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Kenny Smith is a Continuous Improvement (CI) practitioner with over 25 years of manufacturing experience in Production, Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement.  He is currently a Solutions Consultant with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services.

In Kenny’s 20 years with NN Inc’s Ball and Roller Division in Erwin, Tennessee, he held the positions of Quality Engineer and Quality Manager for the Erwin Ball factory and later became Director of Quality for the Division.  In 2004 he helped start NN’s Continuous Improvement Program where he was Continuous Improvement Manager for Erwin’s Ball and Roller factories.  As a CI practitioner with the ability to teach and show others how to apply the tools of Lean Manufacturing, TPM and 6-Sigma, Kenny was frequently chosen as a trainer on behalf of NN’s Corporate office. He has taught these skills and helped facilitate “learning kaizen events” in diverse manufacturing processes in Asia, Europe and North America.  He also participated in multiple rapid deployment teams which focused on the quick resolution of specific problems within NN’s factories.  One such event led to a financial and cultural turnaround at one of NN’s acquisitions and validated Kenny’s interest in consulting as a future career.

During Kenny’s 12 years as Continuous Improvement Manager at NN, the two Erwin factories were consistently ranked 1st and 2nd in profitability among as many as 20 different locations - yet still reduced costs by 2 to 3% of sales annually.

Kenny is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering Technology.  He held a Master certification through NN Inc.’s Continuous Improvement Program in the understanding and application of the tools of Lean Manufacturing, Total Productive Maintenance and 6-Sigma, and acquired a 6-Sigma Black Belt certification through the American Society for Quality.