W15 - Industry 4.0 and the Future of Quality

Wednesday, May 2
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: WSCC 611 - 612

This thought provoking and insightful discussion will examine the evolution that quality has gone through and explore the role of the quality professional in the fourth industrial revolution. Technological advances are developing at an exponential rate that is already disrupting the workforce, the workplace and the markets that organizations serve.

Thought leading panelists Gregory Watson, Benjamin Lavoie and Rebekah Kowalski will share their insight and perspective on the new opportunities these changes bring and the challenges that come with those opportunities. The discussion will explore the new and emerging roles that are developing within organizations to meet the new demands being placed on organizations in today’s digital age. The discussion will explore the opportunity that exists to apply quality disciplines to digital and disruptive environments and the lessons from the past that we can apply to the future.

Gregory H. Watson

Business Excellence Solutions, Ltd.
Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland

Gregory H. Watson is currently the Chairman of Business Excellence Solutions, a boutique management consulting firm located in Helsinki, Finland. He is a past-President and Fellow of the American Society for Quality and a past-President and Honorary member of the International Academy for Quality. His commercial experience includes leadership positions with Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer, and Xerox. He holds graduate degrees in systems management and industrial engineering. He is the author of 12 books and over 600 speeches, papers and master classes. Mr. Watson has received over 50 awards for his work in quality management and was the first non-Japanese to receive the prestigious W. Edwards Deming Medal from the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers. In addition he has received the Distinguished Service Medal from ASQ, the Founders Medal from IAQ and the Georges Borel Medal from the European Organization for Quality. Mr. Watson has been named an Honorary Member of 16 national quality organizations located in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.


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Benjamin Lavoie

Global Head of Technology and Innovation
Anheuser-Busch InBev

Benjamin Lavoie is the global head of technology and innovation for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest beverage company, where he is responsible for digital transformation of the global supply organization, which includes making a supply chain consisting of over 1,000 facilities across 126 countries real-time, connected and continuously optimizing. Lavoie is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Agile Scrum Master, Project Management Professional, design thinking facilitator and data scientist. Prior to these roles, he was senior director for operations in North America and also led the global implementation of Lean Six Sigma for Anheuser-Busch InBev. It is through his diverse operational excellence and digital experiences that have allowed him to leverage digital transformation to accelerate Lean Six Sigma programs within one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world. Lavoie has a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomedical engineering, an MBA in operations management and finance from Boston University, and an executive MBA certificate in supply chain management from Washington University.


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Rebekah Kowalski


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Elizabeth M. Keim

Managing Partner
Integrated Quality Resources, LLC
Longmont, Colorado

Elizabeth Keim is a global management consultant specializing in managerial and technical problems in business applications, primarily nonmanufacturing, using an integrated basket of methods from the quality-related sciences including applied statistics, lean production, quality standards, and business excellence models (e.g., Lean Six Sigma, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria, and ISO 9000). She has worked in a number of industries including: automotive, banking, chemical, distribution, government, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, mining, sales and marketing, telecommunications, testing, and utilities.


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W15 - Industry 4.0 and the Future of Quality


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