Auto Service World
News   August 6, 2003   by Auto Service World

Delphi Executive Honoured for Contribution to Manufacturing


Donald L. Runkle, Delphi Corp. vice-chairman and chief technology officer, has been awarded the 2003 Wu Manufacturing Leadership Award from the Shien-Ming Wu Foundation for his leadership and significant impact on the manufacturing industry.
Mrs. Daisy T. Wu, president of the Shien-Ming Wu Foundation, and Dwight D. Carlson, chairman of Onset and member of the award selection committee, presented Runkle with the award at the University of Michigan Automotive Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
“Mr. Runkle’s passion for manufacturing combined with his strategic vision and drive to implement change have made him stand out as a true leader in lean manufacturing,” said Carlson. “The legacy of Sam Wu and manufacturing education will continue to grow stronger because of individuals like him.”
The Manufacturing Leadership Award, represented by a jade camel statue, attempts to identify role models for future manufacturing leaders in terms of visionary and strategic thinking, courage and the ability to build a winning team or organization.
Known symbolically as “The Camel Award,” Mrs. Wu selected the camel to represent the award because of the animal’s courage, perseverance, resourcefulness and sense of direction in a harsh environment — the same leadership characteristics that a recipient must exemplify in his/her own company.
“Manufacturing excellence is at the heart of Delphi’s business philosophy,” said Runkle. “So to be honoured with this manufacturing leadership award from such a respected organization is truly inspirational. Sam’s legacy is extraordinary and I’m proud to be a part of the vision he had of manufacturing and will continue to drive Delphi closer to achieving that vision.”
Runkle was named to his current position in October 2002, to streamline processes and integrate the critical efforts of purchasing, engineering and manufacturing to raise corporate performance to the next level of a lean enterprise.
Lean manufacturing is part of Delphi’s Lean Enterprise approach to drive waste out of the entire supply chain to deliver value to customers. Lean implementation will allow the company to compete globally while making significant product, process and safety improvements. Delphi has won 12 Shingo Prizes for manufacturing excellence, the most of any company in the award’s history.
In 2002, Runkle was inducted into the Shingo Prize Academy, which recognizes those who have distinguished themselves in manufacturing. Runkle serves on the company’s Board of Directors and is also a member of the Delphi Strategy Board, the company’s top policy-making group. Additionally, Runkle is Delphi’s chief technology officer, serves as the executive champion for Delphi’s Engineering and Manufacturing organizations, is responsible for global supply management and is the strategic customer champion for the DaimlerChrysler and Commercial Vehicle customer teams.
With 38 years in the automotive industry, Runkle began his automotive career as a co-op student at Ford Motor Co. and joined General Motors in 1968, where he held a variety of assignments, including chief engineer at Chevrolet, vice president of GM’s Advanced Engineering Staff and vice president of GM’s North American Engineering Center. Runkle earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in mechanical engineering, and a master’s in management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a Sloan Fellow.


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