Biographical Notes for Daniel D. Hoefs
Dan Hoefs has spent nearly 20 years in the management and leadership of manufacturing companies producing products ranging from commercial avionics to utility grade, structural steel, wind towers. Throughout his career, Dan has used his education and experience to facilitate change, improve operations, motivate people, and enhance productivity.
As Vice President of Operations at Gremada Industries, Inc., Dan worked to take the remanufacturer of off-highway, oil and gas exploration, and process industry equipment to its next operational level. As a part of the Strategic Planning Group, Dan was instrumental in drafting the company’s strategic plan. Dan established both a supply chain management and engineering department for the company as well as restructuring the rest of the operations group including plant management, quality, and safety. Dan introduced Lean Manufacturing concepts and practices to the organization and guided the management team through ISO 9001:2000 certification. Through executive sponsorship and active participation, Dan lead the efforts of two Six Sigma teams; one addressed production scheduling and the other a Lean Six Sigma implementation in a key assembly area with both efforts producing early and impressive results.
At DMI Industries, Inc., Dan was part of a leadership team that took the company from a job shop that produced large equipment for the sugar beet processing industry to a repetitive manufacturer of wind towers – very large, tubular steel structures that support utility grade wind generators. First as Director of Operations and then as Vice President of Operations, Dan was responsible for the realignment of the facility to produce wind tower sections. Through the application of Lean Manufacturing principles, development of robust supply chain relationships and intensive training of both front line supervisors and plant personnel, volumes went from 7 to over 30 sections per week.
Before joining DMI, Dan spent a brief period as a manufacturing systems consultant working with area manufacturing clients on their network and software needs. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Operations for Branick Industries, Inc., an OEM manufacturer of under car service tools and tire retreading equipment. Over a 10 year career with Branick, Dan was responsible for Engineering, Production, Purchasing, Information Systems and Facilities and led many improvement efforts and special projects. These included an inventory reduction project resulting in a 50% reduction in work in process inventories, the sourcing and implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning system, the purchase, renovation and commissioning of a new manufacturing facility, the negotiation of three collective bargaining agreements, integration of three acquisitions and numerous other projects.
Dan also worked for a manufacturer of personal watercraft as Production and Materials Manager and for a manufacturer of avionics for commercial aircraft as a Material Planning and Control Analyst.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management from North Dakota State University and is a graduate of the Otter Tail Corporation Accelerated Leadership Program. He is certified in production and inventory management (CPIM) by the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and is a charter member of the Red River Valley Chapter. In addition, Dan has been involved with many other local and national manufacturing organizations and is a long time member of both the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Dan believes strongly in developing people and organizations to their fullest potential by providing clear expectations, guidance and a vision for which to strive. His management style is open and communicative and is based on the premise that people will use information given in context and feedback on performance to improve themselves and their organization. In this way, healthy and mutually beneficial relationships form between the members of an organization and the long term strength of that organization is secured.
Dan avoids local optima and short term fixes in favor of more structural and process oriented solutions whenever possible. This requires long term, holistic, systems thinking that is sometimes rare in the manufacturing world but is often present in the NDSU Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department graduates. Throughout his career, Dan has hired many of the department graduates for this reason and he is dedicated to the proposition of a prosperous future for the IME department at NDSU.