Advisory

Advising senior executives on how to make and implement better strategic decisions to help them fully realize their business objectives.

Innovation, transformation and leadership occur in many ways. At GBR, our subject matter experts help solve our clients’ most complex issues. We help executives bring their transformational initiatives to life, advising on how to make and implement better strategic decisions to help them fully realize their business goals, and deliver strategy and implementation, from a business and technology view, to help them lead in the markets where they compete.

Our team’s diverse skill set also includes expertise across a broad range of sectors, including: Engineering, Digital Transformation, Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement, Supply Chain Management, Packaging, Sustainability, Lean Manufacturing, AI, and Manufacturing Excellence.

Our Experts

Ton Aerdts – Research Director, OPEX & Continuous Improvement

Ton Aerdts leads the Operational Excellence & Continuous Improvement practice at GBR. In this role he is responsible for both shaping and executing the agenda for these key pillars of GBR’s manufacturing clientele.

Since the start of his career in 1993, Ton has been active in Continuous Improvement (CI). The first 20 years supporting companies in their Lean, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), 6 Sigma and Change Management journey. Leading a boutique consultancy company based in the Netherlands supporting global customers like Heinz, Starbucks, Bosch and Paccar Trucks to better their operational processes.

In the last 10 years he worked hands on and onsite with brands such as Cargill, DSM and Akzo Nobel (to name a few) helping them develop the internal capability and to run integrated CI programs. Most recently as the Site Director and interim Managing Director for the DACH region at Prinsen Berning where he managed a site with around 350 fte producing protein bars though a difficult phase after being acquired by a private equity company. He led the turnaround from a traditional family owned and managed business with serious operational issues to getting ready for the future with tremendous growth.

Ton holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. He is fluent in Dutch, English and German. He is based in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Faisal Ansari – Chief Executive Officer, Business Strategy & Sales Leadership

Faisal heads up the Business Strategy & Sales Leadership segments. In this role he works closely with clients to devise new go-to market commercial strategies, coaching the senior directors and key stakeholders within their businesses on how to align their commercial strategies with the overall corporate strategy.

Prior to GBR, Faisal served as the Chief Commercial Officer and was a member of the executive management team at GMS, a global events company. Upon joining, he took the business revenue from a mid-six figure revenue turnover in FY15 (the previous year) to a multi-million turnover in just over 3 years. Before that he was the Director of Industry Services at SCM World, now a Gartner community where he was responsible for managing the global commercial activity for new industry clients’ acquisition across Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 manufacturers and retailers. The role included deal making and negotiating with the C-Suite; some of the members he acquired included Amgen, ExxonMobil, AstraZeneca, Logitech, Vestas, The Gap & Volvo.

Before that he headed up the Consulting Division which he co-founded with the CEO at the World Trade Group, a global media and events company, where he held responsibility for sales, product development and commercial operations. Working closely with the event operations and production teams to enhance the client experience. Through new business development and key account management his division generated 40% (£4.2M) of the group’s revenues in its first year in the EMEA & Asia regions.

Faisal holds a BEng in Air Transport Engineering from City, University of London. He is based in London, England.

Francois Germain

Francois Germain holds a Masters’ degree in General Engineering. His career spans power generation, chemicals, refining and offshore. In 2014 he joined Total Refining and Chemicals as VP Health & Safety where he leads global Safety Culture transformation programs for several Business Unit’s within Total. Francois is now leading Digital Innovation within Total Refining and Chemicals

Ron Wissenburg

Ron his main experience is redesigning and implementation of the changes in supply chain processes and organization by leveraging IT solutions. He started his career in consulting at Deloitte where he supported business transformations with SAP in various industries. He Joined Alstom Power in March 2010 which in 2016 Alstom became General E. At Alstom/GE he had various IT leadership roles and the past 3 years he has been working on driving Digital Technology programs within Quality and EHS for Gas Power.

Pierluigi Petrali

Pierluigi Petrali has been working Whirlpool Europe since 1989. He started his career in Information Technology, working at introduction in Whirlpool of CIM, MES and Fault Tolerant Networks. He has then worked in innovation projects, contributing to the spread and growth of TRIZ methodology in Italy and Europe and to the development of product/process design support approaches. Presently he coordinates manufacturing research and development activities for EMEA region. Directly involved as technical and main partner in more than 10 funded research projects under FP7 and H2020 program in the last five years, he’s currently working in definition and implementation of Whirlpool Industry 4.0 strategy. He’s the inventor of five patents and author several technical papers and public speech on TRIZ, Technology Forecasting, Manufacturing Quality, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

Henrik Fransson

Henrik Fransson is a Swedish manager with an aeronautics and computer science background working for Airbus in Hamburg, where he has held various management positions. He is passionate about finding new ways of working and influencing the lives of others by making their daily life easier.

“Use my data to serve me, do it wisely and with care”

Bjoern Neal Kirchner

Bjoern Neal Kirchner, a graduated economist from Munich and London universities, has almost 20 years’ experience in logistics and supply chain management at senior level. Shifting twice between China and Europe, he has worked in 5 countries moving along the entire supply chain. He gained experience in emerging markets and led teams through challenging SAP-implementations and post-merger integration projects. With the focus on building high performance teams, Bjoern has been engaged in various business process optimization and organizational transformation projects. Currently, he is leading the Global Supply Chain team in Amsterdam for Adhesive Technologies of HENKEL.

Stefan Schrauf

Dynamic, self motivated and results-oriented cross-cultural team player with a proven track record of digital operations and supply chain strategy, excellence and transformations across several industries including industrial products, automotive, consumer goods and chemicals.

Dr. Stefan Kluge

• Education: Chemistry, Information Technology, General and Environmental Law, Toxicology

• Companies: DASA, General Electric Capital/ BMW, Siemens, Infineon, Intel

• Functions: R&D, Systems Engineering, Factory Automation, Strategic Planning, Manufacturing Strategy, Business Planning, Outsourcing Strategy, Supplier Development, External Manufacturing Management

• Currently: Sr. Director Operations & Systems Enabling, Corporate Planning Group, Intel

Toni Sirviö

Mr. Toni Sirviö has been working at Konecranes Plc. since 2005 with various responsibilities within Sales development, Commercial Excellence and Supply Chain Management including Project Management, Global Order Management, Pricing, Planning and ERP Tool process and conceptual development/deployment. Mr. Sirviö has also been working in the Commercial Excellence program as a project director for the sales lead
development process.

Håvard Jörgensen

Håvard Jörgensen is in his role as VP Group Supply chain in Electrolux, leading the work on the strategic direction and plans for the Electrolux supply chain. Specific focus on SC Resilience, digital development, E2E SC integration, SC Sustainability, processes and capabilities. He has +20 years of experience within Supply Chain and Operations from various leadership roles in Procter & Gamble, Arla Foods and Coca-Cola European Partners.

Sean Garoghan

An experienced and results orientated Sustainability and Compliance senior manager with a background of 10 years working within the service and energy sector with strong leadership and people management skills and specialising in Sustainability and Compliance. A professional buyer with a wealth of experience in stakeholder management and developing supplier compliance frameworks. Pro-efficiently experienced in various procurement and supplier systems such as; ORACLE 11i & R12, SAP, Proactis and Avetta. Experienced within all Microsoft and Google packages, highly proficient in Excel and highly experienced in data analysis and commercial intelligence with extensive knowledge within OHSAS and ISO audits and accreditation's and CDM regulations.

Vera Bartsch

Vera Bartsch is the Sustainability Manager for UPM Raflatac’s EMEIA region. She leads the self-adhesive label company’s sustainability efforts in the market. Vera’s activities include providing expert sustainability consultancy for sales, stakeholder and partnership development, management of eco-design, life cycle assessment with UPM Raflatac’s Label Life tool, recycling of label waste through the company’s RafCycle program as well as sustainability marketing and communications.

Vera has a background in sales of label material with regards to sustainability in Central Europe, working with both label printers and brand owners. She coordinates the cooperation with other UPM business units for UPM Raflatac and has worked on several international projects for the development of UPM Raflatac.

Rebekah Bell

Rebekah currently serves as the Work Management & Planning Manager for Southern Company’s Fleet Performance & Reliability organization. Rebekah was the leader in the integration and implementation of CiM Visual Planner for daily work scheduling and has spent the last seven years of her career as a subject matter expert on work management, maintenance strategy, and process improvement across the Southern Company fossil, hydro, and renewables fleet.
Rebekah began her career with Southern Company in 2006, and over the last 16 years Rebekah has served in a variety of maintenance roles, including experience additionally in contractor relations, fleet outage optimization, and reporting and analytics.


Rebekah holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of South Alabama and a Master of Engineering in Construction Engineering Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the proud mother of Kimberly Grace, 17.

Harald Kirsch

Dynamic, entrepreneurial business strategist with over 30 years of professional experience in organizational and business development in the segments of Digital Transformation, IIoT, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, automation of enterprise processes, sales of innovative SW solutions and services, portfolio management, consulting, system integration services, outsourcing as well as business transformation, change management, product management and product development.

Jean Charbonneau

Mr. Jean Charbonneau is a renowned worldwide speaker with over 30 years of experience in asset reliability and a leading influencer on the best methods for asset intensive organizations to achieve maintenance excellence. He founded the Maintenance Excellence Group in 1997, putting together a team of asset reliability experts to assist organizations with maximizing their production output while minimizing asset maintenance costs. MEG’s flagship solution, the Visual Planner Digital Platform, is used by over 10,000 maintenance professionals from all industrial sectors worldwide, allowing them to execute the right maintenance, at the right time, at the lowest costs.

Rachel Cooke

I am a technical leader with over 15 years of experience in global operations in food and drink and logistics. I have held a range of supply chain roles including engineering, manufacturing, purchasing and project management.

I currently lead Reliability Engineering for Amazon Europe, which includes robotics, reliability programs, learning and information services, predictive analytics (machine learning), computerized maintenance management systems, new technology introduction and new site launches. Previously, I was Head of Central Programs and Capability for Amazon Engineering Services Europe, where I led several teams that supported the growth of Amazon's warehousing capacity. Prior to this I was responsible for manufacturing performance measurement and operational excellence for SABMiller (FTSE-10), who were the world’s second largest brewer by volume with over 100 operations worldwide in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the USA. Before this I led a team delivering a portfolio of product change initiatives from project initiation through to implementation and launch at Cadbury. I have spent three years living in Poland, where I worked on the design, construction and commissioning of two new-build confectionery factories.