Ryan Ripley is a lifelong manufacturing executive with a history of driving results. He has served in multiple capacities since beginning his manufacturing career as an engineering intern in 1995. In early 2020, he founded his own firm, TMR Consulting, LLC. Work in engineering, production, operations management and innovation paved the way to Ryan's most recent executive role, Vice President of Business Transformation at the MacLean-Fogg Company. With roots in the Midwest and an international perspective on business, Ryan is passionate about the power and importance of the global manufacturing base. This passion is reflected in Ryan's work in Lean manufacturing and innovation. An alumnus of the University of Dayton, Ryan lives with his wife and two daughters in Long Lake, Illinois. When away from the job, Ryan likes to spend his time outdoors with his family. He's an avid hockey player and an obsessed competitive water skier.
Following is a BRIEF look at Ryan's interview. For more detail, listen to the podcast.
Debbie: How did TMR Consulting come to be? What made you take the leap?
Ryan: They say, as an entrepreneur, you have to decide if you're in it for money or if you're in it for control. When I did it, I really thought I was in it to increase my earnings, but through the process, I learned I really wanted control. Not so much control of my day or all of the decisions, but rather control over my own destiny. I wanted to drive a higher level of business success while diversifying my experience and building in some work life balance, time with my family. That wasn't possible operating within a corporate hierarchy, at least in my view. But, I'm fascinated by corporate hierarchy and love working within them. I can also drive value. Real results. I saw a niche and I'm trying to exploit it. So far, so good.
We focus on three areas:
Debbie: These days, seemingly everywhere in the business community, we hear the word transformation. Why is that?
Ryan: I became familiar with the concept of transformation in 2010 and in a very specific context. I was challenged with architecting a Lean Enterprise Transformation for the MacLean-Fogg Company. Now, transformation comes in many forms with many strategic reasons. Successful Lean companies have learned that you must change the culture of the organization to really change the tactical and technical practices of the organization. Change agents in other industries know this too. You need to have a team of people who understand where you're going and why.
Debbie: So, what about Lean? Tell us about your journey and what you've learned along the way.
Ryan: So many different interpretations of the work, what it means, the concepts behind it and never ending debate and pontification about how to do it. About making mistakes - an eraser is the most important tool. The more you learn, the less you feel you know. The Toyota heritage is important, but it's not everything. Some apply without question: Safe, defect free, on demand, one-by-one, rapid response, lowest cost.
Debbie: From your own transformation experience, do you have any tips or trick to share?
Ryan: Most seem to dismiss how difficult it is. Great executives do it themselves with personal communication, even to a large group of people. Great memos and letters and emails take time to write and take practice to master. Many execs and companies simply don't make the time.
Contact Ryan Ripley: email [email protected] or call 847-456-1232.
Contact Debbie Fliehman: email [email protected] or call 847-902-4175.