Walt Tarpley has over 25 years of extensive manufacturing experience and expertise in general management, manufacturing operations, quality systems, engineering, and continuous improvement initiatives, including Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. As an experienced change agent, he has led numerous process improvement initiatives resulting in significant cost savings, improved plant layouts, and long-term continuous improvements to a long list of California small and midsized manufacturers.
Early in his career, he led and participated as a thought leader in continuous improvement in multiple industry sectors and geographies.
Prior to joining Manex, Mr. Tarpley was in operational consulting where he was responsible for delivering over $1 billion profit and loss (P&L) impact. As interim plant manager with Kraft, he led the lean transformation of the second-worst performing plant in the portfolio, moving operating efficiency from 42% to 82% in a year, and doubling operational capacity. In his next plant leadership assignment, a private equity firm selected him for a Tier 1 automotive plant’s lean conversion. During his tenure, casting scrap was reduced 86%, CNC machining productivity increased 30%, on-time delivery improved dramatically, and 36 new products were launched on budget.
In addition, Mr. Tarpley held executive management positions with First Data Corporation and Peterbilt, where he was responsible for driving manufacturing cultural transformations that enhanced profitability, productivity, and efficiency.
Mr. Tarpley has achieved certifications as Lean Master (Shingo Gold Level), Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE, ASQ), and Certified Quality Engineer (CQE, ASQ). Mr. Tarpley received his MBA with honors from St. Mary’s College and a bachelor’s degree with honors in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.