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Manager Plant

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States
January 11, 2018

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Joseph A. Nowak, Jr.

**** **** *** ****, ******* WI 54963



Lean certified, continuous improvement manager with 15 years of quantifiable improvement that includes generating increased profits and improved productivity. High-energy change agent with the ability to set challenging goals that deliver results. Able to work through teams and across organizational boundaries to optimize the business process and gain alignment when implementing change.

Professional Experience

Wabash National, Plant Manager, Fond du Lac, Wi 12/15 – 1/3/2018

Lost job due to plant consolidation.

$100M manufacturing plant producing stainless steel and aluminum tank trailers.

Manage all aspects of production, safety, maintenance, quality, continuous improvement and scheduling.

Manage a production facility of over 200 associates and supervision. Overall duties include overseeing production for all stainless steel and aluminum trailers. Production also includes a full fabrication plant. Utilize Theory of Constraints to eliminate bottlenecks and increase output.

Ensure compliance with 3A sanitary for all food grade trailers. The Walker brand has 85% of the market share far all milk trailers in the US.

Achieved 19% production increase in terms of units while workforce decreased by 2% in same time frame.

Manage all LEAN projects. Direct and collaborate on LEAN projects both short and long term in nature.

Responsible for all aspects of safety. Utilize weekly safety committee meetings to reduce TRIR rate by 29% from 2015-2016.

Work with my scheduler to ensure the production schedule maximizes the operations resources. The schedule not only represents the best interests of production but also aligns with engineering, sales and materials objectives.

Participate in weekly SIOP process to ensure all departments are on schedule.

Ensure all maintenance is performed in timely manner in accordance with set PM schedules. Develop the capital expenditure plan for the following year along with long term planning.

Responsible for the overall quality of the product measured in terms of warranty costs. New unit failure rate was under 5% from a high of 19.5% in January of 2016.

Cummins NPower, Operations and Supply Chain Manager, De Pere, WI. 10/14 – 12/15

Left to pursue Wabash Opportunity that was closer to home and was more challenging.

$230M manufacturing and logistics facility producing Natural gas generators, fire pumps, custom upfits to standard engines, and rail equipment.

Manage all aspects of manufacturing, supply chain, industrial engineering, facility maintenance, material handling, warehousing and equipment maintenance.

Supply Chain: All purchasing for manufactured product as well as coordinating all pass through sales and delivery from different Cummins facilities. Created a Vendor management program in 2015 and in process of developing a vendor scorecard and qualification process for new and existing vendors.

Manufacturing: mechanical assembly, electrical assembly, fabrication, painting, electrical and dyno testing and inspection over 2 shifts working 5 days a week.

Manage all 6 Sigma and LEAN projects for the location working in conjunction with a corporate black belt. Collaboratively establish objectives to target and work within the chosen group to meet defined goals. Work with the manufacturing engineer to sponsor the projects and/or ensure progress. Measure the results of the project and help establish the criteria and culture for achievement of the control phase.

Implementing LEAN concepts including visual management with the first beta monitor in place reinforcing and celebrating safety, productivity improvements, community involvement events, upcoming plant schedule for production and visitors, 5S updates, etc….

Implemented Line leads for each product line to be an extension of the supervisor to keep 5S, safety and productivity objectives on track.

Achieved ISO/OSHAS certification in June 2015 for HSE

3 locations were chosen for the certification with De Pere being one of the 3. Passed without any major non-conformities, minor non-conformities or recommendations.

Zero recordable accidents or lost time in 2015. Member of the company Safety Excellence Committee.

Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Director of Manufacturing, Clintonville, WI. 5/13-10/14

Left due to contraction of national market and loss of #1 customer (FDNY).

$90M manufacturing facility producing Fire Trucks and refurbishing military trucks for the United States.

Manage all aspects of manufacturing, industrial engineering, facility maintenance, material handling, warehousing, and equipment maintenance.

Responsible for developing annual operating budget and capital expenditure budget.

Manufacturing includes: welding, fabrication, body work, painting, assembly, electrical, hydraulics and machining.

Responsible for 160 hourly employees over two shifts and 13 direct reports.

In process of reducing costs that will result in close to $500,000 reductions annually including implementing Kanban systems and reducing non-value added activity. Also improving the flow of materials as they move through the plant to establish a pull system.

Spearheading all aspects of manufacturing for new military refurbishment contract that was of awarded in February 2014. Determined area of work, part and process flow, and cost control information as well as hiring new supervisors. Working jointly with the military to further define the “statement of work”. Developing the inspection process with the local contracted military inspector. Overseeing all hourly hiring for this contract and the implementation of standard operating procedures.

Responsible for supply chain process of military refurbishment contract.

In process of doing time studies to identify specific time parameters for each function to define expectations and strictly control costs for budgetary and bidding purposes. Also using these studies to eliminate variances and to tighten the costing of each aspect of production.

Working with engineering to improve the “design for manufacturing” which will allow us to manufacture the trucks/components in a streamlined process. This will allow for improved manufacturing times and increased capacity.

Panolam Industries, Plant Manager: Huntsville, On., Oshkosh, WI. and Montevideo, MN. 5/08 –5/13

Left due to heavy travel to Canada and Minnesota. Oshkosh plant has since been closed.

$70-80M manufacturing facilities focusing on manufacturing particleboard, laminating thermofused melamine, vinyl, paper and printing on paper and vinyl. Also responsible for $8M distribution center in Montevideo, Minnesota.

Plant Manager 1/30/2012-5/2013

Manage all 3 locations (Huntsville, Ontario; Oshkosh, WI; and Montevideo, MN) with complete responsibility for profitability setting and achievement, capital improvements, long and short term business strategies, supply chain process & management, human resources, accounting, productivity improvements, cost reductions, environmental, new product development including implementation and sales. Salesmen for Montevideo report directly to me, I work closely with the rest of the salesmen for the other 2 locations to ensure we are meeting customer needs and growing market share.

Full P & L responsibility for all locations.

Developed annual operating budget and capital expenditures for all locations.

Took over Huntsville at the end of January 2012. Led Huntsville to over $3.0 million in EBITDA in 2012 after that location posted $1.8 million dollar loss in 2011. Also overcame a loss of $300,000 in January 2012.

Only $450,000 of the $5 million dollar turnaround came from sales margin. All of the rest came directly from manufacturing operational improvements.

The improvements were specifically in material usage, variable overhead and purchase price variance. This was primarily accomplished by eliminating non-value added activities and targeting root causes for additional cost and correcting them where they occurred.

Implementing engineering change on the particleboard lines to introduce mat sprayers to achieve a line speed increase and a chemical resin and wood fiber consumption decrease.

Work with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Safety to ensure compliance in all areas.

Achieved zero lost time accidents at all 3 plants combined in 2012.

Maintain ISO certification and just passed an ISO audit and re-certification.

Implemented a scrap reduction plan that has already decreased scrap by over 62.

Working with supervisors to implement Lean principles and train all employees through the managerial staff on continuous improvement.

Provide monthly and yearly forecasts for sales, costs and EBITDA.

Working on an action plan to reduce downtime and changeover time that has already reduced overall downtime by 12%.

Beginning to foster a positive team atmosphere in Ontario while ensuring that employee moral remains high at the other locations.

Member of the joint safety council for all three locations to ensure that each location maintain a world-class level.

All responsibilities still as below.

Plant Manager (5/27/08 – 1/30/2012)

Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the entire operation reporting directly to the President and CEO in Connecticut.

Full P&L accountability, production along with labor costs, scrap and productivity, purchasing, all location costs, quality control, human resources and OSHA VPP Star compliance.

Increased productivity from 39% through reduction of non-value added activities implementing lean principles.

Set all processes for effective implementation of short and long term productivity improvement plan.

Reduced cost structure, which improved profit and lowered the breakeven point by over $300,000 in net sales.

Reduced scrap costs by 23% vs. 2011 using lean principles such as value stream mapping and 5S.

Zero OSHA recordable accidents in 2009. Recertified in OSHA VPP STAR in 2011.

28% reduction in inventory in 2010 and more than doubled inventory turns, utilizing just in time principles to reduce inventory while maintaining a short lead time efficient production schedule.

Fully accountable for all P&L performance and all costs for both Oshkosh and Montevideo.

Improved EBITDA by 50,000 in 2011 vs. 2010.

Research, request and implement all capital improvement budgets and projects.

Chicago Panel and Truss, Aurora, IL 1/08 – 5/08

Accepted job with the agreement it would be a temporary position.

$7.5M union manufacturing facility, focusing on the manufacture and assembly of wood and steel floor decks, steel roof trusses and steel wall panels. (Commercial market was declining and the facility was running out of production)

General Manager (1/7/08 – 5/26/08)

Complete responsibility for all areas of manufacturing, including quality, production scheduling, purchasing and safety reporting directly to the Vice President of CPT. Full P&L responsibility regarding the achievement of all line items. Change agent to switch operation to become a complete Lean Manufacturing facility. Responsible for changing the entire culture of the manufacturing floor to operate at a high level while eliminating mistakes.

Precision Framing Systems, Montgomery, IL 3/03 – 1/08

Left due to parent company filing bankruptcy and closing the plant.

$40M world class union manufacturing facility manufacturing wall panel components, roof trusses and pre-fabricated floor decks. The entire operation employed over 250 employees (parent company (Neumann Homes), filed for bankruptcy liquidated – operation sold)

Director of Manufacturing (10/05 – 12/07)

Complete accountability for operation of 340,000 square foot facility reporting directly to the President of the company. Primary responsibilities include providing leadership to initiative managers for the manufacturing of wall panels, roof trusses and modular floor decks. P&L responsibilities for a $40M operations budget. Total organization of 225 employees. Responsible for all previous duties, additional responsibilities include: Full P&L responsibility regarding achievement of financial objectives in all initiatives including performance in productivity ratios, quality control and safety compliance. Responsible for maintaining performance with acute awareness of company capital and ROI standards. Played lead role in facility layout and flex planning for material storage, flow to manufacturing, component assembly and finished goods storage and shipping.

Reduced plant labor by 5% in 2007 while decreasing waste and associated cost by 60%.

Improved all productivity metrics in all 3 departments through the use of Lean principles

Responsible for all Union-employee relations, terminations and negotiating with the business agent on discipline.

Maintained great working relationship with the union and enjoyed workplace harmony while holding employees accountable to production and company standards.

Manufacturing team succeeded in maintaining extraordinary safety performance standards; 1 OSHA recordable lost time accident in 230,000 man-hours.

Performance standards include a 3 year record of zero late deliveries on manufactured products posted with an average maximum of a 10 working day lead time from design start to site delivery.

Overall expense structure outside of salary and wages has shown consistent annual reductions of between 7-10% since initial plant startup.

Manufacturing Manager (7/04 – 10/05)

Responsible for all manufacturing in Illinois. Total organization of 125 employees. P&L responsibilities for a 20m budget. Responsible for all previous duties; additional responsibilities include: Managed the coordination of design/engineering department output and integration with production schedule for even flow performance to ensure complete execution of field and company commitment to customer schedules exceeding expectations.

Improved productivity by 150% in wall panels and revenue quantifiably through use of Lean manufacturing techniques, JIT and Kanban systems.

Initiated started floor deck and roof truss manufacturing from ground up.

Complete responsibility for managing construction for move to a new facility and ensuring all equipment and material were moved on time without interruption to the schedule. Construction included building bathrooms and break rooms, installing overhead doors, installing an elevator and ensuring all village inspections and codes were followed.

Plant Manager (3/03 – 7/04)

Responsible for all wall panel manufacturing including all hiring and firing. Organization of 30 employees. P&L responsibilities for a 5m budget. Provide leadership and input in process improvement and analysis identifying performance opportunities through interaction with field and management team on developing strategy and execution to meet all job challenges and objectives.

Responsibility includes maintaining positive working relationship with affiliated union representatives. Have succeeded in establishing an atmosphere of fair, honest treatment and open communications while maintaining company integrity and performance expectations.

Managed OSHA compliance and responsible for OSHA 300 log. Plant achieved 231 consecutive days without an accident.

Milgard Windows, Aurora, IL 7/00 – 3/03

$14M national manufacturer of vinyl windows. The Aurora location employed 125 employees distributing windows to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. (No opportunity for further advancement)

Assistant Plant Manager (1/02 – 3/03)

Responsible for all plant manager duties and full P&L responsibilities for $14m operations budget. Manage the coordination of manufacturing, product scheduling, loading, delivery and service. Oversee all production and warehouse operations including staffing and training supervisors.

Manage $14 million start up segment of the operation to increase profitability.

Led benchmarking meetings to raise competency levels for all managers and supervisors.

Distribution, Warehouse & Service Manager (7/01 – 1/02)

Responsible for all previous duties as well as ensuring all service calls for defects were completed within company guidelines. Responsible for setting and achieving production, distribution, service and warehouse budgets. Oversee all areas of service scheduling and manage job-site issues when necessary, which includes responsibility for all areas of sales, delivery, service and follow-up for our biggest customer (Lakewood Homes) in order to maintain the account.

Engineering consultant for vinyl extrusion product analysis.

Distribution & Warehouse Manager (7/00 – 7/01)

Responsible for ensuring all product was stored and delivered on time within budget. Managed the loading, storage and delivery of all windows.

Increased on time delivery from 63% to 96% within first year.

Reduced damaged product from “D” level to “A” level based on company standards.

Member of D.O.T. compliance committee and responsible for all D.O.T. requirements.

Airborne Express, Chicago, IL 10/96 – 7/00

Airborne was a national company that specializes in package delivery. The Chicago location sales were 15m annually. (Company was in the process of being sold to DHL, took opportunity)

Station Manager (9/98 – 7/00)

Responsible for all aspects of the stations package delivery, pickup and customer satisfaction. Manage the day-to-day operations of a 15 million-dollar operation, including 92 Drivers, 6 Supervisors and 5 Office Clericals. In charge of hiring, training and developing supervisors to perform all day to day functions. Accountable for maintaining high standards in service, productivity, methods compliance, payroll, while minimizing hours, cost, missed pickups and controllable errors.

Reduced overtime below 7% and increased on time delivery above 95%.

Responsible for maintaining 90% on recordable audit survey standards.

Settle all union grievances and wage claims.

Worked directly with business agent to settle grievances and terminations.

Handle discipline at a local level by representing the company at 6 man board hearings.

Impact Analyst (3/98 – 9/98)

Responsible for overseeing project that was held in 2 regions bi-annually that was expected to increase productivity and decrease cost. Led impact project to reduce hours, cost and improve productivity.

Won station of the year nationally based on the results of the project.

AM Line Manager (3/97 – 3/98)

Responsible for managing a delivery line of 30 drivers to ensure on time delivery while ensuring budget compliance. Managed morning sort and loading of delivery vehicles. Held 12-month mark of earliest average departure time by drivers, which were electronically reported. Handled all dispatching of pickups and customer calls.

Managed highest on-time delivery percentage by line in the Chicago market for 11 of 12 months.

Responsible for maintaining ISO certification for the plant.

PM Outbound Supervisor (10/96 – 3/97)

Responsible for ensuring all packages were picked up on time and all packages were loaded on the planes in accordance with company, ISO and Federal Aviation requirements. Responsible to ensure all pick-ups were made at customer or drop box locations.

Managed night sort to ensure all packages were accounted for and scanned to the correct container.

Worked airport ramp to oversee all containers were properly loaded and federal regulations were followed.

Responsible for maintaining ISO certification for the plant.


BS, Business Administration/Management, University of Illinois at Chicago

Certified in Lean Manufacturing, 2008

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