Our Team

Chris McKellen

Chris McKellen started his career in the machine tool industry and was then involved in setting up a new factory to manufacture air compressors, before taking up a group role in manufacturing engineering.   At a specialist diesel engine manufacturer he gained an insight in to the benefits and pitfalls of the early flexible manufacturing systems and the need to increase productivity  on such systems.    

After joining the automotive division of a major US based group, he learned that some of the traditional planning tools and measures used throughout manufacturing industries could sometimes create major problems within the business.   This realisation, coupled with the need to improve productivity in a highly unionised environment, led to his keen interest in Lean Manufacturing, the empowerment of employees and the constant drive to become World Class.  

He moved to the People's Republic of China to take total responsibility for setting up and the start up of a new World Class manufacturing plant for automotive components.  This plant is now recognised as the benchmark plant for quality and productivity in the turbocharger business.  Following his return to the UK, he co-ordinated the six-sigma / operational excellence program across a number of European plants before carrying out consultancy assignments in the area of Lean Manufacturing. 

He completed a long term assignment with another major US based automotive component manufacturing company where he trained employees in modern manufacturing techniques, managed major projects and introduced the Lean Manufacturing concepts and philosophies to traditional purchasing and materials departments and the supply chain. 

Since 2001, Chris has developed long term relationships with many organisations, in the UK, Europe and Asia, both large and small to help them implement service and business improvement techniques.   He passionately believes that service improvements need to be implemented by teams of 'real' people in their workplace - not by individuals sitting in offices.


Mandy Edwards

As a founder member of a dedicated service improvement team for one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK, she developed a portfolio of tools and techniques aimed at improving both clinical and administrative processes, as well as patient experiences of healthcare.  This led to a significant role in the planning and design of a brand new hospital under a £690m PFI scheme with key responsibility for development of the overall clinical brief and new model of care. The role involved detailed activity and capacity modelling, together with development of operational specifications and functional relationships, including physical design and space utilisation.

 In 2002, Mandy took up her first director role, as executive lead for patient access, including waiting time management and hospital-wide modernisation. During this time she introduced philosophies such as statistical process control (SPC), theory of constraints (TOC), benefits realisation and lean thinking.  Mandy worked in partnership with a major USA company to ensure all benefits and added value were maximised during the implementation of a new patient administration system as part of the NHS National Programme for IT.  She also had board responsibility for the development of robust reporting and assurance systems, for performance, contracting, service performance and patient experience.

 Mandy has worked alongside several major business consultancy firms both to effect a successful organisational turnaround and, more recently as project Director for an NHS Foundation Trust application, financial and corporate governance, as well as development of a 5 year Integrated Business Plan and Long Term Financial Model.

Mandy set up Edwards Healthcare Consulting in 2010 and can be contacted at www.edwardshealthcare.co.uk/contact.html


Bob Davis

Bob is a business advisor and helps organisations in developing business and implementing change programmes. He has considerable experience in developing overseas markets through distribution networks and also has experience in identifying engineering suppliers around the world.

Bob for many years was Managing Director of Deltron Emcon - a UK manufacturing company in the Electro/Mechanical Component sector, where he introduced Lean programmes in to the business and was the champion for the change programmes.

The company whilst under Bob’s stewardship was owned by PLC’s and as a result he has been involved in the acquiring, integration and relocation of a number of businesses.

In 2000 Bob introduced to the UK the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) a USA based association dedicated to knowledge sharing and the creation of Lean enterprises. For the past 4 years he has held the office of President. In this role Bob has strived to create awareness of the need to change and to introduce Lean in to organisations.

In his spare time Bob acts as a Business Mentor for The Prince’s Trust and pursues his interest in most sports, music and cooking.


Ralph Woodhead

Ralph Woodhead graduated as a mechanical engineer at a time when computers were all mainframes and when Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems were just being invented!

He started his career in production control departments - firstly a gearbox manufacturer and then with a company making commercial vehicle axles. It was in this second company that he moved into computer systems - working on the design and implementation of bespoke stock control systems.

After promoting MRP for a number of years, Ralph decided to accept the post of IT Manager at an engineering company manufacturing textile machines. Five years on Ralph joined Hewlett Packard as a manufacturing consultant, undertaking pre and post-sales consultancy in a wide range of industries.

He now provides independent business advice and consultancy. Projects have included MRP consultancy, ERP selection and implementation as well as education and training. In 2001, working with MTa International, he created the activity-based learning pack called KanDo Lean. His current speciality is education, training and implementation of Lean Manufacturing.

Ralph is approved by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) as a consultant and diagnostician.


Yintong Betser

Yintong studied Foreign Trade English at University in Beijing, and then worked for various international companies in China.   In 1993 she moved to the UK and obtained her MA in Marketing at the University of Hertfordshire

Having worked in marketing in the UK, Yintong identified that many British companies required help “bridging the gap” with their Chinese projects.  Yintong has successfully assisted various companies and government agencies organising seminars, negotiating contracts, sourcing and marketing products in China.  

Yintong has also carried out a number of research and feasibility studies for companies wishing to do business with China.      She visits China on a regular basis and has authored several books to help companies with overseas trade.

Yintong can be contacted at http://www.activeukchina.com