Stephen (Steve) James Laton leads IES lean services.
Steve is based in Albemarle and works with clients from Murphy to Manteo. He has developed and continues to refine a senior management coaching program, based largely on the Toyota Production System. Steve has more than 23 years of experience in applying the TPS to manufacturing and non-manufacturing operations. The senior management offering has been well received by many companies, and is in growing demand as companies large and small seek to improve the implementation and sustainability of a real lean culture in their organizations. As the leader for lean, Steve is working to apply standard work concepts internally, improve personnel training, develop new and innovative products, and grow IES influence not only in manufacturing but in non-traditional lean applications as well. Much lean work has been done in construction, higher education and government. Through current applications and continuous research, Steve has developed a customized approach to leading a lean enterprise transformation that improves an organization's tactical and strategic methodologies. The structure is customized to each client's unique needs, and the clients learn by practicing the seven concepts and four principles of a successful and sustainable lean system within their organization. Companies that have benefited from this approach include Precor, Sypris, Esterline, Freightliner, Hoffman and Hoffman, TIMCO, and Copernicus, to list a few.
Steve worked with Collins & Aikman for 35 years as an industrial engineer at the corporate, plant and division level. He managed four facilities as plant manager at sites in Michigan, North Carolina and Mexico. This experience was mainly as a tier one parts supplier to most of the major automotive producers. He was Vice President of Operations for Racemark International, a tier one and aftermarket accessory mat supplier prior to joining IES.
Steve received his B.S. in textile technology from NC State with honors, and with a minor in industrial engineering. Steve also volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Community College Boards, and various civic organizations.