Profile

Stephen Armstrong has over 25 years of success, leading C-level strategic change and business transformation initiatives, with an initial pedigree in the aerospace and defense industry and then spreading to other sectors.  Included are 23 large-scale enterprise-wide operational turnaround assignments, in technologically complex environments.  In 2010 Armstrong began teaching as an Adjunct Lecturer in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, at the University of Toronto, and in 2014 was appointed Professor of Innovation in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Armstrong built his leadership capability on a practical foundation as a engineering technologist, and aerospace manufacturing engineer after serving a 5 year higher technical apprenticeship at Short Brothers and Harland (Bombardier Aerospace)-Belfast.  His engineering specialty was the development of manufacturing processes and tooling for aircraft production including advanced aerospace composite materials.  He went on to qualify as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer (CEng, MIMechE) from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, UK.  He later qualified as a Provincially licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada.  After a period as an industrial systems engineer and manager of manufacturing engineering at ABB he changed career direction and entered the management consulting industry in 1988 with KPMG becoming principal in charge of the advanced manufacturing system practice in Canada being responsible for numerous ERP and CAD/CAM implementations.  He pioneered the development of business process management, and transformation services in large scale engineering driven enterprises with a deep speciality in aerospace engineering and product development management.

His first entrepreneurial venture was in 1993, founding AMGI Management Inc, an Innovation Management company specializing in leading long term Strategic Change Initiatives, initially in the aerospace and defense sector.  These initiatives were long term retainer based initially in operations management, enterprise wide systems implementation, engineering and product development management, and Company wide Business Transformation Initiatives.

He has led over 30 senior executive steering committees and built over 300 plus self-directed work teams in every functional business discipline to achieve dramatic improvement results.
Initiatives have spanned companies size from a family owned start up business with 10 employees to large multi-division enterprises with 20,000 plus employees.
The bottom line results include:
– product development time-to-market reduction of up to 50%
– revenue growth (20-400%)
– cost reduction (30-50%);
– sustainable performance improvement.

He is an author for Cambridge University Press and the Industrial Press, New York, USA.
Click on this link to see the list of many books, guidebooks and papers.

This groundbreaking work has been recognized in the over 70 public presentations and workshops that Armstrong has delivered.
Click here to see some of the past speaking engagements.

This expertise led to Armstrong receiving a teaching appointment in 2009 at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. He was appointed as an Adjunct Lecturer, then Adjunct Professor in the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and in 2014 Professor of Innovation, in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. In 2015 he was appointed as professor in the Toronto Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (TIAM). In 2017 he received an appointment to teach the first ever course on Aerospace Manufacturing Operations and Engineering Management at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS).
In 2012 he received an appointment as Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster, London, Department of Business Psychology.  He is an academic advisor in the department of Business Psychology at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
He is pioneering the development of new graduate level courses for Engineers and Applied Scientists delivering to over 2,000 graduate M.Eng students. These are in the fields of the Management of Innovation, Applying Innovation, Operations and Production Management, Organizational Design, Engineering and Product Development Management, Aerospace Engineering and Operations Management, Business Process Management, Management Consulting, and the History and Philosophy of Engineering.

Relevant Strategic Management Assignments:

Stephen has led C-Level change initiatives across a wide range of industries. His success in this broadly diversified group of industries has proven that his methodologies and techniques are transferable across a variety of industry sectors and functions. Some of the key assignments include:

Aerospace – Defense


McDonnell Aircraft (Fighter aircraft: F15; F18; Harrier) - St.Louis, Missouri, USA

  • From 1988 – 1989
  • Sponsors: VP Engineering; Director F18 and
    AV8B Harrier
  • Objective: To develop a 25-year future state
    vision to transform the design, development,
    manufacture and support of fighter aircraft
    to meet the US DoD strategic requirements
    – included partnering with another defense
    company

    • As part of a 5 man Ernst & Whinney strategy
      team facilitated the development
      of a future
      state vision (25 year-2015) to
      develop and
      deploy fighter aircraft. The
      vision was linked
      to the needs of the US DoD (Army,
      Air Force,
      Navy).
    • Facilitated the team to develop an integrated
      product development (IPD) process that was
      eventually deployed on the F18 & F15 & Harrier
      improvement programs and diffused to British
      Aerospace
    • Developed detailed cross functional process
      from concept design through design
      build
      teams and defined the integrated
      product
      team (IPT) performance characteristics
      (culture,
      leadership), and measures.

British Aerospace - Warton, Lancashire, UK

  • From 1996 – 1999
  • Sponsor: Managing Director Eurofighter
  • Objective: To Improve Operations Efficiency to design and build the Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon
    • Coached the Managing Director Eurofighter
      and a 500-person improvement team to execute
      a £300M transformation initiative known as
      the Operations Efficiency Improvement (OEI).
    • Performed a readiness assessment for an Integrated
      Product Development (IPD) initiative and
      Product Data Management (PDM) process to
      deploy to the Eurofighter program
    • Developed risk mitigation strategies. The
      IPD process was diffused to BAE from McDonnell
      Aircraft (see below) in 1992-93 through the
      Harrier programme.
    • Ongoing periodic coaching of the teams to develop an integrated enterprise process architecture & change management framework. Used the phase / milestone approach for the core processes.
    • Initiative achieved cost reduction of 20%
      over 5 years & inventory reduction up
      to 50%.

Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft (Fighter jets: F16; F22; JSF) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA

  • From 1997 – 2001
  • Sponsors: Director Virtual Product Development, VP Engineering
  • Objective: To build an engineering and product
    development capability to win the US DOD
    contract to design and build the Joint Strike
    Fighter (F35) programme

    • Coached the VP (Engineering), the director
      of virtual product development (VPD) and
      the VPD team to conduct a $120M modeling
      and simulation software and process development
      initiative. Resulted in the development of
      96 new applications for VPD across various
      programmes.
    • Assessed the readiness for the company to
      deploy a new VPD process to the
      Joint Strike
      Fighter (JSF) program. Identified
      risks and
      mitigation strategies.
    • Facilitated a joint initiative between BAE
      and Lockheed to share best practices
      in aircraft
      product development in preparation
      for collaborative
      work on the Joint Strike Fighter.
    • Coached the VPD teams to successfully integrate
      96 software tools with the functional
      product
      development departments
    • Developed an engineering and product development
      process architecture that redesigned functional
      process into cross-functional processes.
      Used the systems engineering approach to
      develop the process architecture and the
      phase / milestone DoD approach.



Civilian Aerospace

Boeing Canada – deHavilland Division (Dash 8 Series, Lear jet Wing) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1993
  • Sponsors: President; VP Operations
  • Objective: To turn around enterprise wide
    operational performance to achieve profitability
    to sell the company from Boeing to Bombardier

    • Formed Steering Committee of C-level executives to govern a company wide business transformation initiative spanning 6,000 employees.
    • Coached the President & VP Ops and executive steering committee through an enterprise business transformation initiative. Formed 10 improvement teams around functional departments.
    • Redesigned workflow in the plant, Engineering Spares, Marketing, and HRM lost time.
    • Established 18 cross-functional teams and the steering committee.
    • Facilitated and coached improvement teams on enterprise improvement initiatives including the development of a engineering bill of material and manufacturing bill of material, event driven project management system, establishment of a programme management office.

Bombardier Aerospace Group (Dash 8, Lear, Challenger) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1993 – 1997
  • Sponsors: President; VP Engineering; Group VP Engineering
  • Objective: To design and build the first
    version of the Bombardier Engineering and
    Product Development System to reduce new
    aircraft development time by 50% and costs
    by 30%.

    • Led the development of the Bombardier Engineering
      Management System (BES). Was the original
      architect of the phase/ milestone, stage
      /gate process. Led the implementation of
      BES first in deHavilland, then transferring
      to Bombardier for worldwide deployment.
    • Coached the VP Engineering team to develop
      and deploy BES across 4 aerospace companies:
      deHavilland Toronto; Canadair Montreal; Short
      Brothers Belfast; & Lear Wichita.
    • Developed a sponsorship framework for a major
      re-definition of the PD and program management
      Process. Formed 6 cross functional teams
      to develop and implement the system.
    • BES was used to successfully launch the Global
      Express aircraft with 30% reduction in time-to-market.
    • Improved the performance of the spares department
      reducing the aircraft on ground (AGO) time.
    • Assessed the performance of the engineering
      team that designed and build the Iron bird
      rigs and identified inefficiencies and implemented
      an improvement plan.
    • Coached a transformation team through the
      improvement initiative to design and build
      Iron bird for Dash 8 400 series aircraft.

Messier-Dowty Aerospace (Landing gear Systems) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada Paris/France

  • From 1995 – 2003
  • Sponsor: President
  • Objective: To improve operational efficiency
    that enabled the business to scale 4 fold

    • Coached the VP operations and team of directors to re-implement an ERP system and make it more effective.
    • Developed a Group Technology classification and coding system to enable fast retrieval of previous designs and manufacturing plans.
    • Performed an intensive engineering and product best practices development employing a stages of excellence model – established a way forward improvement plan.
    • Coached 6 cross-functional teams to design a new NPD stage gate process to be deployed on the Dassault Falcon.
    • Designed and implemented a Programme Management
      Office that used the integrated product development
      philosophy using cross-functional teams –
      subsequently implemented worldwide.
    • Over the period the Toronto Operations increased revenue growth of $40M – $170 M maintaining profitability.

Magellan Aerospace- Ellanef Division (Complex
machined components) - Queens, NYC, NY, USA

  • From 2001 – 2002
  • Sponsor: Divisional General Manager
  • Objective: To implement an Enterprise Resource
    Planning (ERP) system after 5 years of failed
    attempts

    • Performed an operations review and developed a Way Forward plan establishing a ERP re-implementation steering committee.
    • Coached the steering committee and project
      leader. Formed 11 process driven implementation
      teams to successfully implement the system
      by developing self directed ownership and
      employee driven implementation.

Avcorp Aerospace (Wing and aircraft component manufacturing) - Vancouver, BC,
Canada

  • From 2003 – 2004
  • Sponsor: President
  • Objective: To assess the engineering and
    product development process and design a
    future state blueprint to reduce leadtime
    by 50% and win new business

    • Conducted an assessment of the new product development (NPD) process. Developed a way forward roadmap and future state NPD process.

Boeing Canada (Arnprior) - Ottawa, Canada

  • From 2004 – 2005
  • Sponsor: Divisional General Manager
  • Objective: To Build the future state vision
    and strategic plan to privatize this Boeing
    division 3-5 years into the future

    • Facilitated the GM & executive team to
      develop a future state vision and transformational
      plan.



Newspaper and Media

Globe & Mail - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 2003 – 2006
  • Sponsors: Publisher; COO; VP Operations
  • Objective: To improve enterprise wide operational
    performance in advertising, production, print
    plants, circulation and distribution to reduce
    costs and improve throughput

    • Performed an assessment of the advertising production workflow. Implemented improvements.
    • Analyzed the workflow of the newspaper distribution
      system across Canada from print plant to
      consumer. Identified inefficiencies in hand
      offs between truckers.
    • Coach and facilitator for the publisher/CEO
      and the executive team, through a business
      transformation project dealing with advertising,
      production, distribution and logistics.

Winnipeg Free Press - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

  • From 2006 – 2009
  • Sponsors: Owner; Publisher
  • Objective: To improve enterprise wide operational
    performance in editorial, advertising, production,
    print plants, circulation and distribution
    to reduce costs, improve throughput and enhance
    shareholder wealth

    • Performed an assessment of the company wide operations identifying inefficiencies.
    • Facilitated the executive team to develop a future state vision and strategic initiatives.
    • Coached and facilitator the publisher/CEO the executive team through a large scale business transformation initiative (12 teams).



Industrial Equipment

Scepter Injection Moulding - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1989 – 1991
  • Sponsor: Divisional General Manager
  • Objective: To turnaround operational performance
    of the engineering division by utilizing
    CAD/CAM/CAE systems more effectively and
    training management and staff

    • Assessed the performance of the engineering division to design and build injection moulding machines.
    • Coached the GM through a transformation initiative developing an effective management team and Integrated Product Development (IPD) process.
    • Hired a CAD/Cam Expert to rebuild the engineering systems department.

Toronto Plastics - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1991 – 1992
  • Sponsors: Owner; President
  • Objective: To plan and implement an ERP system
    to improve operational performance

    • ERP & operations performance assessment. Identified improvement strategies, including the acquisition and implementation of an ERP system.
    • Developed an ERP system requirements definition, selection and implementation.
    • Coached the ERP project manager and steering committee through implementation.

SAMCO (Roll-forming solutions) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1999 – 2013
  • Sponsors: Founder; Owner; CEO; President
  • Objective: To build the management team from
    CEO to front line and scale the business
    6 fold over a 14-year period

    • Implemented a group technology parts coding and family classification system that formed standard engineering product and component families enabling design reuse, and automated routing production.
    • Developed an ERP system requirements definitions and implemented the visual system – formed and coached the steering committee and implementation teams.
    • Established the initial foundation manufacturing engineering and quality engineering capability.
    • Designed and developed a new product development process and project management system using the phase / milestone and systems engineering approach.
    • Implemented cross-functional integrated products teams using concurrent engineering principles, design for manufacturability, assembly, testing, design to cost targets.
    • Developed the enterprise management process to achieve and maintain ISO registration.
    • Coached and trained the entire management team in operations and strategic management, including leadership and supervisory competencies.

Ontario Store Fixtures - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • 2000 – 2003
  • Sponsors: COO; VP Finance; VP Engineering
  • Objective: To turnaround enterprise wide operational performance to achieve cost reduction and improve throughput
    • Design, developed and implemented a New Product Development Process
    • Planned and developed the strategy for a business transformation initiative to prepare for an ERP implementation

Teleflex (Engine design and manufacturer) - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  • 2004
  • Sponsor: VP Engineering
  • Objective: To improve the operational performance
    of the new product development process

    • Conducted an assessment of the New Product Development (NPD) process and developed a way forward roadmap and future state NPD process.



Consumer Goods

Smithkline Beecham - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1988 – 1989
  • Sponsors: President; VP Operations
  • Objective: To plan the relocation of a 100,000
    sq foot production facility that manufactures
    consumer goods and drugs

    • Designed the layout of a new 100,000 sq ft plant to manufacture consumer products and drugs. Worked to the GMP / FDA standards for consumer and pharmaceutical goods.
    • Developed the sequencing of the plant move.

Eli Lily (Drug design and manufacturing)- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1989 – 1990
  • Sponsor: VP Operations
  • Objective: To assess and develop the quality
    management organization to improve operational
    performance and reduce costs

    • Conducted an assessment of the drug Quality assurance process and implemented process improvements.

Ault Foods (Milk) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1991
  • Sponsor: VP Operations
  • Objective: To assess and develop the operations
    and manufacturing organization to improve
    operational performance and reduce costs

    • Conducted an ERP Cost benefit analysis and identified workflow and efficiency improvements. Included criteria such as down time, lead-time, and manpower.

Gay Lea Foods (Dairy products) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 2004 – 2006
  • Sponsors: President; COO; VP HRM
  • Objective: To improve enterprise wide operational
    performance in process, management, leadership
    and prepare the organization to implement
    an ERP system

    • Facilitated the President and executive team to develop a future state vision and business transformation directional plan based on a process driven enterprise philosophy.
    • Coached 5-improvements teams (Sales, Production, Master Planning, HRM, New Product Development) to achieve readiness for an ERP implementation.
    • Developed an enterprise wide process architecture improving “As Is” processes and implementing solutions.



Electronics and High Tech

Chubb Security - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1991
  • Sponsor: President
  • Objective: To develop a future state vision
    that transformed enterprise wide operational
    performance to improve profitability

    • Conducted an assessment of the enterprise. Facilitated the development of a directional plan to implement a Total Quality Management System.

Chubb Electronics - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1991
  • Sponsor: President
  • Objective: To develop a future state vision
    that transformed enterprise wide operational
    performance to improve profitability

    • Conducted an assessment of the enterprise. Facilitated the development of a directional plan to implement a Total Quality Management System.

Cinram (CD Manufacturer) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1991 – 1992
  • Sponsors: CFO; COO
  • Objective: To prepare the management team
    to implement an ERP system

    • Developed and delivered an ERP/MRPII Education programme and system cost benefit analysis.

ASEA Brown Boveri (Electronic component manufacturing) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1991 – 1993
  • Sponsor: VP Operations
  • Objective: To prepare the management team
    to implement an ERP system

    • Developed an delivered an ERP / MRPII education program.
    • Developed the system requirements definition & coached several teams with implementation.

Martin Marietta (Electronic systems) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • 1994
  • Sponsor: Director Quality
  • Objective: To prepare the management team
    to achieve ISO certification

    • Developed a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) methodology and trained the management team as preparation for an ISO certification.



Information Technology

Honeywell Controls - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1987 – 1988
  • Sponsor: VP Operations
  • Objective: To prepare the management team
    to implement an ERP system

    • MRPII education & Group Technology implementation.

Accugraph / Royal Bank - El Paso, Texas, USA

  • From 1991 – 1992
  • Sponsor: KPMG Partner
  • Objective: To assess the capabilities of
    Geographic Information systems software firm
    in Texas to determine the risk in provide
    a major loan

    • Conducted an assessment of a CAD software firm for KPMG & the Royal Bank.
    • Identified risks for the banks investment. Teamed with a CA to develop risk analysis and recommendations.

CSC Consulting Systems Integration - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

  • From 1995 – 1999
  • Sponsor: VP Manufacturing Industry and Aerospace Services
  • Objective: To develop the organization to
    deliver business transformation capabilities
    to the defense industry

    • Provided ongoing support to CSC management
      consulting teams (business transformation
      and integrated product development) in the
      systems outsourcing business to the aerospace
      & defense sector.



Building Products

Tremco - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1989 – 1991
  • Sponsors: President; CFO; VP Operations
  • Objective: To implement an Enterprise Resource
    Planning (ERP) system to reduce operating
    cost and improve efficiencies

    • Led a data accuracy team to achieve 98% accuracy in preparation for an ERP implementation.
    • Led 5 cross functional teams to implement enterprise wide operational improvements as part of an ERP system re-implementation.
    • Developed and implemented a comprehensive in-house ERP education and training program.

Morewood Industries (Design/Build Pre-Fabricated Houses) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1992
  • Sponsors: President; VP Operations
  • Objective: To implement an Enterprise Resource
    Planning (ERP) system to reduce operating
    cost and improve operational efficiencies
    in production management

    • Conducted an assessment of the enterprise and facilitated the development of a directional plan to implement a Production planning and control system.
    • Led a team to design and implement a production planning and control department.

Metalumen (Design/Building Light Fixtures) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • From 1990 – 1992
  • Sponsors: Owner; CEO
  • Objective: To develop and implement a future
    state vision to improve enterprise wide operational
    performance and build a new product development
    process and system

    • Conducted an assessment of the enterprise and facilitated the development of a directional plan to implement a Integrated Product Development (IPD) Process and Manufacturing Improvements.
    • Led a team to design and implement the IPD process.



Small Medium Enterprises and Individual Entrepreneurs

Canadian Association of Certified Management Consultants Entrepreneurs Initiative

  • From 2002 – 2006
  • Sponsors: Owner/President of each company
  • Objective: To enable each company to attract
    funding

    • For numerous entrepreneurial start up companies,
      coached the CEO and executive team to develop
      a future state vision and plan. Facilitated
      numerous family / entrepreneur firms to develop
      strategic plans to attract funding and investment.

      • AOL North York/NLCCE ­ Start up – Lighting Control Systems
      • Energy store ­ Sheet metal fabricator and
        Installer – HVAC, Fireplaces, Gas Piping,
        plumbing
      • Media vision ­ Start up of a creative entertainment
        products (paint ball, electronics, water,
        etc)
      • Metalon ­ Start up of an Industrial Coating business ­ Black Oxide for auto industry
      • Pyramos ­ R&D start up proprietary fabrication
        method of Connector Rods

Ontario Aerospace Council, and Human Resource Development Canada, to develop the Business Transformation methodologies for the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MAP) initiative

  • From 2004 – 2006
  • Sponsors: Director General; Owner/President
    of each company
  • Objective: To develop the Business Transformation
    methodologies for the Advanced Manufacturing
    Partnership (MAP) initiative

    • Led the development of business transformation methodologies (Directional Plan, Capability Assessment, Competency Assessment) and for the MAP initiative and applied the methodologies to 6 pilot projects. After conducting a Capability assessment coached the executive teams to develop a future state vision, identified capability and competency gaps and improvement plans.
      • Boeing Arnprior, Ontario
      • Precinda Aerospace, Toronto
      • Econoair, Winnipeg, Manitoba
      • Klassen Steel, Winnipeg, Manitoba
      • TFI Fasteners, Orangeville, Ontario


Early Profile

Stephen grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland serving a 5-year aeronautical engineer higher technical apprenticeship with Short Brothers, and Harland (Bombardier Aerospace). He specialized in manufacturing engineering – tool design & development. As aeronautical apprentice engineer he attended the South Eastern Regional College – Lisburn Institute, and earned the City & Guilds London Institute Full Technological Cert Diploma in mechanical engineering with a major in engineering production.

Following the apprenticeship he attended the London Polytechnic-University of Westminster, UK earning a BSc Honours Engineer Degree (CNAA) in mechanical engineering.  He then qualified as a UK Chartered Mechanical Engineer (C.Eng MIMechE) and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE).

He is a licensed professional engineer (P.Eng) in Ontario, Canada.

His initial specialization was in aerospace manufacturing engineering focusing on the development of manufacturing processes for aerospace composite materials (Lear Fan Aircraft fabrication and assembly, Dash 8-leading edge, Apache Helicopter rotor blade). He obtained his first management position with ABB-Brown Boveri joining as an Industrial Systems Engineer and then Manager of manufacturing engineering.  He served on a team to implement the Honeywell ERP / MRPII system becoming the trainer of all company personnel.  He then joined Honeywell as a manufacturing systems consultant in the marketing department leading a campaign to deliver Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Computer Aided Design systems solutions across Canada.

After 18 months in marketing he decided to develop his strategic management strengths and in 1988 joined the consulting firm KPMG (Stevenson Kellogg Ernst & Whinney) in Toronto.  Working through the ranks he became principal in charge of advanced manufacturing systems.

In 1992 he qualified as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) from the Institute of Certified Management Consultants Canada while with KPMG. He has received many awards and declarations for his work.