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Life-long lean & logistics

Raoul, a senior expert in operation in our Lyon office, has always been passionate about applying lean management techniques to supply chains.

I came to McKinsey after I finished my masters in industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan. I had done a lean internship at Boeing and a logistics internship at Alcoa and was passionate about both topics. I started in McKinsey’s Operations Excellence Program (OEP) and even now, 17 years later, am applying lean thinking to logistics environments.

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I joined the firm in a small office in the West Midlands, UK. I was excited McKinsey had an office in Stratford Upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. At the time, it was the first OEP hub; now there are more than 10 around the world. It was an exciting time because we were shaping the program and we were a small, tight-knit group. To this day, five of my colleagues from that hub are some of my best friends.

Since then, I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities to follow my passions, develop and grow, and work with highly talented people as colleagues and clients while solving challenging problems. At present, I am based in Lyon, France and involved in cutting-edge warehouse design. It’s exciting to see how much technology adds to the solutions we’re developing.

My week usually starts with a flight and a taxi ride to my clients’ site. During the drive, I often talk to one of my teams (e.g., yesterday, I talked to a Japanese team about container shipping best practices). Once I arrive, I spend time problem-solving issues with clients and McKinsey teammates. Today, I worked with an OEP analyst on a simulation model. In the evening, we may enjoy dinner together or I may grab a bite while cheering for my U of M basketball team. Then, it’s back to the airport to visit the next client site. I travel more than most – usually spending only a day or two per location. At home, I enjoy spending time with my family; my wife and I have four little ones. We also have a garden and some lawn-mowing sheep that keep me busy; they are my attempt to counter-balance my carbon footprint.