ROSEMONT, IL—Eric Pope, vice president of operations at US Synthetic Corp., will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 ASSEMBLY Show here on Oct. 24.

“Culture by Design” will be the topic of Pope’s speech. He will share insight on his company’s world-class lean manufacturing initiative, which was honored several years ago with the prestigious Shingo Prize.

US Synthetic, a division of Dover Corp., is a 40-year-old family-owned company based in Orem, UT. It specializes in polycrystalline diamond cutters that are used for a variety of oil and gas exploration applications, such as drilling.

The Shingo Prize is considered to be the “Nobel Prize of manufacturing.” Since USS received the award in 2011, it has embarked on a program of making other manufacturers better through Culture by Design.

“Every organization, company, assembly plant, cell and team is a reflection of their leadership,” says Pope. “To create real change in a business, we need to first understand what drives the business. The source of power is the people and their behaviors.

“To change a business, you must change people’s behaviors,” claims Pope. “The sum of these behaviors is the culture. All business results are driven from the behaviors of people. When you change the culture, you change the business. Teaching people how to think and act differently is the key.

“The culture of your business can be your most powerful strategic advantage,” adds Pope. “The intelligence, goodness and alignment of your people are difficult to replicate. When your employees think and act in alignment with your customers and your business, you can’t lose.”

According to Pope, manufacturers that focus on people, and establish values and principles throughout the organization, will achieve unparalleled success.

In this thought-provoking presentation, you’ll learn about fundamental leadership principles that drive and empower a continuous improvement culture.

“We typically are taught the principles and tools of lean, but are unfamiliar with the empowering culture component that is driven by leadership principles,” says Pope. “These leadership principles, coupled with the principles of the Toyota Production System, form the most powerful combination for business success.”

In his keynote presentation, Pope will also describe the process and principles for “creating the most powerful form of a continuous improvement culture through creating an environment throughout the entire organization, where we can make better choices that drive better results.”

Throughout his long career, Pope has been a driving force behind US Synthetic’s move from a typical batch-and-queue manufacturing system to a world-class, lean manufacturing facility. As part the of the company’s senior leadership team since 2006, Pope has been instrumental in implementing lean training and techniques at every level of the organization.

Under Pope’s leadership, US Synthetic maintains a strong focus on empowering employees and encouraging continuous improvement. This focus has helped the company implement thousands of employee-sponsored improvements.

As a result, product innovation has increased and US Synthetic customers have been better served with improved delivery times, decreased inventory, and superior quality and performance. Continuous improvements have allowed the company to grow at 23 percent annually since beginning its lean journey in 2005.

“No matter what sort of product you make, you’ll benefit from Pope’s manufacturing wisdom,” says Tom Esposito, publisher of ASSEMBLY.

The 2018 ASSEMBLY Show will be held Oct. 23-25 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. To learn more about it, click