BTOES Insights Official
October 16, 2019

BTOES - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Overcoming Workforce Challenges to Deliver the Desired Results

Courtesy of Data Sciences International (DSI), Peter Fritsche wrote a synopsis of his speaking session discussing 'Overcoming Workforce Challenges to Deliver the Desired Results'.

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In January, 2017, all DSI Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were red:  long product lead-times; dismal on-time delivery; discontent external customers; discouraged / frustrated internal teams and our sales team was losing confidence. Recently promoted President & CEO, Kristen Knox, decided that a significant transformation was required.

Understanding lasting success requires a long-term plan and a resilient foundation, we approached our transformation as a process and a journey towards Operational Excellence.

The keys to our success boil down to:

  • Collaborative & Supportive Culture
  • Common Purpose, Aspirations and Alignment
  • Management & Leadership


Collaborative & Supportive Culture

Fortunately, we were starting with a good culture. To build upon this, we took a page from Zappos and updated our DSI Values. A letter was written by Kristen, outlining our Values. Managers discussed our Values individually with each of their employees and asked them to sign the letter, showing their commitment. A separation agreement was available to anyone who did not believe they could live by our Values. A presumption of “good intent” (everyone is here to do their best) was reinforced throughout the company, building trust and respect within the teams.


Common Purpose, Aspirations and Alignment

We created our Key Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Principles. This provided a much-needed overview of how every function within DSI contributes to our success. This tore down existing silos and provided a cooperative language and understanding across the organization.

DSI’s Mission has always provided a compelling purpose for the company and many of our employees work here because they understand the positive impact we have on improving people’s lives.

To accelerate life-enhancing research by unleashing the power of information.

We supplemented our DSI Mission with our Operations’ Mission. The Operations’ Mission defines how each and every employee (in Operations) is critical to our success.

By efficiently delivering products, produced by knowledgeable team members, using optimized processes,
that achieve reliability and performance expectations, sustained by resilient internal systems and
incorporating a strong continuous improvement methodology to attain our commitments.

Finally we redefined Roles & Responsibilities to convey ownership and accountability to our employees.


Management & Leadership

Historically we were unable to execute our plans and were severely lacking accountability across the organization. In addition to the Leadership attributes outlined above, it was clear we also needed a heavy dose of Management.

We created an improved methodology for setting goals that utilizes data, identifies gaps, prioritizes and sets commitments to execute. To formalize the need to execute, we implemented 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) by Franklin Covey.



With intense focus and perseverance involving all global DSI employees, and in close collaboration with our customers, we attained amazing results. Over six (6) to sixteen (16) months, we slashed our lead-times and achieved desired on-time delivery allowing our customers to perform more studies and allowing DSI to win additional business. Our external customers are increasingly satisfied with DSI’s performance. Our sales and internal teams have never been happier and more engaged.

DSI’s pursuit of Operational Excellence is off to a tremendous start.


Team members

Kristen Knox – President & CEO

Peter Fritsche – VP Global Operations

Eric Rieux – VP Sales & Marketing

Lori Packer – Executive Director, Human Resources



About the Author

Peter Fritsche image newPeter Fritsche,
Vice President, Global Operations
Data Sciences International (DSI)

Peter Fritsche is Vice President, Global Operations at Data Sciences International (DSI). His responsibilities include: process engineering, supply chain leadership, manufacturing, logistics, client services, documentation, continuous improvement and technical support. Prior to DSI, Peter was Director of Global Quality at both Emerson and Honeywell. He has also worked at ADC and FSI International. 

Peter is a hands-on leader, driven by a passion to create value-based improvements that result in higher customer loyalty and substantial savings for his company. Throughout his career, he has performed at a very high level in many technical and managerial functions including: design, manufacturing, quality, safety, supply chain and product management. By engaging team-members, utilizing appropriate improvement tools and implementing necessary system-level changes for continued success; Peter has established a strong history of permanently solving the “unsolvable” product performance and reliability issues while shortening lead-times, reducing cost-of-goods-sold (COGS) and improving other key balance sheet metrics.

Peter is a six-sigma black belt and an instructor at Manufacturers Alliance where he currently leads Six-sigma green belt certification classes. He achieved a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics from UW-Madison and earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.



The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awardswhich showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


Quick Links



BTOES19 Awards


There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 

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