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John Duckworth

PositionAssociate Lecturer in Operations and Technology Management
LocationUniversity of Bradford School of Management
Emm Lane
West Yorkshire
DepartmentSchool of Management


Currently has a portfolio of roles providing support to SMEs, mentoring business start ups’ and project supervision to Operations Management MBA students. Between 2005 and 2007 he was engaged in research relating to the potential for the application of benchmarking, ‘lean’ and ‘continuous improvement techniques’ to upgrade performance within the UK construction industry.

He set up his own interim management and management consultancy business making the transition into consultancy, via extensive senior line management experience, including general and operations management in a diversity of industries, but especially in fast moving consumer goods.

He has acquired wide-ranging industry experience including: electronics, general engineering, apparel, textiles, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, household durables, hotels and leisure, rail, regional and central government, ‘not for profit’ sector and to a limited extent in defence and aviation. As an indentured general engineering apprentice and draughtsman in the 1960’s he learned how to design and make things.

Selected Roles – Operations Management

  • Resolved deep seated industrial relations conflict in critical supply chain operations (raw materials warehousing and distribution). Impact: created conditions for introduction of JIT distribution
  • Restructured loss making subsidiary of large multinational ‘fast moving consumer goods’ company.
    Impact: transformed into profitable highly focused “lean manufacturing” business
  • Re skilled new management team to lead growth of large scale manufacturing operations including ‘lean’ implementation and upgrading offshore component resourcing capability. Impact: created platform for volume growth at reduced cost via introduction of flexible supply chains
  • Twenty years extensive operations management experience at all levels and across all functions. Impact:significant contribution to profitability (net margins)

Selected Assignments - Management Consultancy/Interim Management/Mentoring

  • Provided support to a diverse range of small manufacturing firms in the Northwest esp. ops. strategy process re-design, planning systems product development, cost control and ‘lean’ implementation. Impact:accelerated growth and reduced costs both prime and overhead
  • Developed a business case to evaluate an investment proposal of £125 million (including cost/benefit & stakeholder analyses). Impact: significantly influenced the investment decisions (reduced risks) for a critical new product launch
  • Provided strategy critiques & risk analyses to a range of organisations in Czech Republic engaged in construction, retail banking, automotive manufacturing, hotels & leisure and apparel. Impact: significantly influenced investments and approaches to major change projects by identifying specific risks thereby increasing the probability of successful (profitable) implementation
  • Led a multi disciplinary team in corporate recovery & restructuring of large diverse Hungarian manufacturing company with potentially high degree of political & social “fall out”. Impact: from near insolvency business remains a going concern
  • Carried out an audit to assess capability and risks associated with the start up of a £500m aviation refurbishment contract. Impact: Resulted in major operational changes on contractor site and to personnel which subsequently improved delivery performance and reduced costs

KEY SKILLS Operations Management: purchasing, manufacturing, mfg support esp. planning/ERP/MRP, product sourcing (UK & offshore), implementation of multi- site operations upgrades e.g. benchmarking, ‘lean’, supplier partnerships, flexible manufacturing, fail-safeing, warehousing & distribution: JIT distribution, warehouse design and layout

Consultancy: ops. diagnostics, strategic analysis, strategy development and implementation inc. key tasking at functional levels, project and operating risk analysis, feasibility studies, project planning and management, resource analysis, process mapping, analysis and design, budgeting, financial and management controls, standard costing/ABC, cost/benefit analysis, supply chain strategy, product development, product portfolio analysis (PPA), planning systems esp. MRP, industrial engineering/work study, operations/manufacturing "best in class practices"/benchmarking, logistics systems development.

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