Who We Are

The guys on the floor really liked Ankit. They called him ‘Kit.’
Gary Dale, Plant Manager, Americhem, Dalton, GA

Ankit Patel, Managing Partner

The Lean Way Consulting is led by Managing Partner, Ankit (ahn-kit) Patel. Ankit’s personal vision is to help people, organizations and communities flourish by using the proven thinking and methodology associated with Lean Transformations.

With his primary focus on companies between $1 million and $100 million in revenue, Ankit has worked with companies in a wide spectrum of industries from high tech to healthcare.

Prior to founding The Lean Way Consulting, he was a Lean consultant with computer giant Dell, where he helped guide strategic planning at its multi-billion-dollar manufacturing and re-manufacturing production plant in Lebanon, TN. As part of his job, he coached plant executives, facilitated Kaizen events and trained Lean leaders at all levels of the organization.

Equally at home in healthcare, he has also worked with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where he helped improve culture and processes in its internationally ranked Heart and Vascular Department.

One of his favorite accomplishments came in the field of human resources, when he helped Teknetex, a technology professionals recruitment firm, be named to the “2012 Inc. 500” list of the fastest growing companies in America.

Clients praise Ankit for his stabilizing influence during times of conflict and his balanced, calm leadership through all phases of Lean Transformations and other company change.

He holds a Master of Science degree in Positive Organizational Development from Case Western Reserve University, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. He lives with his wife in metro Atlanta, GA. To contact Ankit please visit the website contact page.

Rick Franza, Senior Consultant

Dr. Richard M. (Rick) Franza is a Senior Consultant with The Lean Way Consulting and also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for Kennesaw State University’s Coles College Business. In this role, Dr. Franza is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a business school with over 5000 students and over 120 full-time faculty members. He is also responsible for the strategic planning, budgeting, accreditation management, and faculty development for the Coles College. Prior to his current position, Dr. Franza spent over six years as the Chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and also served concurrently as the Interim Chair of the Department of Information Systems for one of those years. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Franza also serves as the Chair of the Kennesaw State University Athletics Board.

Dr. Franza is also a Professor of Management with primary areas of expertise in Operations Management (OM), Management of Technology (MOT), and Project Management (PM). His main research areas are process improvement, the strategic investment in production facilities, the intersection of operations and marketing, new product development, and technology transfer. He also teaches, conducts research, and provides consultation in the areas of business process improvement, supply chain management, and technology strategy. He has taught at the Air Force Institute of Technology and Bentley College (now Bentley University) prior to his arrival at Kennesaw State.

Dr. Franza is a retired United States Air Force officer who managed research and development programs for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or “Star Wars” program. Dr. Franza earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Operations Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has published articles in leading OM and MOT journals has had made numerous presentations in national and international forums of OM and MOT. Dr. Franza resides in Kennesaw, Georgia with his wife, Lorie, and their two daughters.

Dr. Franza has provided business process consultation in the construction, fabrication, and food services industries, resulting in significant cost savings and higher quality output.

Mark Davis, Senior Consultant

JMD Photo1John Mark Davis specializes in consulting to corporate clients providing business process improvement solutions, strategic planning and leadership development training.

John draws on over 20 years of leadership experience in the business military sectors. Highlights of his experience include:

Business Process Improvement:

  • Reduced the leading cause of customer sales returns by 76% and total customer sales returns by 31% for an international electronics distributor using Six Sigma methods.
  • Optimized supply chain capacity using Lean Enterprise methods to deliver $3+ billion in engineering technology services during two major international operations simultaneously.

Strategic Planning:

  • Directed the redesign and implementation of a new engineering strategic plan among multiple organizations across a 36-country area of responsibility of the Asia-Pacific Region.
  • Led a team of CIOs and IT professionals as the Project Manager to develop an IT strategic plan for a regional social services organization.

Executive Management:

  • Chief Executive Officer of a 550-employee organization with $100+ million in assets.
  • Executive Vice President of 5,400-employee organization with $1+ billion in assets.

Management Consulting:

  • 7 years of experience consulting to 300+ businesses providing strategic planning, operational diagnostic analyses and financial benchmarking.
  • Taught 60+ courses in business planning, human resource management and statistics as a consultant and adjunct instructor of management at a regional university.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Texas A&M University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University, and was inducted into the Gamma Beta Phi and Omicron Delta Epsilon academic honor societies. He is a graduate of the Leadership Development Program through the Center for Creative Leadership, the Flawless Execution University program through Afterburner, Inc., and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

John is a veteran and Colonel in the Corps of Engineers of the U.S. Army Reserve; a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; and holds numerous military decorations including the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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