Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence (KCOE)

Mission: Our mission is to place qualified students within organizations where they can learn, grow and contribute by applying their knowledge of operational excellence to daily processes. Our goal to set employers up for success by providing them with quality employees that are equipped with the skills necessary to excel in the complex business environment and strive for world-class success.  We seek to strengthen the alignment between industry and academia in the community so that we can create a pipeline of talented people that funnel back into the community.

Internshipsinternship info
The Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence (KCOE) is committed to creating internships for students.  Internship opportunities are available across a wide variety of industries and disciplines, including management, healthcare, manufacturing, operations, sales, and supply chain.  We offer assistance to all students, not just Business Management majors with minors in Operational Excellence. 

If you are interested in acquiring an internship, please fill out the KCOE Internship Questionnaire and return it to the KCOE office at your earliest convenience.  We will be glad to assist you in finding a quality internship in your area of interest.  

About Uskcoe-about
What is Operational Excellence?

Operational Excellence is an element of organizational leadership that focuses on using a variety of principles and tools to create long-term systems and processes that support sustainable improvement.  It is a philosophy based on the Toyota Production System (TPS).  Operational Excellence emphasizes the importance of teamwork, employee development, and continuous improvement.  Furthermore, Operational Excellence is an organizational goal that is not specific to one industry.  It can be applied effectively across all industries.  The goal is to conduct business in a manner that improves product and service quality, increases the efficiency of business processes, and eliminates non-value added waste within operations.    

What are we About? 

The KCOE can provide your organization with skilled individuals, trained in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government at Saint Vincent College.  These individuals are capable of providing added value to organizations and customers across a variety of industries.  The added value our students can provide is contributed to the constant focus on seeking ways to continuously improve, solve problems, and eliminate waste streams. 

OE Tools

Problem Solving
Balanced Scorecard
Standard Work
Master Planning

Three Foundations

Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of leaders must be clear to maintain mutual trust and respect, and to empower front-line colleagues.

Visual Management
Visual management is about SEEING problems as they occur.  It helps manage information in simple visual ways.  If we can see it, we can act on it.

Plan, Do, Check, Analyze/Act (PDCA)
PDCA is a mindset and thought process that should be used in everything we do in OE.  In each PDCA cycle we must make a good plan (Plan), Implement the plan on time (Do), Evaluate whether or not the desired results are being achieved (Check), Get back on target (Analyze/Act), and repeat the cycle constantly.  PDCA helps avoid experiencing recurring problems and it makes continual improvement possible by always challenging the new standard.

What to Expect

  • A program committed to creating opportunities for industry professionals and students to interact and build long lasting relationships
  • Talented students passionate about making a difference and promoting a culture of mutual respect
  • Students eager to join organizations and implement OE tools that improve inefficiencies, customer satisfaction, and perform on a world-class level
  • A strong emphasis on the importance of creating organizational cultures focused on continuous improvement and problem solving
  • Quality students that understand the criticality of being able to balance both the human and operational sides of business

Join Uskcoe-join
Why Join Us?

We are always looking for new partnership and sponsorship opportunities.  A partnership with the KCOE will not only help the program better continue its mission, but it will also provide a valuable resource to your organization.  Connecting with the KCOE  provides an opportunity to learn from others on the Lean journey and to share your Lean journey with other dedicated and knowledgeable professionals. 

KCOE Sponsor Benefits

Facilitated events by seasoned practitioners

Interaction with both current and future leaders across various industries

Registration and waiting list priority over non-sponsors

Highly collaborative and participant-based learning activities

Formal and informal expert consulting support

Sponsor-specific training events

Access to best practice and knowledge sharing between industry leaders

Organizational culture transformation

Leadership coaching and mentoring

On-site and off-site consultations

Team performance improvement



Kennametal          Aggressive Grinding Service Inc.

If you are interested in finding out more detailed information, please review our sponsorship levels and contact our office to discuss potential opportunities.

Upcoming Eventskcoe-events
Lean Six Sigma Webinar Series (Part 1)
Introduction to Six Sigma
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Online (Zoom) 

Lean Six Sigma Webinar Series (Part 2)
Introduction to Lean Management 
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Online (Zoom) 

Lean Six Sigma Webinar Series (Part 3)
Lean Six SIgma Tools & Concepts
Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Online (Zoom) 

Past KCOE Eventskcoe-pastevents
  • 2018 KCOE Operational Excellence Summit
    KCOE Webpage Doc

    Steven Leushel   
    Guardian Health Care

    Steven R. Leuschel
    Leadership Learner & Lean Transformation Coach
    The Leaders Library & Align Kaizen, LLC

    Steven Leuschel is the Corporate Director for Operational Excellence (OE) at Guardian Elder Care in Brockway, Pennsylvania, where he is initiating a company-wide OE transformation.  He has aided in the adaptation and implementation of the Transformation Curve and OE at a number of organizations within the manufacturing, healthcare, and service industries.  With a Masters in Management: Operational Excellence degree and a Masters Certificate in Health Services Leadership from Saint Vincent College, Steven is pursuing his Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and researching executive learning of the Toyota Production System (TPS).  Previously, Steven served as the leader of OE at Indiana    Regional Medical Center.  He has also authored and illustrated the book “Lean Culture Change Using a Daily Management System,” which provides a step-by-step guide for leaders to implement Lean daily management.  Steven is also editing and publishing a book titled “The Diffusion of Lean,” which provides lessons learned and failure modes for adapting the Toyota Production System throughout North America. 

    Norbert Majerus

    Norbert Majerus
    Owner and Founder, Norbert Majerus Consulting LLC

    Norbert was born and raised in Luxembourg and has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Universitaet des Saarlandes, Saarbruecken, Germany.  He joined Goodyear while in Luxembourg in 1978 and then transferred to Akron, OH in 1983.  Norbert has worked most disciplines in the Goodyear Innovation Centers in both Luxembourg and Akron.  Beginning in 2005, Norbert implemented a principles-based Lean product development process at the three Global Innovation Centers of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.  For more than a decade he was Goodyear’s Lean Champion in research and development.

    Norbert published his first book in 2016 titled “Lean-Driven Innovation” (Norbert Majerus, CRC Press, 2016), which received the Shingo Research Award.  In addition to many other publications, he has spoken at many conferences in the United States and countries around the world.  With Norbert’s guidance, the Goodyear R&D organization applied for and received the AME Excellence Award.  Norbert also holds over 60 U.S. patents and numerous international patents.  Furthermore, he has experience in product development, new tire design, new product marketing and launch, project management, and activity-based accounting.  Since retiring from Goodyear in 2017, he has continued to share his extensive Lean expertise through workshops, lectures, and webinars via Norbert Majerus Consulting LLC.

    Bill Kimbro

    Mr. William (Bill) Kimbro
    Global Director Operational Excellence
    Kennametal Inc. 

    Bill Kimbro has over 30 years of experience in the areas of operational transformation, executive leadership, and manufacturing systems implementation through utilizing Lean techniques to drive Operational Excellence (OE).  He has functioned in various roles over this period of time that includes working with 3 Toyota sensei.  Bill has been on a serious Lean learning journey for numerous years and derived great personal satisfaction in helping people and teams unlock human creativity and innovation to drive improvements and improve the customer experience.

    Bill’s career history involves driving operational transformation across the global corporate platform of multiple fortune 500/1000 companies.  This includes working with the Textron Aerostructures, Eaton Corporation and Kennametal Inc.  This also includes working for and consulting with numerous companies within a variety of global industries.  Bill has worked with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), and helped to design and establish the standard for continuous improvement and Lean practices through the development of the Lean certification program for the Shingo Prize for Excellence, which is now a standard within the profession.

    His passion for Lean and OE extends past the workplace and into the classroom.  Bill has served on the Industrial Advisory Board for Penn State University since 2005 in support of CMTOC (Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change) and the Masters of Manufacturing Management (MMM) Graduate Program.  He has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa since 2004, having taught both a graduate level and undergraduate senior level course in OE.

    OE Society      Xonitek
     Readiness Institute    TOI

    Joseph F. Paris Jr., Consultant, Speaker, & Author

    Joseph F. Paris Jr. is a recognized thought leader in Operational Excellence (OE), an international entrepreneur, a prolific writer, and a sought-after strategist.  With over 30 years of experience in international business and operations, he is routinely called upon to offer guidance to C-suite and senior executives and business operations and improvement specialists who wish to improve the overall organizational efficiency and effectiveness.  He is highly valued for his ability to provide strategic insight and tactical analysis, and to convert these thoughts into reality by successful engagement and execution.

    He focuses on improving the performance of companies and the conditions of those who work there.  Joseph is regularly sought by companies to help analyze and formulate their strategic vision, to design the tactics necessary to achieve their goals, to identify and organize the logistics necessary to support the plan, and to lead the execution phase.  He is sought by companies and academia to address challenges and opportunities of today, and to predict those of tomorrow.  Joseph is highly valued for his abilities to provide strategic analysis, tactical insight, and the necessary leadership for the successful execution of strategies.

    Although he is an expert in the more granular facets of the discipline, he places a special emphasis on the cornerstones for success, which are the engagement of people and instilling a leadership culture as part of the company’s DNA.  His goal is to help create high-performance individuals working in high-performance teams for high-performance organizations.  His book, “State of Readiness”(May 2017), has been well received and endorsed by business leaders from highly respected companies with operations around the world and across multiple industries.  The book promises to be a definitive work in the field of Operational Excellence.

  • Meet the KCOE Executive DIrector

    Dr. Terrance D. Smith
    Executive Director, Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence


    D.B.A., Walden University, Project Management

    M.B.A., Grantham University, Project Management

    B.S., Saint Vincent College, Business Management

    About the Executive Director

    In January of 2017, Dr. Smith became the Executive Director of the Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence (KCOE).  In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the KCOE, he is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government.  Dr. Smith teaches in the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence (MSMOE) program.  Terrance teaches a number of courses in the program, including a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Prep Course, Supply Chain Management, Change Management, Project Management, and Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. 

    Dr. Smith has a military background and served 12 years in the U.S. Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2), specializing in logistics management, strategic planning, and operations management.  Dr. Smith’s research interests include employee engagement, employee turnover, continuous improvement, and organizational leadership.  He has co-authored published articles in the Journal of Leadership and Management and the Journal of Management for Global Sustainability.  Terrance has also presented at the Society for Advancement of Management International Conference.  Dr. Smith also serves as the Head Coach of the Saint Vincent College men’s basketball program.

    A Word from the Executive Director

    “We are committed to increasing exposure for the KCOE program and our gifted students that are being educated in one of the best management programs in the country.  It is our responsibility to provide opportunities for these students to showcase their skills for organizations and show they are more than prepared for the challenges presented in such a volatile business environment.  The added value our program and students can provide to industry is attributed to the focus on seeking ways to constantly improve, solve problems, and eliminate waste streams.”

                                                                                   Terrance D. Smith
                                                                                   Executive Director, KCOE