Christopher Cummins is chief operating officer (COO) at Colson Group. He brings 24 years of manufacturing, sales and marketing, finance, supply chain and global sourcing, lean principles and Six Sigma experience to the position and served in a variety of leadership roles prior to joining the Colson Group.
Until recently joining the company as COO, Cummins was chief manufacturing officer at DiversiTech Corp. in Atlanta. He also served as senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer at Symmetry Medical / Tecomet Inc. in Boston and earlier was General Manager at Danaher Corp. in Hollister, California and Boston. While at Danaher, Cummins was responsible for both sales and operations and two operating units. In this role, his teams realized significant business growth of 15-20 percent annually each year with a focus to gain market share and expanding their sales and product portfolio into the Europe and Asia markets.
Cummins earned a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University in Tempe and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He also earned certifications in executive management, strategy and competition in general management from Harvard Business School in Boston and lean enterprise system design from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville business school.
Q: What are a few of the near-term objectives you hope to accomplish as Chief Operating Officer?
A: Our immediate focus must be on improving customer service performance from our sites and in particular, out of our St. Joseph operations. However, all operating sites can improve. We want to improve in all areas of customer service around quality, lead-times and delivery to promise as we move forward. In addition to this focus, I want to work with the team and begin putting in place improved processes and metrics to better measure and manage our business as we go forward. I know from experience this will help everyone get focused on what matters and drive for execution as we move forward.
Q: With your extensive experience, what are a few of the best practices you hope to apply to Colson Group?
A: I was very fortunate early in my career as a production supervisor and engineer to learn lean principles and the tools of the Toyota production system as well as the Danaher business system. These tools are about people applying their problem-solving skills to remove waste from all aspects of a business and to focus on what value our company delivers to customers. I want to bring these tools to the Colson Group and help my team build up a performance-based culture around applying these lean tools every day to drive continuous improvement, so we design and build quality products, on time, and for good value to our customers worldwide.
Q: What is one thing in your career you are most proud of?
A: I’ve been able to work with many great teams over my 20+ year career. Developing and seeing them succeed and grow both personally and professionally has provided me the most satisfaction and pride over my career. I also like to win and I know winning creates great energy and pride in what you do when you come into work every day. I look forward to continuing this team building and winning ways at Colson and seeing this team grow and succeed for many years to come.