge and a more educated workforce with customer satisfaction as the goal.

Severstal North America, Dearborn, MI 2006 - 2009

Senior Project Manager

Recruited to investigate, design, purchase, build, and start-up world class cold reduction steel mill at a brown field site.

Performed benchmarking process for possible acquisition of competitor, including long term profitability probability and to assure continuous improvement capability.

Performed quality, safety, productivity and long-term viability studies on proposed equipment and facility.

Performed competitive bidding process on all proposed equipment including durability, performance, safety and long-term support capabilities.

Project was mothballed for several years, but was eventually completed. The production line has broken productivity records and has met all design expectations.

Michigan City Paper Box, Michigan City, IN 2000 - 2005

Plant Manager

Recruited to revitalize lackluster factory and establish LEAN manufacturing culture across union/nonunion operation.

Reported to owner; 50 direct reports.

Responsible for production, shipping, receiving, quality, safety, training, morale, and overall profitability.

Increased profit 8.5% while industry experienced intense global competition, decreasing margins, and rising costs.

Increased efficiency, uptime, productivity, safety performance, on time shipping performance via LEAN methodology

Bethlehem Steel, Burns Harbor Plant, Chesterton, IN 1984 - 2000

Promoted 7 times in 16 years.

Assistant Superintendent, '98-'00

Oversaw $44 million repair budget and $24 million labor budget for 30 direct and 190 indirect reports.

Initialized LEAN process in maintenance departments including manpower and outage assignments, met all financial targets.

Operating General Foreman, '96-'98

Managed 110-member staff in hazardous area with outdated equipment.

Recognized as model of excellence in safety by reducing lost time accidents over a 3-year period to zero.

Broke production records by challenging the workforce and improving up time.

Maintenance General Foreman, '95-'96

Appointed to manage mechanical, electrical and process control functions for key department.

Resolved previous extreme grievance issues and increased morale and efficiency.

Operating Senior Foreman, '92-'95 & Mechanical Engineer, '89-'92

Unveiled newly constructed production line on exact day of anticipated startup, out-performing competitors.

Trained 70-member technical team in operational procedures, including maintenance, functional and safety requirements.

Head mechanical engineer on 5-member team that built and rolled out $220 million cutting-edge production line on time.

Extensive travel to survey top production lines; resulted in design of prototype receiving worldwide acclaim.

Executed action plans to support mechanical maintenance and outage planning for 12 production units.

Lead production representative involved in the qualification of world class product, beating competitors.

Foreman / Looper, '84-'89

Recruited from college to be a future change agent for the corporation.

“Looped” around the corporation, learning the process and organization.

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