Eagle Ottawa, LLC

Success with The Center

EAGLE OTTAWA: Driving Efficiency With Six Sigma, Lean & Leadership Training

It’s hard to find enough superlatives to describe our relationship with The Center. The best way to describe it would be that it is a true partnership. In the past four years, we’ve grown to know their team and have welcomed them as a part of our family. We never would have gotten to where we are without the mutual trust. When we commit to doing our part towards making the workshop, event or training effective, the momentum is undeniable. As we continue our journey towards a state of operational excellence, it isn’t a question on if we are world class. It is a statement made through our actions and is strongly represented by our people, processes and products. It is a statement made partly because of our relationship with The Center.
-- Tim Reedy, General Manager

Eagle Ottawa, LLC (www.eagleottawa.com) is the world's largest supplier of leather upholstery for automotive seats, instrument panels and door panels. Since 1865, they have demonstrated their passion for leather making in craftsmanship, artistry and innovation. The commitment of their 165 Rochester Hills employees – to be the best in what they do – has made Eagle Ottawa the most respected leather manufacturer in the industry. Eagle Ottawa is part of the Lear Leather Division and is located in Rochester Hills, MI.


Eagle Ottawa’s vision was set to create a “Center of Excellence” regarding innovation and technology. The management team at Eagle Ottawa (Lear Leather Division) reached out to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) for expertise and assistance with developing their workforce to give the company a competitive edge.


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Eagle Ottawa wanted to develop a long-term partnership and build a world-class foundation based on service and standards. This could not be achieved without a high degree of engagement and a relentless commitment towards developing their workforce. They contacted The Center for:

• Mixed-Mode Manufacturing. To maintain a strong industry lead, all the pieces at Eagle Ottawa’s Rochester Hills location needed to move with unprecedented agility. There were several unique manufacturing streams that needed to be harmonized to meet stringent customer demands. This coordination was accomplished through a series of Kaizens, workshops and lean-focused events. The methodology became ingrained in new processes and allowed associates to not only take that methodology and build upon it, but lead the charge.

• Supervisory Training. To improve the flow of communication and strengthen the effectiveness of the team, more than 25 employees from Eagle Ottawa attended multiple sessions of The Center’s four-day Supervisory Training course. The course focused on time management, overcoming communication barriers, motivation, delegation and conflict resolution, among other skills.

• Six Sigma. When the experts at The Center went on-site to Eagle Ottawa, they aided in developing a plan that was believable and achievable. This allowed Eagle Ottawa to arm its associates with the Six Sigma toolset to drive out variation. In the past three years, several green belts have been certified, all of which make a positive impact on the organization. Due to corresponding growth, many have been promoted within the organization.


  • New Sales: $3,000,000
  • Cost Savings: $750,000
  • New Investment: $137,000
  • Jobs Created: 3