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Lean at Amazon.com: Reconciling Lean and High-Tech
Learn how lean thinking and practices helped build one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Contrary to what some people think, adopting lean in a high-technology environment isn’t just possible; it’s essential. Just ask Marc Onetto. The former SVP of Operations and Customer Service at Amazon pioneered the application of lean management in retail distribution at the company. He asserts that lean reinforced Amazon’s “customer-centric” culture, which has been the foundation for its success. He’ll describe how Amazon applied lean to identify and eliminate muda for the customer, from how it built the website to how it fulfills orders.

He’ll also share how lean helped build the Amazon Customer Excellence System (ACES), which drives the delivery of continuous innovation at the retail juggernaut, and how it:

• Opened the door to autonomation in the fulfillment center, facilitating the adoption of robotics to eliminate muda,

• Improved customer service by helping to reduce the number of screens for a customer service agent to navigate in order to respond to a customer query from 29 to eight,

• Promoted a customer-centric focus on the fulfillment center shop floor,

• Helped achieve “the ultimate muda elimination” (you’ll have to attend to hear THAT story!).

Apr 15, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Marc Onetto
Retired Senior Vice President @Amazon.com Worldwide Operations and Customer Service
Marc is the Retired Senior Vice President of Amazon.com Worldwide Operations and Customer Service. He pioneered the application of lean management in retail distribution, reinforcing the “customer-centric” culture of Amazon, which has been the foundation for the company’s success. From 2006 to 2013, Marc led the supply chain, warehousing, transportation, and customer support operations for the largest e-retailer in the world. His responsibility covered the activity of tens of thousands of employees across the world who assure the timely and quality fulfillment of millions of customer orders per day. During his tenure, Amazon e-commerce grew tenfold from $7 Billion to more than $75 Billion. Now he engages executive teams and university students on how to lead lean transformation to improve customer experience and shareholder value through his consulting company “Leadership from the Mind and the Heart LLC.”
Pat Panchak
Team Leader Editorial and Communications @Lean Enterprise Institute
For 25 years as a business journalist, media strategist, and public speaker, Panchak’s reporting and research have helped executives manage important business trends, including digital technologies, employee engagement, and lean management. Most recently, she served as an editor for Target magazine, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s quarterly publication focused on continuous improvement. As an independent journalist, she wrote about lean and digital strategies for a variety of organizations. As the former editorial director of nine publications in Penton Media’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain Group and editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek, Panchak helped extend the reach of powerful media brands. She led development, integration, and distribution of editorial content, including magazine management, writing, editing, and production. She directed the group’s digital strategy and content development including e-newsletters, webinars, blogs, and social media activity.