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Learning from Disruption

The disruptive impact of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of more flexible, demand-driven approaches that can adapt to sudden change, believes Goodyear VP of Global Operations Bruce Beach.

Q: What is your role and focus?
As Vice President of Global Operations, I have responsibility for Goodyear’s global manufacturing and engineering, supply chain, manufacturing strategy, and complexity teams. I am also responsible for Plant Optimization (PO), which is Goodyear’s manufacturing operating system.

Q: What are the most pressing issues facing manufacturing?
It is difficult to highlight one issue. Overall, two topics are front of mind. First, the need for demand-driven manufacturing and the ability of manufacturers to meet the increased level of complexity while improving efficiencies and decreasing conversion costs. Second, the challenges of attracting employees who want to work in manufacturing, including a focus on capability building and retainment, and finding ways to reduce the overall skills gap.

Q: What is your most important corporate initiative?
Maximizing our pockets of excellence throughout our value chain by developing and deploying one common operating system. This supports everything from outstanding functional expertise in engineering, supply chain, and manufacturing, to a global, standardized, world-class set of practices, processes, and metrics that drive us toward exceeding our customers’ needs and expectations.

Q: What will be the most important leadership qualities to possess in the future?
Building, maintaining, and leveraging a diverse and inclusive leadership team at all organizational levels. This requires an ability to influence and build trust among those teams, and empower associates at all levels to identify issues, problem solve, and improve KPIs in their areas of responsibility.

Q: What are the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?
Learn from the disruptive impact of the pandemic to build standardized but flexible processes and systems to quickly adapt to external environmental changes of demand and capacity and accelerate shop floor digitalization (Industry 4.0).

Q: What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Besides spending time with my wife and kids, I enjoy fishing for walleye on Lake Erie with my Dad for as long the good Lord will allow and working on my two old Chevelles (‘67 & ‘71). I’m also a big fan of author Patrick Lencioni and would recommend his books to anyone.

Bruce Beach   

Title: Vice President, Global Operations
Company: Goodyear Tire &
Rubber Company
HQ: Akron, Ohio
People: 62,000 Employees
Revenues: $12.3 billion (2020)
Industry: Automotive Tire Manufacturing
Web: Web:


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