The Authors

*Any opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the authors.

Susan Balsamello has worked in Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Cosmetic manufacturing for 12+ years, so she knows all about how drugs, chemicals and healthcare products are made – which might, or might not be a good thing. She currently does marketing for Valdata Systems and Integrated Scale Systems, software and hardware providers for the manufacturing industry.

Christopher Barnes is a mining engineer by day, and a keen writer by night. When he’s suffering from writer’s block he taps into what he knows best, and writes about the mining industry for commodity, news and business related websites.

Sarah Battaglia is an in-house copywriter and social media specialist for Energy Curtailment Specialists. When she isn’t writing blog posts, she has a passion for baking, which includes delectable desserts, cooking for her family and riding her bike. Sarah can be found on LinkedIn and Google+.

Gordon Benzie founded Manufacturing Transformation as a blog to collaborate on thought leadership within the manufacturing operations management industry. Gordon can be found on LinkedIn and Google+. Here is a link to his personal blog on marketing communications.

Jordan Berkley is a green manufacturing expert. Despite his love of the environment, you won’t find him wearing tie-die and singing kumbaya. He likes green cash, and thinks that pollution is just too expensive for any of our pocketbooks. You’ll also see posts from Jordan on Cleantech topics, such as battery, solar or wind manufacturing. Peace out.

Horace Bill is the CFO of Dassault Systèmes’ DELMIA brand, having been part of the DS team for a couple of decades. Prior to that he managed shop floor operations for Schlumberger Technologies in the US and Europe, with a specific emphasis on implementing Total Quality manufacturing systems. Horace has a good perspective with regards to how a CFO views manufacturing operations.

Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. She is also a writer for 3D Perspectives, a blog providing casual talk about 3D innovation out of the cloud.

Tom Bonine is president of National Metal Fabricators. The Chicago area firm, established in 1944, offers custom fabrication, angle rings, welding, and bar milling services.

Chris Brecher is all about field operations, having led and managed global teams responsible for selling, implementing and supporting large enterprise software solutions. And, as a certified public accountant, he can analyze the financial results at a pretty detailed level. As an avid skier and car enthusiast, Chris has a full repertoire of conversation topics he can engage in with you.

Susie Brown is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business author. Fastupfront offers a business loan based on future sales; learn more here.

Victoria Burns is a Rochester, NY native, and joined the Magnatag Visible Systems team right after graduating from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism. She knows the ins and outs of scheduling, communication, productivity and information display problems from working with Magnatag products customers. She is also editor of Magnatag Insight (

Christian Chaplais has been in the Predictive Analytics field for 10+ years, and has led the design of the DELMIA Operations Intelligence products and of its R&D team. Previously, Christian has worked for several startups and software editors in the fields of object-oriented databases, business intelligence and web content edition. He is the webmaster of FiMarkets, an educational website for financial market professionals.

Brooke Chaplan is a writer from Los Lunas, NM. She’s lived in the Southwest her whole life and when she’s not writing blogs, she “gardens” with rocks and cacti. Find her on Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Christina Chatfield is Marketing Communications Manager for HARTING USA, a manufacturer and supplier of industrial electrical and electronic components.

Zoe Clark comes from a family of organic food producers. Being small manufacturers, they are always trying to upgrade their working process, reduce costs and most importantly meet their clients’ wishes. Apart from a family business, Zoe’s great passion is interior design.

Tom Comstock has been in the manufacturing industry forever … or at least 20 years … so chances are that you have either met him at an event, worked with him at an MES company or at least heard of him. With all his knowledge and Master’s degrees, he usually has something meaningful to say about the state of the industry or new trends transforming manufacturing strategies.

Mark Davidson has over 35 years of experience in automation and information technology based products and services. So, if he hasn’t heard of something in the manufacturing operations industry … it probably doesn’t exist!

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California who covers marketing, tech, and manufacturing. She was working Dunkel Bros heavy machinery movers when they worked together to transport the Space Shuttle Endeavor across Los Angeles, and experienced first-hand the efficiency of a hard-working, cohesive team.

Veerle Dedecker is actively engaged in field operations, business development and lead generation across Europe. Being fluent in English, French and Dutch as well as conversational in German and Spanish, she can engage in a great conversation with many different people.

Oliver Drean shares his wisdom here on Manufacturing Transformation based on 15 years in manufacturing and after implementing MES systems at Valeo, Saint Gobain, L’Oréal and Volvo CE. Who better to share their expertise on our blog than a director of solutions who’s work history includes a smattering of current Apriso customers and some of the best-running plants in the world?

Tadeusz Dyduch is a product management expert who has an appreciation for technical details and engineering challenges. Tad has considerable, in-depth knowledge on manufacturing operations management.

Leon Erlanger is a freelance writer, consultant, and former PC Magazine Executive Editor who has spent the past decade writing about security, storage, unified communications and many other technology topics for InfoWorld, Smart Enterprise, PC Magazine, and other online and print publications. Leon lives in New York City with his wife and twin daughters.

John Eskuri has been driving the development of Digital Manufacturing solutions since before the dawn of DELMIA, starting with Deneb Robotics in 1987. His focus is on what solutions might best serve manufacturers operating in the automotive and aerospace industries. When he isn’t working, John likes to spend his time with family in the great outdoors golfing, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing or playing volleyball.

Susan Finch is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and helping small businesses find their online voice through content marketing, blogging and beyond. She is an eclectic writer with more than 10 years of experience contributing to guidebooks, magazines, iPhone apps, online publications and more. Susan can be found at

John Fishell came from north of the border out of Canada, so is an avid fan of playing and watching sports that involve ice, sticks and guys missing teeth. While not enjoying this pastime, he manages our product management, training and quality assurance teams, making sure FlexNet is “ready for prime” time and includes all of the features required by Apriso’s customers.

Kevin Flanagan is a freelance writer living in Phoenix, Arizona, who specializes in technical writing, business writing and entertainment. Kevin has been a featured speaker on a wide variety of topics at several events in the Phoenix metropolitan area, ranging from theater to historiography.

Gerry Fosnick had his first exposure to manufacturing back in 1985 while working at plant producing helicopters. This experience, combined with his IT acumen, makes him a genuine “propeller head.”

Julie Fraser is a manufacturing industry veteran of 25+ years. Currently the Principal at Iyno Advisors, she has a passion to drive a healthy understanding of what new opportunities await manufacturers seeking to improve their profitability and success.

Rick Gallisa is focused on just about anything you’ll find in the grocery store and consume quickly, from pharmaceuticals to toilet paper. If it’s a product that belongs on a store shelf, chances are Rick works with the companies that make it.

Saurav Ganguly is a vice president of professional services at Apriso. What that means is that he has seen many, many manufacturing software implementations of over the years, and could undoubtedly could tell you a few interesting stories from these experiences. Having spent time at Wipro prior to Apriso, he understands the system integrator business as well.

Ginger Gardiner is a 20-year veteran of the composites industry. She writes for several composites-focused magazines and is a co-author of the textbook “Essentials of Advanced Composite Fabrication & Repair.

Rachel Greenberg writes for Automation GT, a manufacturer of custom automated machinery in Carlsbad, California

Bob Goossens is the Chief Operating and Technology Officer for Acieta. Acieta specializes in Industrial Robotics automation with the objective of helping American manufacturing be globally competitive and thrive for decades to come. Acieta has over 30 years of experience in dealing with robotics and manufacturer’s.

Selina Gough is a marketing consultant for Elbowroom, a warehouse shelving and storage solution provider.

Matthew Goyette specializes in marketing strategy and government relations for sustainable manufacturing practices. He is also fascinated by the history and growth of industrial technologies. When he’s not thinking about manufacturing, he spends his time as a food geek.

Eric Green has a unique flair for partnerships, with over 20 years of manufacturing and supply chain experience. If you haven’t worked with Eric, you probably know someone who has. He is passionate about building new relationships, doing more with existing partners and finding new, innovative ways to work together for the benefit of our clients.

Dr. Michael Grieves is a published author of the definitive books on Product Lifecycle Management and a guru on the topic. So if you have any questions on PLM, he is your guy. He has held senior executive positions within several technology, engineering and computer corporations and is a consultant to NASA. He is a professor at the University of Iowa, CIMBA Italy and the Florida Institute of Technology, so can present perspectives from both the business and academic world in his articles.

Sivakumar Gurupackiam is vice president of discrete manufacturing for NTT DATA, a leading global IT services provider, with more than 20 years of IT solutions experience. Learn more at

Amy Harris is the Community Manager for Expert Market UK, a B2B website providing business services. Through blogging she hopes to offer valuable tips to business owners and manufacturers. She aims to help businesses see the benefits they can gain through Six Sigma training, such as lowering cost and improving overall business efficiency. Amy can be found on Google+

James Sidney Harvey is the author of ‘Seven Success Skills for Apprentices and Skilled Trades Persons’. Networking, Communication and Research are three of the success skills discussed in his book. Feel free to contact James at +1 (705) 607-0406, or visit

Emma Sturgis is a writer with a passion for large-scale sustainability and environmental education. She writes most often on small business and sustainability solutions for homes and offices. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.

Jim Henderson has a lot of experience running big and small software firms, and offers a CEO perspective on manufacturing topics.

Tom Hennessey has 20+ years of marketing experience – from demand generation to corporate communications to lead scoring.

Scott Johnson is vice president of Supply Chain and Inventory Management at The Coghlin Companies Inc., a privately held company specializing in helping manufacturers cost effectively improve their time-to-market.

Marina Kalika is a product marketing guru that spent many years at Xerox, where she managed every aspect of the product lifecycle: from requirements gathering to development to marketing, sales and support. During her tenure at Apriso, Marina’s passion was the customer where she focuses on translating product features and functions into a succinct  marketing message that can be appreciated and consumed.

Jonathan Karmaou has implemented Manufacturing Execution Systems in the Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage, Automotive and Energy industries over the past 10+ years. When he is not on the road with these activities, he enjoys playing the acoustic guitar and singing with a local band.

Al Kent is an operations practice partner with Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), and is based in Florham Park, N.J.

Werner Krings is a former member of the Apriso team where he focused on business development out of our Munich, Germany office. Today, Werner is pursuing a doctoral degree on Professional Social Media and Business Development in the field of manufacturing operations.

Mike Kruggel oversees the marketing, PPC campaigns and the website for Material Handling Exchange. Material Handling Exchange both sells and purchases material handling equipment including pallet racks, cantilever racks, complete warehouses, and more.

Matthew Littlefield founded LNS Research in August of 2011 and is now President and Principal Analyst. Matthew is a recognized industry expert and contributes to many leading industry publications, including this blog. When he isn’t writing, Matthew is a frequent public speaker on manufacturing initiatives, drawing upon his industry analyst, engineering and shop-floor management experience.

Shawn Maguire has been involved in the MES Industry for over 10 years. Shawn now heads up a global business development team at Dassault Systèmes where he and his team speaks with manufacturers on a regular basis, helping them to solve operational issues. As a New England resident, Shawn is naturally a devout Patriots and Red Sox fan.

Travis Mai is the Sales and Training Manager at Eau Claire, WI-based CURT Manufacturing.  Also known as “The Hitch Guy”, Mai regularly utilizes his extensive industry experience to assist in customer acquisition and retention.  He is a graduate of the Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Milosz Majta has been with Apriso for over a decade, starting first in a Professional Services capability for five years, transitioning to product manager for Quality & Maintenance applications within the FlexNet suite. With a strong applications background, he is passionate about addressing customer pain points surrounding manufacturing operations.

Jeff Maree is a product specialist at Commercial Industrial Supply, a provider of Eaton industrial filtration products for a wide range of liquid handling and filtration needs. Jeff helps plant managers to ensure their warehouse operations are not hurting their bottom line.

Diana Martins is an “industry” gal, dedicated to all things concerning the Industrial Equipment industry. One might say she has an industrial appetite for Spanish cuisine, one of her favorite hang outs, when not providing insights and commentary or online responding to her Linked in or Twitter accounts.

Ella Mason is a freelance writer from the UK. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason.

Jerry Matos, Product Specialist at Cherry’s Industrial Equipment, headquartered in Elk Grove, IL. Cherry’s Industrial Equipment is a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment to a variety of industries.

Patrick Michel has worked for Dassault Systèmes since 1996, having started in quality assurance for CATIA. He now leads Digital Manufacturing marketing for the DELMIA brand. When he isn’t working or spending time with his family, he enjoys competitive swimming, karate, and restoring classic cars.

Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by a determination to answer the many questions she hasn’t been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help.

Sarah Millican is the Senior Business Development Coordinator at personal injury lawyers Pannone LLP., a full service UK law firm with a specialist team devoted to construction, engineering and energy projects. Sarah works to implement Pannone’s key business development initiatives.

Michael McClellan is a published author, having written two books on manufacturing execution systems and collaborative manufacturing. His current interest is in Business Process Management (BPM), and how it can be used to help manufacturers to improve collaboration across operations. If you are looking for an expert on BPM, Michael is your guy!

James Montgomery was an Apriso product manager where he made sure we make the world’s best manufacturing software products. He is a busy guy. His passion is manufacturing intelligence, which he is now applying to help engineer for future space travel at SpaceX.

James Mok is a strategist, evangelist, consultant, project manager and implementer. He has experience with enterprise software in manufacturing in automotive, high-tech, electronics, industrial, consumer goods and healthcare sectors. Around here we just call him “the Lean guy.” James also has a personal blog at

Jon Mueller is a Business Developer for TiMOTION. TiMOTION provides the highest quality, customizable components that include actuators, columns, motors, power supplies and controls.

Stephanie Neil has been writing about plant floor technology for 12 years. During that time she had an epiphany: “Manufacturing is cool and nobody knows it.” Or something like that. Now, with the combination of a skills shortage and the uninterested Gen Y workforce, she is blogging about issues that make ‘making things’ relevant to this ‘real world’ gadget-carrying group, hoping to encourage the next-generation of manufacturing leaders.

David Nelson is the President of Nel Pretech, an A2LA-accredited dimensional inspections laboratory based in Tinley Park, IL.  The Nel Pretech Company is also widely known for its superior industrial CT scanning and reverse engineering services.

Megan Nichols is a huge fan of all things nerdy, geeky and unusual. She is a writer with a love affair with the sciences, and has channeled that passion into writing, which you can read more about at her blog Schooled by Science.

Jessica Noonan is a freelance writer knowledgeable on manufacturing operations. One of her clients is Statewide Bearings, an Australian supplier of bearings, linear motion and power transmission elements. Connect with Jessica on Google+.

Tuan Nguyen managed the DELMIA Apriso Manufacturing Process Intelligence product suite. And, with a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a focus in Operations Research, he has a quite a bit of intelligence too. Sadly, Tuan is no longer with us. RIP.

Jeffrey Owens joined Advanced Technology Services (ATS) in 1988 and worked his way up to President and CEO in 2005. Jeff is passionate about ATS, is a member of the Illinois Business Round Table as well as the Young Presidents Organization. Jeff likes to stay busy.

James Pasmantier is an innovation management expert with over 12 years of experience. He is currently Vice President of Professional Services at Brightidea where he oversees the success of all client innovation campaigns, in particular focusing on best practices and large-scale rollouts.

Declan Peltier currently writes on behalf of MasterControl about topics related to the business management sector, with a focus on quality management. When he’s not writing about QMS he enjoys keeping up on the latest news in the industry.

Andrew Pempek is Vice President of John J. Pempek, Inc. For 60 years, John J. Pempek, Inc. has been a leading Chicago commercial electrical contracting company, specializing in industrial electrical power, maintenance services, control services and more.

Michal Piatkowski would give his right arm, if that would help complete a DELMIA Apriso product enhancement. His passion is software, so he has been a happy camper working at Apriso for over a decade. He currently leads a Product Management team in Poland specialized in manufacturing-focused business process management, where he has had the opportunity to work with a lot of different customers.

Brad Poulter is the Executive Vice President of Operations and is one of the three co-owners at Best Transportation Service, Inc., Chicagoland’s leading provider of freight and messengers services.

Blaine Purdum is a self professed “parts geek” with 20+ years experience in forklift parts management and logistics. He loves sharing his vast knowledge of the industry with others. When he isn’t hard at work in the Intellaliftparts warehouse, your likely to find Blaine in the pits at the local dirt track.

Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon.

Kelly Potter is a Marketing professional at Mintek Corporation where she drives leads for her clients and business partners. While not doing marketing, my free time is spent at Disney World, acting like a big kid, cooking, and outdoor adventures with my fiancée.

Angela Regan is a member of Apriso’s business development team. Angela’s manufacturing background includes stints at AT&T and Lucent, which fostered an appreciation of “How it’s Made.” Her persistence (think puppy with a chew toy) in developing long term relationships have helped many customers articulate and identify process improvement possibilities.

Paul Reyes-Fournier has served as the chief financial officer for social service organizations, churches and schools. He created his own marketing firm, RF Media. Paul holds a BS in physics and an MBA.

Martin Rickatson spent seven years as deputy editor of the worldwide farm machinery magazine Profi International. He is now a UK-based freelance journalist who posts regular updates on farm machinery developments at

Darren Riley is a Business Solution Consultant. He helps manufacturers develop the ROI to solve operational challenges by aligning  appropriate systems and solutions to address the dynamic issues facing the discrete, hybrid and continuous industry segments . Over his career he has spent time with some of the largest global automation and MES providers, but has now found a home at Apriso.

Tim Sanford was implementing Manufacturing Execution Systems long before the term existed.  He is currently a Solution Consultant with Dassault Systems, as part of the recently acquired Apriso team.  He is helping to make the vision of “Product Lifecycle Management and Manufacturing Operations Management – Better Together” a reality.

Keeley Schneider is the Sr. Quality Control Engineer of TPC Wire & Cable Corp in Macedonia, OH. In this role Keeley focuses on improving quality 24/7.

Gayle Sheppard is CEO and Chairman of Saffron, the first cognitive computing platform that learns, reasons and anticipates like you. She has had an impressive career including senior management roles at PeopleSoft, Inc., MarketMile, LLC and J.D.Edwards & Company. Gayle can teach us all something about how to best run a large enterprise.

Derek Singleton joined Software Advice after graduating from Occidental College with a degree in political science. He writes about various topics related to ERP software with particular interest in the manufacturing and distribution software markets. In his spare time he enjoys training in boxing and martial arts.

Steph Staszko has just entered the world of manufacturing as a writer for a polymer engineering company. During her time researching the industry, she’s found out some incredibly fascinating information as well as being truly boggled by the jargon and terminology. From the insides of an aircraft to the oil mining industry, she loves learning how things work!

Steve Stretton is a social media marketer and writer from a (non-silicon valley!) Social Media startup.  Get in touch by visiting his website

Kevin Sullivan is an industry veteran, having been involved with manufacturing operations for the past 20 years. His specialty is within technical sales representing the product accurately as a consultative sale, making sure software is actually implemented and performing as intended. Look for good practical advice from his posts on what works, and what doesn’t.

Steve Szabo is a Product Support Manager at WIN-911. He has considerable experience developing ways WIN-911 can monitor alarms and other key data from SCADA systems via nearly any conceivable method, including smartphones, voice, SMS, web browser, announcement systems, among others. Familiarity with all these channels means Steve can reach most people anywhere, anytime.

Hadrien Szigeti is a strategic planner at Dassault Systèmes. In this role he helps guide the direction for manufacturing related solutions.

Kenzo Takai has been working in the manufacturing industry for 15+ years within a sales, service and consulting perspective. Kenzo began his career in Japan, but recently got a “bug” for a change – so he moved his family to Southern California, which has certainly been quite a change!

Fred Thomas is an industry director for discrete manufacturing. Fred covers aerospace & defense, automotive and industrial machinery & equipment. Likes include big metal objects, engines and horsepower, especially when there are four wheels involved. Dislikes: recalls and people who doubt the US can compete globally.

Tony Velocci is a featured author of COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine.

Philippe Virlouvet has been with Dassault Systèmes for over a decade. Philippe was born in the field of Finite Element Analysis, PIDO (Process Integration and Design Optimization) and PLM software as part of the SIMULIA Brand, then transitioning to product manager for DELMIA Smart Manufacturing Operations and Advanced Analytics. With a strong Scientific background, he is passionate to turn manufacturing Operations data into real business values thru very intuitive applications.

Aleksejs Volcenkovs is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Kronus (, a pallet and pallet collar manufacturer. As you might expect, he has considerable knowledge and experience around pallets, and the various roles they play in manufacturing and warehouse operations. His focus is on pallet and pallet collar production, maintenance and accessories, as well as providing logistics solutions.

Karl Wadensten is the President of VIBCO Vibrators ( in Wyoming, RI, and the host of a weekly web TV show, The Lean Nation. Karl is an active member of YPO/WPO (Young Presidents Organization/World Presidents Organization ) and serves as the Education Chair of the Global Manufacturing Excellence Network, and is the Education Chair for the New England Chapter of YPO/WPO. Karl is a busy guy.

Ron Watkins is a solution consultant at Apriso, so he knows how to set up software solutions for enterprise manufacturers – both here in the US and in the Asia Pacific region. Having also worked as an engineer at Motorola, Allied Signal and Weyerhaeuser, he understands a manufacturer’s perspective.

Chris Will is a technology visionary, having accurately predicted the market adoption for business process management and a services oriented architecture back in the late 1990s. As Apriso’s co-founder and CTO, he usually has a few good points to make about technology trends and innovations.

Mark Webb is a featured author of COMPASS, the 3DEXPERIENCE Magazine.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for Resource Nation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as fleet tracking. Find Resource Nation on Google+ for more business tips and advice.

Jon Wikstrom is a technology and manufacturing writer, former U.S. Air Force Reserves Major and the founder and CEO of Cool Clean Technologies, a company that designs custom dry CO2 cooling and cleaning systems for a wide variety of industries.  Jon is most passionate about tech developments that help the environment and make manufacturing work more efficient. To find out more, visit

Brian Wilkins studied journalism and history at Arizona State University. After gigs in radio broadcasting and banking, he became a small business owner and freelance writer. He lives off the grid and has not owned a TV in more than six years.

Bartosz Wolinski is a former Apriso employee who was a project manager responsible for implementing FlexNet at our customer’s sites. His active role and knowledge of FlexNet deployments provides great insight as to what FlexNet best practices should be followed.

Steve Wright works for Whirlwind Steel Buildings, a manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings and components. Whirlwind Steel metal buildings are manufactured and designed to meet the highest quality standards. To learn more, visit

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