The ASSEMBLY Show South


Dennis McRae

Vice President
West Monroe Partners

Dennis McRae is an accomplished business leader with a track record for mentoring and mobilizing executive leadership teams to achieve strategic growth and P&L transformation. He has worked with industrial and consumer products organizations ranging from start-ups and turnarounds to Fortune 500 enterprises, as well as with private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Dennis’s experience includes a strong balance of executive leadership and P&L responsibility, as well as functional expertise in Industry 4.0 (digital factory, digital supply chain, and predictive asset management), supply chain optimization, operations management, warehousing and distribution, innovation, engineering, product and business development, and government and regulatory matters. He also has extensive experience with mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances and partnerships. His industry experience spans the aerospace, automotive, industrials and discrete manufacturing, food and beverage, consumer products, telecommunications, packaging, chemicals, and medical device and pharmaceuticals sectors. Dennis joined West Monroe Partners in 2018 from Hitachi Consulting Corporation, where he was vice president and head of the Industrials practice, responsible for overseeing delivery of operational improvement and technology services to global clients. He also led the firm’s Industry 4.0 initiative, helping earn recognition as a top solution provider in that space. Previously, he was vice president of operations for Celerant Consulting, which was acquired by Hitachi Consulting in 2012. Over 10 years there, he led large-scale transformation programs for clients. He was also a director of operations for Cambridge Management Consulting. Dennis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Business, Operations Management – Manufacturing and Technology Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also participated in the INSEAD Executive Leadership Program. He holds a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification.


How to Attract the Next-Generation of Skilled Manufacturing Workers

Some 12,838,000 million Americans held manufacturing jobs in April 2019. That’s 12 percent more than in April 2010, it’s the highest total since December 2008. Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in April 2019—the lowest jobless rate since December 1969.

As great as those numbers are, they could be even better. Talk to manufacturers anywhere in the country, and they’ll tell you their top challenge is the inability to attract skilled workers. Minnesota manufacturers are no exception. More than 8,300 manufacturing companies are located in the North Star State, and manufacturing represents 16 percent of the state’s GDP. And yet, manufacturing continues to lose talent to other fields like healthcare and high tech. To understand why, business and technology consulting firm West Monroe Partners polled 1,000 Minnesota workers aged 18 to 40. The results are thought-provoking.

For example, while 70 percent of Minnesotans perceive the industry positively, 75 percent have never worked in manufacturing and 44 percent would not consider a career in manufacturing. Why not? Is it compensation? Concerns about safety or job security? In this webinar, Sam Dawes, senior manager at West Monroe Partners, will present the results of his firm’s survey and offer insights into how to attract the next generation of skilled workers to manufacturing.


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