Michele Arnison
Strategic Advisor

Michele is a Strategic Advisor in the Profit Enhancement Solutions group, a division of Smith & Gesteland, LLP.  She is a senior operations leader who helps businesses improve profitability and sales growth by using the 80/20 principle to uncover their key value drivers, focus resources in those strategic areas, and eliminate activities that don’t add value.  She is recognized for data-driven analysis that targets opportunities for process simplification and system optimization.

Michele spent more than 25 years of her career at Illinois Tool Works where was VP/General Manager of businesses in the Packaging and Test & Measurement segments.  As Director of 80/20 Business Processes for the Construction segment, she helped develop company-wide materials to leverage 80/20 expertise and best practices; enabling consistent execution of the company’s business model.

Her career accomplishments include:

  • Applied strategic segmentation to assess where the best product and highest-growth market opportunities converged and then focused resources on serving key customers and targeted product development.  Organic revenue growth exceeded the market by 170 bps.
  • Employed product line simplification and value-stream mapping methodologies to reduce overheads by 210 basis points and inventories by $29 million.
  • Executed the organizational redesign of divisions in North America, Europe, and Asia into a single globally focused business by moving from a geographic- to a leader-based, functionally driven business.  The business moved from a loss to double-digit EBITDA.
  • Reinvigorated the product development and engineering processes resulting in 25% of revenues coming from products less than two years old.
  • Increased operating profit by 500 basis points through the implementation of simplified operations and sales structures.
  • Increased revenues through value-added product innovations in an industry where core volumes were declining due to technological change.
  • Improved operating income from 600 basis points through focused, customer-centric operations.
  • Led financial modeling, due diligence, and operations integration for nine acquisitions throughout Asia and Latin America.

Michele has Big-4 audit experience and has held multiple finance and strategy roles.

She has an M.B.A. in Finance and Policy Studies from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. Accounting and CPA from the University of Illinois. Michele is a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner with demonstrated strength introducing new processes, technology and culture change to organizations ranging from five to 5000 staff.

Michele is active is poverty alleviation and social action causes and serves on the Board and as Treasurer of Hands of Peace, an interfaith organization that empowers young people to raise their voices as leaders of change.

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