Vice President of Operations
US Synthetic Corp.


Eric Pope serves as vice president of operations at US Synthetic (USS), a leading provider of diamond solutions for the energy industry. Mr. Pope joined US Synthetic in 1990 as a machine operator, with a focus on processing diamond products. He has worked as a production manager, process engineer, and R&D engineer during his time at US Synthetic. In 2001, Mr. Pope worked as an onsite USS customer engineer at Halliburton. He later became the product manger over the USS diamond rock bit and percussion product lines, in 2004.   

Throughout his career, Mr. Pope has been a driving force behind US Synthetic’s move from a typical batch and queue manufacturing system to a world-class, Lean manufacturing facility. As part of senior leadership team since 2006, Mr. Pope has been instrumental in implementing Lean training and techniques at every level of the organization. These efforts helped the company received the world's most prestigious award in 2011 for enterprise excellence, The Shingo Prize. Under Pope's leadership, the company maintains a strong focus on empowering employees and encouraging continuous improvement. This focus helped the company implement more than 32,000 employee-sponsored improvements in 2011. As a result, product innovation has increased and USS customers have been better served with improved delivery times, decreased inventory, and superior quality and performance. Lean improvements have allowed US Synthetic to grow at 23 percent annually since beginning the journey in 2005. 

Mr. Pope holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Brigham Young University.



Culture By Design

Every organization, company, assembly plant, cell and team is a reflection of their leadership. To create real change in a business, we need to first understand what drives the business. The source of power is the people and their behaviors. To change a business, you must change people’s behaviors. The sum of these behaviors is the culture. All business results are driven from the behaviors of people. When you change the culture, you change the business. Teaching people how to think and act differently is the key.

The culture of your business can be your most powerful strategic advantage. The intelligence, goodness and alignment of your people are difficult to replicate. When your employees think and act in alignment with your customers and your business, you can’t lose. Businesses that focus on people, and establish values and principles throughout the organization, will achieve unparalleled success.

There are fundamental leadership principles that will drive and empower a continuous improvement culture. We typically are taught the principles and tools of lean, but are unfamiliar with the empowering culture component that is driven by leadership principles. These leadership principles, coupled with the principles of the Toyota Production System, form the most powerful combination for business success.

This session describes the process and principles for creating the most powerful form of a continuous improvement culture through creating an environment throughout the entire organization where we can make better choices that drive better results.

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