Larry Fast

Founder & President,
Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence

Larry Fast is founder and president of Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence and a veteran of 35 years in the wire and cable industry. He is the author of "The 12 Principles of Manufacturing Excellence: A Leader's Guide to Achieving and Sustaining Excellence," which was released in 2011 by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, as a Productivity Press book. It was a best seller in its category and a 2nd. Edition was published Sept. 24, 2015. It features a new Chapter 1 on leadership, various updates of anecdotes, and new electronic tools on the accompanying CD. At Belden, where he spent his first 25 years, Fast conceived and implemented a strategy for manufacturing excellence that substantially improved manufacturing quality, service and cost. He is retired from General Cable Corp., which he joined in 1997 to co-lead North American Operations. Fast later was named senior VP of North American Operations and a member of the corporate leadership team. By 2001 the first General Cable plant had won Top 25 recognition as one of the IndustryWeek Best Plants. By 2008, General Cable manufacturing plants had been recognized for 19 awards. Fast holds a bachelor of science degree in management and administration from Indiana University and is a graduate from Earlham College’s Institute for Executive Growth. He also completed the program for management development at the Harvard University School of Business in 1986.

Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership -- When Is It Time to Automate a Process?
Typically this question surfaces when the health and well-being of the workers and/or the business is threatened.
baseball players in a huddle
Ask the Expert - Lean Leadership: Our Daily Huddle Meetings are Exercises in Frustration
Even a well-intentioned leader can frustrate, demoralize and stymie energetic and conscientious workers if the leader lacks an understanding about his/her role in leading a "huddle meeting."
hand holding coins
Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership -- The Productivity Equations 4
Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership: Have a question about lean leadership? Let Larry Fast tackle it for you.
Are 'Concrete Heads' Wrecking Your Lean Manufacturing Efforts? 9
Lean or CI experts seem to be the first to get laid off at manufacturers. How can we change this mentality of management?
Hiring for the Factory Floor -- Are Hard Skills or Soft Skills More Important? 3
Because skills in certain technical areas are often in short supply, you may be better off hiring a smart, trainable person who thinks and behaves in a way that fits your culture.
medicine production line
Performance Metrics that Matter: Effective Productivity Measures 9
I recommend three distinct productivity measurements for the manufacturing operations function.
Excuses sign
The 'Failure to Deliver On Time' Excuse List
Can you add to this list of excuses for missing your delivery dates?
Why a Robust S&OP Process is Critical to Delivery Performance – and Key Factory Metrics 2
S&OP is foundational for operational excellence, for breaking down silos, for creating team culture and for taking much better care of our customers.
More 'Must Have' Metrics to Drive Continuous Improvement
Your must-have performance metrics should include rolled throughput yield, OEE and several inventory measures.
Safety and Quality: 'Must Have' Metrics for Continuous Improvement 4
Safety and quality are two imperative metrics for every manufacturing organization. Make sure you are measuring them correctly to drive improvement.
How to Choose Metrics to Drive Continuous Improvement 3
Start by challenging all current metrics for evaluation of their effectiveness.
How to Create a Culture to Sustain 5S 8
Each manufacturing leader must execute these five practices every day to sustain 5S.
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5 Tips for Introducing Lean to Administrative Functions 1
If you are motivated to apply lean thinking in the office, how do you start? Begin by answering this question: Who is my customer?
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Manufacturing's IT Professionals are Ignoring Their Biggest Customer -- the Shop Floor 2
Manufacturing operations and IT are two functions that typically don't communicate well or often enough to extract the obvious synergies.
depressed man
Help! No One Supports My Efforts to Implement Lean in a Low-volume, Job Shop Environment 3
A reader asks Larry Fast for help in engaging the workforce and leadership in implementing lean manufacturing in a machine shop.
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