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Patricia  Panchak

Patricia Panchak

President, Patricia Panchak, LLC, Business Journalist & Editorial Consultant


The dictionary defines “manufacturing” as “the making or producing of anything.” This definition equally applies to providing clean hotel rooms, teaching in a classroom, building cars, or even brewing beer. In reality, most of us are manufacturers. Therefore, understanding and adapting the best-practices from traditional manufacturing sectors, provides the greatest gains in productivity and innovation for the rest of us. Read More >

As the former editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek, Patricia Panchak is a widely recognized authority on business management and leadership issues. Through extensive research, she provides a window into the best practices of world-class organizations and provides the knowledge companies need to put the challenge of global competition in perspective. An accomplished storyteller and an animated, articulate speaker, Patricia inspires optimism in her audiences by filling her presentations with an abundance of valuable data and successful case studies. Her recent work focuses on the following critical factors that drive innovation and sustainable growth:

  • The Digital Revolution: Leveraging the Latest Information and Production Technologies
  • The Innovation Imperative: Sustaining Product and Process Development
  • Transformational Talent Strategies: Transforming Employees into Entrepreneurs

Patricia is also often called upon to deliver her one-of-a-kind take on the state of U.S., North American, and/or global manufacturing, a thought-provoking review of current economic data, plus a challenge of the manufacturing myths that impede the growth of companies and countries. Patricia’s talks on global strategy explain how successful U.S. companies are surviving—even thriving—in today’s hyper-competitive, fast-changing, low-cost economy.

An engaging and insightful speaker, Panchak draws upon 20+ years of research, interviews and reporting to reveal the innovative strategies and best practices of the world’s top companies. These strategies and best practices will make an immediate impact on any organization--by cutting costs, boosting productivity and increasing profits—and will set your company on a path to strong sustainable growth.

She also answers the tough questions like, how to compete in an ultra-competitive economy, and how public policy issues will affect you. She can customize any presentation to your organization’s needs – even engaging in sit-down seminars and break-off sessions.

RESUME: Read Less ^

  • As a business journalist, Panchak delivers in-depth reporting about the transformational strategies of world-class companies for clients such as AME (lean transformation and people-centered leadership) and MESA International (smart and digital manufacturing).
  • As Editor-in-Chief IndustryWeek, she directed the strategic development of all IW editorial products, including the magazine, .com, research and information products, and executive conferences.
  • An award-winning editor, Panchak received the 2004 Jesse H. Neal Business Journalism Award for Signed Commentary and helped her staff earn the 2004 Neal Award for Subject-Related Series. She also has earned the American Business Media’s Midwest Award for Editorial Courage and Integrity.
  • BS: Journalism and BA: English from Bowling Green State University; Master’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

Speaker Videos

The Toyota System: How LEAN Developed

How to Compete in Hyper-Competitive Market

Advanced Manufacturing

Speech Topics

Quick Start to a Successful Smart Manufacturing Transformation

Learn from the leaders how to jump start a digital or “smart manufacturing” transformation. This presentation draws from extensive interviews with executives who are setting the pace implementing digital strategies to speed product development, streamline production, more effectively meet customer demands, create new business models and more. It describes: Read More >

  • How to leverage Lean Principles to ensure a sustainable, ever-evolving digital transformation—and stay ahead of the competition
  • Where and how to start a digital transformation—and why
  • Who should lead your digital transformation

Learn from Mondelez, Rockwell Automation, Sanmina and others. Read Less ^

The Power of Lean Culture

Learn how successful companies transform their employees into entrepreneurs who own their work—and who are ready, willing and able to cut costs, to innovate products and services, to develop more effective work processes—and to grow the bottom line. Read More >

Features examples and anecdotes from Toyota, Autoliv, Barry Wehmiller, HNI, Ariens, and more. Read Less ^

Driving Innovation and Sustainable Growth: How to Win in Today’s Hyper-Competitive, Fast-Changing, Low-Cost, Global Marketplace

How do the most successful manufacturers jump ahead of competitors—and stay there? The latest research and interviews reveals the strategies that work. Read More >

This presentation combines a big-picture view of the current and future states of U.S. manufacturing along with case studies of winning strategies including: Read Less ^

  • Leading employees so they become innovators--everyday
  • Sustaining product & process development best practices
  • Implementing transformational technologies

The Digital Revolution: Leveraging the Latest Information & Production Technologies for All Companies & Organizations

Patricia takes the audience on a whirlwind tour of how companies today are leveraging the 8 technologies that have redefined business. She shares company case studies that show where, how and why these technologies are being implemented—and makes clear they are NOT technologies of the future, they are technologies of NOW. Read More >

As noted by McKinsey, “The cross-cutting nature of many of these disruptive technologies reinforces the ongoing convergence of production and innovation, manufacturing and services, and material and digital.”

These technologies include the following: Read Less ^

  1. Additive manufacturing/3D printing
  2. Advanced materials
  3. Design & Simulation Software
  4. Autonomous Robotics
  5. Big Data & Analytics
  6. Cloud Computing
  7. Internet of Things

The Innovation Imperative: Sustaining Product & Process Development

In this presentation, Patricia identifies the three critical elements* of an innovation strategy: People, Process, and Technology. Read More >

During the first part – Nurturing a Lean Culture – she describes how successful companies create a culture of innovation that permeates every position. These companies build innovation into all work, every day, and serve as examples of how you can too.

In the second part, Lean Product and Process Development, Patricia details how companies dumped the traditional, plodding stage-gate product development approach in favor of a dynamic, fast-paced, frequent series of decisions that produce not only a new product, but the product’s next several generations. Based on the renowned Toyota Product Development System, this approach is designed to keep companies several steps ahead of competitors who copy, by building a process in which new product and engineering knowledge is gained—and leveraged—every step of the way.

In a fast-paced finish, Technological Transformations, Patricia will show how the powerful combination of a lean culture, combined with a disciplined approach to product and process innovation, supercharges the adoption of the latest technologies – creating a self-reinforcing, self-sustaining innovation strategy. 

* Panchak can deliver keynote presentations that drill into more detail on each of these element. Read Less ^

Transformational Talent Strategies

In this keynote, Patricia distills extensive research and numerous in-depth interviews into case studies describing the successful talent strategies employed by the world’s most successful companies. The strategies detailed in this presentation will help you transform your employees into entrepreneurs who are ready, willing, and able to to grow your business’ bottom line, by cutting costs, innovating new products and service offerings and developing more effective work processes. Panchak delves further, into not only “WHAT” companies do, but also the “HOW.” Read More >

Everyone understands the importance of engaged employees, but, contrary to popular belief, companies don’t create engaged employees… they create the environment in which employees BECOME engaged. The case studies Patricia shares will show you how to create such an environment. Read Less ^

Driving Innovation and Profitable Growth: The Challenge of the “New Economy” of “High Tech” & “Advanced” Manufacturing

The nation is once again waking up to a fundamental fact: Manufacturing remains the driving force of the U.S. economy. Drawing on the latest research, and tracking the misconceptions about manufacturing, Patricia shows how “third-wave” thinking has set back manufacturing public policy and business strategy for nearly two decades. She’ll help you understand and leverage to your advantage:  Read More >

  • How an outdated, stifling definition of manufacturing has, and often continues to hinder manufacturing businesses and public policy.
  • How government statistics failed to stay abreast and capture the true nature of a fast-changing manufacturing sector — and how they’re trying to fix it.
  • Why the delineation between manufacturing and “high-technology” is a false and a dangerous mistake.
  • Why the popular idea that China—or any nation—would become the “factory to the world” was a preposterous one.

Audiences will leave with a new understanding of the manufacturing business strategies that help world-class manufacturers stay ahead of the competition, as well as with a renewed resolve that manufacturing businesses are NOT relics of the nation’s past, but rather are the vanguard of its future. Read Less ^

The State of Advanced Manufacturing: An Optimist’s Realistic Assessment

In this upbeat, yet down-to-earth analysis of U.S. manufacturing’s strengths and weaknesses, Patricia reveals the true next-generation nature of today’s manufacturing businesses. Weaving together historical views of manufacturing, and digging deep to uncover the source of (and debunk) many manufacturing myths – she describes:  Read More >

  • How a misreading of “third-wave thinking” holds companies hostage, keeping them from adopting next-generation strategies.
  • The strategies and tactics manufacturers can—and must—employ to thrive.
  • How a new view of the product life cycle will transform your thinking about innovation.

You will leave this presentation with a firm understanding of how companies find and maintain a competitive edge, and how you can do the same.  Read Less ^

Connect with Patricia Panchak