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Joachim Knuf, DPhil


Experience (Highlights)


Worked as University of Kentucky faculty in a unique partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing from 1994 to 2006 to research, teach and apply the science and methodologies of The Toyota Way and was mentored in this by Toyota executives. Resulting programs, such as the Lean Systems Boot Camp, have been described as the “best available outside the company” by senior Toyota leaders. Over 10,000 executive, managerial and operational lean champions trained, supported through implementation projects, and certified.


Trained and evaluated continuous improvement teams in many industries, notably: appliances (GE, Maytag); automotive (Dana, Ford, GM, Harley-Davidson, Mercedes-Benz; Remy International; Visteon); aerospace (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce); diversified equipment (Ingersoll-Rand; York International); electrical and electronics (Lucent Technologies, Square-D, Tyco); food and beverages (Coca-Cola, Foster’s, Premium Waters); forest products (Andersen Windows, Columbia Forest Products, Yorktowne Cabinets); glassware (Libbey); medical and pharmaceutical (Tyco, Covidien, Carl Zeiss); packaging (Rexam); sport apparel  and equipment (Nike).


Developed Lean 101: Lean Manufacturing Foundations for Work Teams, a program published in five languages, with over 10,000 licenses nationally and internationally.


Multi-year consulting contract with a group of rehabilitation facilities to assess and redesign administrative and service processes (central patient admission, therapies, discharge), resulting in simple, fast and error-resistant workflows while controlling overtime and improving staff and facility utilization.


Lean Transformation Leader and Corporate Director for a nationally ranked multi-hospital system, reporting to the SVP/Chief Quality Officer, focusing on an integrated suite of interventions to increase patient flow velocity, working directly with hospital CEOs, CMOs and physicians; development of an original model of standardized clinical work integrating patient progress drivers, order sets and evidence-based best practice documentation to reduce Length of Stay; many additional responsibilities, such as reduction of hospital-acquired infections, replacing a compliance monitoring with a compliance improvement process while reducing staff effort by 80%. 


Director of Process Innovation and Organizational Development for a $450M hospital system with 50+ locations, supervising a department of six process improvement specialists  and driving innovation through a multi-tiered approach combining training (around 150 staff/year, including an individual supervised ten-week improvement project) with large-scale, data-driven interdepartmental initiatives (e.g., patient access, revenue integrity, materials management). Sustained hard-dollar impact in excess of $10M/year (ROI of >25).


Director of Process Management and Quality Improvement at a leading mental and behavioral healthcare organization, to develop a customized performance management and quality improvement model.


Senior Advanced Lean Practitioner in the Operational Excellence Group at an industrial equipment corporation, a privately held $3B global leader in the manufacture and service of fork lift trucks and warehousing solutions, with special responsibility for training systems development and complex non-manufacturing value stream remediation in US operations as well as Germany/EMEA and China.​

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