About Us

Direction Associates: Reb Gooding

Reb Gooding – President, Direction Associates

Reb Gooding – President Direction Associates

Reb is the founder and President of Direction Associates. He is a master strategist who is highly skilled in aiding clients in clearly defining their vision for the future and in developing the strategy best suited to reach it. His long industry and consulting experience makes him very adept at helping clients deal with their unique situations.

“In the end the most important thing for the client is that it achieves the results needed for its success that are better and achieved faster than if an outside agency had not been utilized. At Direction Associates we believe in using a collaborative approach with our clients. We work with them and use the knowledge and insights of key people at the client who usually have many years of experience in their industry. We add our knowledge, experience, tools, proven techniques, and the unique perspective of an outsider to accelerate implementation of improvements. We work side by side with our clients. The client develops a deep understanding at every step of the process of what needs to be done. We also provide the tools that allow the client to imbed the solutions in their business processes that provide long term benefits.”

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Steve Kowalke – Principal Direction Associates

Direction Associates: Steve Kowalke

Steve Kowalke – Principal, Direction Associates

Steve focuses on delivering results from market analysis to strategy development or process improvement. He has international industry and consulting experience. His background in the Danaher Production System provides a strong basis for assisting clients in developing a practical approach to policy deployment, defining appropriate metrics, and implementing improvements that deliver results against those metrics.

“We are always aware that the benefits we deliver must exceed the cost of our services. Whether completing a detailed market study, working with sales, engineering, and senior management groups to improve the ability to sell value, or making changes on the shop floor, we are looking for ways to assure that benefits are maximized. We understand the challenges of running a business in today’s environment and we know that our clients must get a significant return on the investment they make in Direction Associates’ services.”

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Mike Smith – Principal Direction Associates

Direction Associates: Mike Smith

Mike Smith – Principal, Direction Associates

Mike is an expert in implementing lean principles in a broad variety of situations. He helps teams focus, properly evaluate issues, and quickly implement long-lasting improvements. He has successfully integrated experience in industry and consulting with a foundation of training in the Toyota Production System to help clients make huge efficiency gains in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing settings.

“When we are helping a client to make a lean transformation, we look for ways to eliminate as much non value added activity as possible. We not only find ways to cut out waste, we train management and workers in lean principles so that they can continue to improve their systems after our project has been completed. The ongoing annual benefits usually range from 10 to 50 times the investment with DAI.”

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Dr. George Shinkle – Professor University of New South Wales and Principal Direction Associates

Direction Associates: Dr. George Shinkle

Dr. George Shinkle PhD. – Principal, Direction Associates

George is an expert in implementing business theory in a practical, usable manner. He has more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience and knows how to get groups to do the right thing at the right time. He is an accomplished researcher in Strategic Choice Theory, particularly in international environments and is a teaching and research professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

“From my position in academia, I am looking for new and better ways for our clients to improve their strategy. I draw on a broad range of research into the subject of Strategic Choice Theory. We marry the practical experience that all of our principals have to the latest strategic theory to provide pragmatic solutions. I find it very exciting to leverage leading edge research in the subject of Strategic Choice Theory to deliver results for our clients ”

Click here for George’s detailed profile.