Red X

Investigate and Solve
Complex Problems
Faster than Ever

with Red X Problem Solving

Solve Fast & Get it right

When problems arise, you need a solution fast. You need a strategy to ditch your long list of possible causes and narrow your focus to the one that matters most.

With Red X in your toolbox, you can.

1. Solve Fast

Eliminate unnecessary testing and streamline your problem solving efforts for speed and accuracy.

2. Get it Right

Leverage physics and a “what’s different” mindset to get to the true root cause. There’ll be no root cause imposters here.

3. Proven Solutions

Test proposed solutions before implementing them at full scale to prove they work BEFORE you invest.

Solving faster together

Red X is trusted by brands like

Stop doing the same thing

and Expecting different results

Experience-based problem solving and brainstorming methods will only get you so far. With increased product complexity and tight project timelines, you need fewer ‘options’ to test, not more.

Red X: Our Different approach

A Simple & powerful effect

Red X flips the typical problem solving model. Our approach allows you to converge only on what matters by focusing on the effect rather than guessing at causes. It’s a strategic process of elimination using the physics of product, the process design and what we call ‘contrast’. With our simple yet powerful tools, you don’t have to be a statistician to solve problems. Our problem-solving framework gets you to the root cause efficiently so you can solve fast.

What makes it different?

The Framework, the Tools & the Mindset


The Framework

FACTUAL is the 7-step framework Red X employs to strategically converge to the root cause of a problem. But it’s more than just a fancy acronym. Rather than relying on historical experience or opinions, the Red X method is based on empirical testing. We “let the parts do the talking”. We’ve developed and refined our testing methods to be simple but impactful.

Simple in form

The Tools

We believe problem solving tools shouldn’t take a masters degree in statistics to use. Over the last 75 years, we’ve refined existing tools to make them approachable for everyone on your team and created new tools to bridge existing gaps. Our Red X Toolkit is full of problem solving assets that are not only simple in form but have the statistical rigor to get you impactful results.

Y to X

The Mindset

Typical problem solving methods rely on the problem solving team to have experience with the system and a clear understanding of how it works. Without that, experience-based and brainstorming methods are not guaranteed to find the root cause. Red X reverses the diagnostic process and uses the contrast between the best performing parts and the worst performing parts to eliminate the shared “possible causes”. The difference between the best and worst parts is obviously the cause, we just have to let the parts do the talking.

Ready to start solving the "unsolveable"?

Red X in 2023

By the Numbers


Dollars saved by companies partnered with Shainin in 2023


Crisis problems resolved in 2023. Curious about “Crisis Problems“?


Projects completed for certification credit in 2023  


Typical Return on Investment for our partners in 2023


Dollars saved by companies partnered with Shainin in 2023


Projects completed by Shainin-trained teams in 2023


Crisis Problems resolved in 2023


Typical Return On Investment for our partners in 2023

*Data presented are from customer-verified cost estimates and are therefore likely to be conservative

Solve the "Unsolveables"

Two ways to solve

We’ve heard it countless times. “This is just the way it is” or “that problem isn’t solveable”. We call those “the Unsolveables”. The problems that companies choose to live with everyday. But they don’t have to. Now there’s another option. In fact, we offer two options to start solving the problems that everyone says can’t be solved.

Solve IT Now with Red X

Red X Consultant discussing problem solving strategy with client at a white board
The Issue:

Have an urgent technical problem? Dealing with a frustrated customer demanding you “Solve it now!”? Need a problem solved and don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to solving it?

The Solution:

A Red X Problem Solving Engagement

A dedicated team will come to your facility and get you the answer.

How It Works:
  1. Setting the Scope | Assessment followed by a custom problem-solving proposal
  2. Milestone-Based Investigation | A Red X project occurs in phases. We’re confident enough to tie our pricing to each phase of completion.
  3. Implement & Celebrate | Upon completion of the project, all that’s left to do is to fully integrate into your process and documentation. Then sit back and relax. Or move on to solving the next problem. 

Teach your team

Shainin consultant conducting Red X training for customers in a meeting space
The Objective:

Elevate your organizations problem-solving capabilities

The Solution:

Red X Training & Certification

We’ll train, coach, and certify your team to solve complex problems using the Red X Methodology.

How It Works:
  1. Setting the Scope | We’ll meet to review your goals and set your team up for success.
  2. Select & Train | Collaborate to identify the right people and projects.
  3. Solve | After training, your team receives regular coaching to reinforce their learning and get you results.
  4. Certify & Celebrate | Completing a project and resolving a problem is certainly something worth celebrating.
  5. Level Up | Get ready for the next level of training and tools to enhance your team’s skills even further.

Start solving the "unsolveable"

Best Practices to make RED X even more effective

Maximize your Problem Solving ROI

Make sure your team knows what Red X is

Problem solving is often a team sport so everyone needs to be on the same page. Red X is a problem solving framework and toolset to help teams converge on the root cause of complex problems. It is a problem-solving methodology and strategy. 

Don't send just one person to training

The importance of teamwork to the success of your problem-solving program can not be understated. From the assembler to the engineer to the manager, the whole team is involved somehow. When only one person knows a methodology, it’s hard to implement a new process. Having multiple people in a training group makes your investment much more likely to have a strong return.

Create a problem solving Culture & Competency

Successful problem solving requires more than just the project teams. Create a structure to support your problem solving teams in identifying, prioritizing, managing, and supporting projects. We’ll help your team get started with regular coaching sessions, but a successful program will create a structure that allows project teams to integrate their problem solving into their everyday jobs. 

Don’t have one? We can help. Learn about RT5

Prepare for not just a class, but also having a coach

Many training programs are just that, training. In our programs, we’ve found that the most effective way to instill the Red X Methodology and best practices are to follow a three part process: Training, then Coaching, followed by Certification. We’ve designed our system to maximize the impact of what is being learned and to garner the most effective implementation for our customers. 

Certification is worth something - to the company & the individual - don't dismiss it

Certification may seem like an unnecessary step, but it serves a valuable purpose. Shainin, the certifying body, ensures that every team member who earns certification is capable of performing the work correctly. If a candidate cannot meet Shainin’s standards, they will not be certified. This guarantees that certified individuals can complete their work correctly without the need for constant supervision. For the individual, there’s a level of pride in achievement. Our certification follows rigorous standards and that means that it takes hard work to get it. 

Start at the beginning

Just like beginning an education starts with the basics, so does our Red X method. Regardless of previous trainings and certifications, Red X training begins with Apprentice. Our methods approach problem solving from a different perspective and the fundamentals we teach in our Apprentice level courses are necessary in order to apply the methods and to excel in implementing them. 

Innovative structure & refined simplicity that yield speed to resolution

Let our team of dedicated problem solvers help resolve your most impactful issues. Contact us today to team up!

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards

Transaxional Business

Business processes deliver critical functions. But sometimes processes break, and the reason isn’t clear. TransaXional Business Projects focus on what must go right in a process for it to deliver the desired result every time.  The  TransaXional Business Project of the Year Award recognizes projects that focus on process-based problems. Projects that win this award will demonstrate: 

  • The impact of the problem for the company and the team 
  • The strategy implemented to complete the project.
  • Creative & effective use of the Shainin Transaxional tools  
  • The timeline of resolution from initial discovery through project closure
Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

Sergio Lizarraga

Gm Mexico, Technical Dir. Latin America

Sergio serves as our General Manager in Mexico and Technical Director of Latin America with over three decades of experience in manufacturing and engineering. For the past 25 years, Sergio has been using the Shainin methodology to help companies solve complex problems, with a proven track record of success. 

Sergio’s qualifications include a BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering, a Master’s in IT Management, and a Red X Master certification. He has worked in a wide range of industries, including automotive assembly, automotive components, electronics, foundry, mechanical equipment, chemical products, and medical products. 

But what sets Sergio apart is his passion for teaching and coaching. He has traveled to different countries, including Mexico, the USA, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Portugal, to teach and coach the Shainin methodology. Additionally, he is a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. 

Sergio is known for his charismatic personality and his ability to inspire others. He enjoys playing guitar, spending time with his dogs, and reading in his free time, and is always looking to expand his knowledge and learn new things. 

Sergio’s wealth of experience, dedication to problem-solving, and passion for teaching make him an invaluable asset to any team. Whether you’re looking to tackle a complex manufacturing challenge or improve your team’s problem-solving skills, Sergio has the expertise and drive to help you achieve your goals. 

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards

This category of awards is for project teams who have demonstrated outstanding application of Shainin methodologies in solving complex problems within their company.

To be considered for this award, the submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Speed and efficiency of the problem solved
  • Technical difficulty and complexity of the problem solved
  • Project impact and leverage across the organization
  • Creative use of Shainin technologies
  • Clarity of the project documentation

Dorian Awards Criteria

RT5 Leadership Award

The Rolling Top 5 Leadership Award is for leaders who have increased the impact of problem solving using Shainin technologies within their organization.

To be considered for this award, the submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates leadership guidance, structural framework, and effective mentoring of a dynamic problem-solving culture
  • Conducts regular reviews to ensure that key projects are solved quickly and efficiently
  • Encourages major suppliers and customers to jointly solve problems by using Shainin methods and leveraging the results
  • Actively recognizes and rewards outstanding performance in problem- solving
  • The number of successful projects and certifications

Dorian Awards Criteria

Master of the year Award

The Master of the Year Award is for leaders who have increased the impact of problem solving using Shainin technologies within their organization.

To be considered for this award, the submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Applies leadership skills to expand the impact of Shainin technologies within the organization
  • Results include projects completed that made a significant impact to improving business performance
  • The number of individuals coached to certification
Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

Craig Hysong

President & CEO

Craig Hysong is a problem-solving expert who has spent his career transforming how companies approach problems. As the President and CEO of Shainin, Craig places the customer at the center of everything he does and is 100% focused on customer satisfaction. 

With over 24 years of experience at Shainin and 13 years of experience at General Motors and ITT Automotive, Craig is a leader in his field. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Lehigh University, where he attended as a General Motors Fellow. Craig is a licensed professional engineer and an American Society for Quality (ASQ) certified Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer, Quality Auditor, and Manager of Quality & Organizational Excellence.

Craig’s commitment to his work and his customers is unparalleled. He has diversified Shainin’s customer base, implemented a standard sales process, and is working towards establishing the company as the global benchmark in problem-solving. Craig was the recipient of the 2017 Dorian Shainin Medal from ASQ, which recognized him for the development of an innovative conflict detection method. Additionally, his creativity in problem-solving has resulted in four US Patents.

Outside of work, Craig enjoys playing ice hockey, cross country skiing, bicycling, running, and water skiing. He also enjoys working on personal projects around the house and on his cars.

Craig’s passion for problem-solving, exceptional leadership skills, and dedication to customer satisfaction, combined with his down-to-earth and relatable personality, make him an invaluable asset to Shainin and the companies that seek our services.

Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

Richard Shainin

Executive VP - Training services

With over five decades of experience in engineering, operations, marketing, and sales, Richard is a seasoned professional in the field of quality engineering and problem-solving. 
A prolific author and lecturer, Richard has published papers in Quality Engineering and Six Sigma Forum and authored the “Multi-Vari Charts” chapter for the Encyclopedia of Statistics in Quality and Reliability. He is a frequent speaker at quality conferences, including the ASQ World Conference, where he shares his insights on solving complex problems. 
Richard has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including being named the 2014 Quality Leader of the Year by the ASQ Automotive Division, and the Cecil C. Craig Lifetime Award from ASQ in 2019, in recognition of his publications. 
Prior to joining the company in 1991, Richard led high-performance teams at AT&T, where he gained extensive experience in engineering, operations, marketing, and sales. Today, he continues to guide class development and delivery, working closely with customer leaders to develop and implement more effective organizations for solving complex problems. 
With a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from American University, Richard is a graduate of the AT&T Management Development Program. He has trained thousands of engineers and executives in technical problem-solving skills and leadership skills, solving complex technical problems in castings, electro-mechanical systems, electronics, and assemblies across industries ranging from Automotive, Aerospace, and Consumer Electronics. 
Richard’s expertise in problem-solving and leadership makes him an asset to the field of quality engineering, and his contributions continue to inspire professionals worldwide. 

Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

John Abrahamian

Executive VP - Problem Solving

John Abrahamian is a highly respected problem solver as well as an expert in the field of Lean manufacturing, with a career spanning over three decades. Throughout his career, John has become renowned for his innovative approach to problem-solving and his unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. 
After receiving his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1985, John began his career as a design and development engineer at Pratt & Whitney. It was during this time that his interest in problem-solving first emerged. By 1994, John had become a Continuous Improvement Manager at the company. During his tenure, John led Pratt & Whitney’s efforts in Lean manufacturing and Value Engineering. 
In 1990, John began pursuing his MBA in Operations Management, where he was first introduced to the concept of Lean manufacturing, and this influenced the direction of his career. In 1996, he was encouraged by his Pratt & Whitney team to take Shainin Red X training, building on his Lean manufacturing efforts. This training proved to be a turning point in John’s career, igniting his passion for problem-solving and setting him on a path to becoming one of the industry’s most respected experts. 
In 1998, John joined Shainin, where he has spent the last 25 years pursuing his passion for problem-solving. During his time here, John has developed innovative approaches to problem-solving, having received a US Patent for a problem-solving method. He also integrated function analysis into Shainin methods, seeding what would ultimately become Resilient Engineering.  
Despite his busy schedule, John still finds time to pursue his hobbies, which include golfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and skeet shooting. He especially enjoys traveling with his wife and spending time with family, including his three grandsons. 
Having the opportunity to work in a wide variety of industries, experiencing different cultures and meeting new and interesting people gives John the kind of job satisfaction that makes him grateful to be in this field of work. He truly enjoys creating meaningful relationships with his customers and inspiring ordinary engineers to become extraordinary problem solvers. 

Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

Constantin Berg

VP of Operations

Constantin Berg is the Vice President and Managing Director for Shainin’s European division. A graduate of the Technical University of Munich with a diploma in technology and management-based business administration, Constantin began his career at Linde gas and oil company where he first became acquainted with Shainin. 
Joining Shainin’s European division as a consultant in 2011, Constantin trained extensively with Richard Shainin learning Red X Methodology. Over the next 9 years he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming VP of Operations, where he led the effort to restructure the division, which emerged stronger than ever before. 
Constantin’s success earned him the role of Managing Director for Germany, India, and China. His dedication to the company and its vision of healthy growth into new regions has been crucial in shaping the division’s success. 
Beyond his professional achievements, Constantin is a devoted family man, a loving father, and husband. He enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, playing soccer in a recreational league, and reading non-fiction books on business, and biographies. 
Constantin is also passionate about making a positive impact on the world. He envisions partnering with corporations to help with environmental causes and supporting health organizations in researching root causes of disease. His desire to make the world a better place is inspiring to all who know and work with him.  

Shainin Master Digital Badge Mockup

Esther Fondermann

Technical Director, Shainin GmbH

Esther Fondermann is a highly accomplished technical leader with over a decade of experience. She currently serves as the Technical Director at Shainin GmbH, where she oversees the technical aspects of the company’s services, leads teams of engineers and technicians, and ensures compliance with industry standards and regulations. 

Esther’s drive towards excellence is evident in her ability to find the root cause of complex problems and implement effective solutions. Her commitment to delivering optimal customer experiences has earned her a well-deserved reputation for exceptional performance. She was introduced to the Shainin Red X methodology during her time at Mercedes, where she worked in different positions such as Quality Engineer in engine production, Master Black Belt in Vehicle Development, Manager of the Program Management Department, and as an Executive Assistant to the Vice President. Esther has extensive manufacturing, engineering, quality management and new product launch experience within the automotive and aerospace industries.  

At the age of 29, Esther earned her Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification, which was preceded by achieving her Red X Master certification. She was impressed by the Shainin methodology’s effectiveness in solving complex problems and improving quality, and she later joined Shainin GmbH to continue her commitment to quality engineering and continuous improvement.  

Esther’s career at Shainin GmbH began in 2012 when she joined as a Senior Technical Consultant, where she further honed her analytical skills to solve complex technical problems. She was quickly recognized for her abilities and was promoted to Technical Manager in 2016. In 2018, she was further promoted to Technical Manager for Europe and Delivery Lead for the D-A-CH region, where she continued to excel in her leadership role. Most recently, Esther was promoted to Technical Director and Member of the Board of Management Shainin GmbH in January 2019. 

Through her success as a former professional field hockey player, Esther has demonstrated her relentless pursuit of superior performance. She played over ten years in the 1st German Hockey League and for the German Hockey National Team. Her experience as an athlete and captain has contributed to her skills in teamwork, leadership, and handling pressure, all of which have been valuable assets in her career. 

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards

Resilient Engineering

The goal in new product or process development is a trouble-free launch. Resilient engineering focuses on the critical factors that impact the success of your design. The Resilient Engineering Project of the Year Award recognizes projects that focus on what must go right to ensure a successful launch. Projects that win this award will demonstrate:  

  • Critical factor identification in the design phase 
  • Prioritization of the factors to focus on 
  • Potential or perceived impact for the customer, the company, and the production line. 
  • Effective use of the Shainin Resilient Engineering tools to identify, prioritize, design, test, and control the critical factors.  
Red X Digital Badge Icon

Tom Smith

Director of Business Development

Tom Smith is the Director of Business Development at Shainin with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in aerospace manufacturing, operations, engineering, and logistics. 
Having been directly responsible for the P&L of multi-site manufacturing businesses with revenues ranging from $20M to $350M+, Tom has championed many iterations of strategically focused Shainin problem solving efforts.  Tom’s ability to quickly assimilate problem solving into operations and engineering functions has proven to be valuable and effective in driving immediate and sustained bottom line improvement. 
After calling on Shainin multiple times as a satisfied client throughout his career, Tom decided to join the Shainin team directly in 2019.  His uniquely qualified background and experience have been a source of keen insight and understanding into the needs of Shainin’s customers. 
Tom is a certified Shainin RT5 leader and Red-X Journeyman, as well as a Six Sigma Plus Blackbelt, with a deep understanding of OpEx, Lean, Six Sigma, and Red-X problem-solving methods.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Manufacturing Management, both from The Pennsylvania State University.  Tom is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals by fostering a culture of trust, continuous improvement, and teamwork. 

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Diane Schwarzkopf

Chief Financial Officer/Global Controller

Diane Schwarzkopf has been with Shainin since July 2016. Despite starting her career with a focus on Programming/Computer Science and later shifting to an Accounting degree, Diane never anticipated she’d be working for a global organization. Today, she navigates the significant complexities of her role as Global Controller with aplomb, leveraging a diverse knowledge base built on years of experience across various industries.  

Diane’s leadership style is characterized by a commitment to accuracy, collaboration, and responsiveness. Recognizing the importance of these attributes in her field, she strives to create an environment where management and staff feel heard and supported, and her direct reports are afforded ample opportunities for professional growth. She tackles challenges head-on while her forward-thinking approach in anticipating needs is instrumental in the smooth running of Shainin’s global operations. 

Beyond her professional life, Diane is a passionate reader, immersing herself in a variety of genres ranging from suspense and mystery to neuro-linguistic programming and leadership books. She also indulges in crafting activities, particularly knitting and crocheting. Diane and her husband relish outdoor activities, including kayaking and running. She is mother to two adult children and a genuine pet lover who dotes on her cats, Sophie and Ivan, and Truda, her energetic Doberman. 

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Gina Rozak

General Counsel

Gina Rozak is our General Counsel at Shainin. With over a decade of legal expertise, Gina understands the importance of building strong relationships with our customers, ensuring that they’re successful with implementing Shainin methodology while protecting the interests of all parties.

Gina holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University and attended law school, receiving her Juris Doctorate degree from Thomas M. Cooley in Lansing, Michigan. She’s licensed to practice law in Michigan and was admitted to practice in the Eastern District of Michigan Federal Court. With years of experience under her belt, Gina has developed ongoing relationships with our customers, providing her with valuable insights into the legal challenges that businesses like yours face. 

When she’s not working, Gina loves to spend time with her family, bake delicious treats, and keep fit by running. Her weekends are usually filled with getting kids around to their different activities and sometimes she gets to relax by indulging in TV shows ranging from historical fiction to reality, to the many fascinating subjects on the History Channel. 

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Pete Shainin


Pete Shainin is a highly qualified and experienced mechanical engineer with over 57 years of experience in engineering, 39 of which he has spent at Shainin. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1966 and became a Professional Engineer in Washington State in 1970. 

Pete’s career began at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, where he worked as a Quality Control Engineering Assistant and a Product Development Engineering Assistant. He then moved on to Marine Construction & Design, where he worked as a Marine Deck Machinery Design Engineer. Pete also worked at Standard Screw as an Engineering Assistant to Vernon Roosa, inventor of the Roosamaster Diesel Injector System, before becoming a Marine Deck Machinery Sales Engineer at Skagit Corp. 

After many years of working in the family business and taking on more leadership roles, Pete became CEO of Shainin LLC and eventually transitioned to the role of Chairman in 2010, where he currently serves. 

Throughout his career, Pete has achieved many successes, including building and leading teams that created the Shainin worldwide engineering business starting with his father’s work as a single individual. This is mirrored in his passion for sailing, where he led a crew of eight to victory in the challenging 2300-mile race from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii, in 2006. 

Just like in business, sailing requires teamwork, strategy, and dedication. Pete’s ability to bring his team together and lead them to success in the face of adversity is a testament to his leadership skills both on and off the water. What sets Pete apart is his love of building successful teams and his humility. 

Outside of work, Pete enjoys designing and building mechanisms to solve specific problems, and sailing. His dedication and commitment to excellence have brought him success in all aspects of his life, whether it’s in the boardroom or on the deck of a sailboat.

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards


Manufacturing is a world all its own. With the fast-moving pace, the speed of solving problems matters. The Plant Manufacturing Project of the Year Award recognizes projects that resolve complex problems in ongoing production which impact the end user, company bottom line, production quality rates, and the like. Projects that win this award will demonstrate:

  • Technical difficulty or complexity in resolving the issue.
  • Creative and effective use of the Shainin Red X tools to uncover the root cause.
  • Impact of resolving the problem.
  • How the solution or information discovered was leveraged.
  • Timeline for resolving the issue.

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards

Field Reliability

Field failures impact more than just your bottom line. This category is dedicated to projects that focus on field issues such as ‘No Trouble Found’, fatigue failures, and other destructive or malfunction events. Projects that win this award will demonstrate:

  • Initial impact of the problem.
  • Creative and effective use of the Shainin Red X tools to uncover the root cause. 
  • Speed and efficiency in resolving the issue.  

Dorian Awards Criteria

Team Project Awards

Product Development

This category recognizes technical problems solved during product development and launch. These projects typically have small sample sizes to work with. Product development begins the lifecycle of a product. In the early stages, we want to test products so we can account for and adjust to prevent failures. Projects that win this award will demonstrate: 

  • Potential impact of the problem.
  • Effective use of the Shainin Red X tools to uncover the root cause.
  • The timeline of resolution from initial discovery to solution implemented. 

Dorian Awards Criteria

Bottomline Improvement Company Award

This category of awards is for companies who have succesfully applied Shainin tools within a facility, division, region, or company and can demonstrate impactful improvements based on that development.

To be considered for this award, the submission must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates impact of Shainin technology greatly improving key business metrics. 
  • Examples include: scrap reduction, yield improvement, throughput, warranty reductions, field failure avoidance, and other technical solutions resulting in savings. 
  • Demonstrates use of project selection tools to identify the “vital few” among the “trivial many” (projects that have impact)