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Gary Kerslake on the Optimistic Manufacturing Future

2 minutes, 12 seconds read

I’m an optimist by my nature. So I feel pretty confident that we’ll get out of this.” That really sums up Gary Kerslake. After we introduced ourselves and compared notes about all the crazy 2020 happenings, I found Gary to be a positive, glass half-full kind of guy. Maybe that’s because he has been around the block a few times and seen a few things in his career.

In a thoughtful way, he did add, “Although I will tell you one thing that I’m sure is going to happen in the future, companies are going to think a lot more about supply chain risk, risk management, and having a risk plan.” Experience teaches you to have a plan and be prepared for a variety of scenarios, not just the best case and most-likely case.

Part of that risk planning is creating a culture where everyone is valued and listened to. Gary has observed that the best leaders and most resilient organizations are those that take a collaborative and respectful approach to working with the frontline.

“I firmly believe that most of the folks on the floor understand what the issues are. They understand how to improve. Management sometimes needs to let their ego not get in the way of common sense and listen to these folks.”

In order to understand more about how some leaders have fared much better than others in this turbulent 2020, I asked Gary about to elaborate a bit about leadership.

“I think that what separates good leaders from average leaders is that it’s the leader who will sit back and say, you know, I don’t know everything. I just don’t have all the answers. And there are a lot of people out there that are working out on the floor, that may have the answers.”

About Gary Kerslake:

Gary Kerslake is a Supply Chain Consultant with Kerslake & Associates, L.L.C. located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. As a consultant, he has worked with several of our nation’s leading corporations and government agencies.

Prior to becoming a supply chain consultant, Gary was both a materials manager and plant manager. With his valuable hands-on manufacturing expertise, he is able to give his clients practical solutions to their lean or supply chain process improvement activities.

Gary received his degree in Industrial Management with Honors from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is certified with the Wisconsin Industrial Commission as a journeyman machinist and is also certified with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership as an ISO Internal Auditor.

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