Stephen (Steve) James Laton leads IES lean services. He is based in Albemarle and works with clients from Murphy to Manteo.
Steve has developed and continues to refine a senior management coaching program based largely on the Toyota Production System, with which he has more than 23 years of experience in 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 works 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 such as 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. Companies that have benefited from this approach include Precision Walls, Sypris, Esterline, Freightliner, Hoffman and Hoffman, TIMCO, and Impressions Marketing, 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 in 1970 with honors, and with a minor in industrial engineering. Steve also volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Community College Boards, and various civic organizations.