Our Meet the Team series introduces you to the incredible people driving Ameritex’s success in providing metal fabrication services

From the shop leaders setting high standards for excellence to folks like our plant manager, Adan, who approaches every day with a can-do attitude, Ameritex is a hub for some of the best and brightest in the manufacturing industry. 

Now, get to know the individual driving change and inspiring creativity: our Vice President, Dr. Michael Sanders

Facilitating a Product-Centric Mindset


Dr. Mike is an Organizational Change Management (OCM) sensei and Quantum Lean grandmaster. Quantum Lean manufacturing is a method aimed at improving production efficiency and response times from manufacturing to customers.

“It’s a very simple philosophy, but it’s a very connected idea, so it brings people together on one focus, which is the fulfillment of the product,” Dr. Mike explains.

“Everything that happens here is because of the product,” Dr. Mike says of Ameritex’s product-centric mindset and Quantum lean manufacturing approach to metal fabrication services. “The only reason you or I are here is because of the product. None of us would be here without it.” 

The “product” Dr. Mike is referring to, in this case, refers to the custom sheet metal parts and products Ameritex fabricates for a diverse customer base. In his philosophy, he treats the product as a “being” of its own. 

Dr. Mike continues to explain how a manufacturing shop should operate to fulfill everything that a product requires at the highest level of quality and with the aim of moving smoothly through the shop floor—and that’s exactly what Ameritex does. 

“Everything is connected to the Product. To establish Product centricity as a culture is to make everyone’s job easier and facilitate transparency. You can’t hide behind Product; Product will tell you that’s not right. You can’t really cheat Product. It’s like playing golf. You can’t cheat yourself at golf. You shoot, and whatever number of shots you take, that’s it. You may lie to the world, but you can’t lie to yourself; that’s the number of shots you took.”

A Life-Long Manufacturer

Dr. Mike’s passion for manufacturing started at a young age and led to his interest in Quantum Lean manufacturing. 

“I began as a professional amateur builder,” Dr. Mike describes his upbringing, where he would mess with wires, wood, and paint as a kid. “We put together a company that would sell small products, such as oil filters for BMW. I finished my degrees and created a company with a background in biochemistry and engineering.” Dr. Mike’s company was in the food industry. He manufactured TV dinners that were sold in 18 states. 

After acquiring his PhD, Dr. Mike began working with Womack & Jones—and that’s where his Quantum Lean manufacturing journey truly began. He quickly realized that even the systems in this well-established organization were not without flaws. He knew he needed to find a different way of doing things because approximately 95% of the company’s Quantum Lean projects were failing.

In 2001, Dr. Mike established his product-centric approach, which he applied in a Calgary-based company with “fantastic” results. The approach was nimble and fully customizable. In 2004, he published his book Quantum Lean: Taking Lean Systems to the Next Level

Dr. Mike then founded BeehiveFund to help manufacturers successfully implement Quantum Lean manufacturing systems. His approach has been implemented in thousands of companies and various industries, such as custom product manufacturing, construction, service, food, and large equipment manufacturing. 

Ameritex is proud to be one of those companies. 

Ameritex’s Quantum Lean Revolution

“I love working with people that have patience and open minds. Those are the necessary components for change to happen.” Dr. Mike says. “Ameritex is prime for the Quantum Lean system because it is set up for growth.” 

He speaks on implementing his product-centric mindset. “It’s about strategizing what we are doing and where Ameritex is going. To change the mentality, we have to change the culture as a whole.” 

He continues to speak on how Ameritex is at step one of change: training. This involves training each and every individual on the why, what, and how of the product-centric approach.

“Think of riding in a car blindfolded. You can hear things and the environment around you, but you don’t know where you are going. Everyone wants to know and experience what’s going on together,” Dr. Mike says. He adds that in order for people to thrive in a company, they must be able to know what is going on and be empowered to speak their minds.

Nurturing and Inspiring Creativity

Product-CentricAccording to Dr. Mike, “Just because something works fantastic (in one environment) doesn’t mean that it will work for Ameritex. We need to have training and prepare folks to have the right mindset. On top of that, we must allow them the freedom for their creativity to thrive.” 

During his bountiful career, Dr. Mike has learned many lessons in managing people and creating successful environments. He has learned that the biggest killer within a company is not leveraging people’s talents to their full potential. 

“One thing that will keep you ahead of the pack and innovating is allowing room for people’s creativity and talents to thrive. Using their talents makes people feel energized. It makes people feel like they are fulfilling their potential. It may be that not everyone has the same level of creativity. Some people are content just doing the same thing, but that’s what fulfills them,” he explains.

Lean Life, Lean Mind

In his off time, Dr. Mike spends his time with his family, working with his hands, and playing golf and chess. “I enjoy working with my hands on beautification projects. That’s satisfactory to me,” he shares. Dr. Mike is also currently authoring his newest book, Quantum Lean Management, which he aims to release in 2024.

When asked what advice he would give someone aspiring to get to where he is now, he replies: “Get to know your product and understand your people, their skills, and their knowledge. Only then can you deploy any change or initiative.” He pauses to reflect before continuing, “Submit your expectations up front. That way, there are fewer frustrations later. Also, understand your people’s state of mind.” Lastly, he adds, “Try to work with open-minded people who always want to do their best.”

An Exciting Future for Ameritex 

“I want to be a company where people line up to work!” Dr. Mike says with a smile. “I want to set standards nationally and have Ameritex be recognized as a great place to work. I think we’re currently headed in the right direction.” 

Ameritex’s core objective is to become nearly flawless in how our workforce responds to customers’ needs for metal fabrication services. High quality should be fast and cost-effective, and that has always been Ameritex’s goal. We believe that products should move effortlessly throughout our shop without friction or resistance.

Ameritex is at a fantastic point in its development. We are planning and setting ourselves up to keep growing, and there is so much more in store for our future, thanks in large part to Dr. Mike’s invaluable guidance. 

Request a quote to work with our creative, product-centric team.