Kevin Zhou

Kevin Zhou (MEng '06) is Vice President of Asia Pacific Operations at The Fountainhead Group, Inc. He is a well respected global supply chain professional with 15+ years of operations and supplier management experience, and a dedicated problem solver with deep understanding of lean / six sigma. 
 
Inspired by the Integrated Product Development course that challenged him when he was a student at Michigan, Kevin continues to nurture his creative side.
 
Q: What drew you to the University of Michigan?
 
A: Before joining Tauber, I worked as a manufacturing manager at one of Motorola’s plants in China. Since then, being an operations management professional and driving operational excellence has been my career goal.  When I made the decision to pursue a master degree in operations, I researched and found U of M has the most reputable operations management program – Tauber. I was fortunate enough to be admitted by such a great school and a great program.
 
Q: When you think back on your time with the Tauber Program, what stands out?

A: Interacting with and learning from teachers and students with different backgrounds stands out. I benefited a lot from taking business classes and working with MBA students and EGL students in different class projects as well as in the summer project.

Q: What sticks with you as important lessons learned while at the Tauber Institute?

A: Can-do attitude is definitely a great asset I gained from Tauber Institute. As we all experienced, both our summer project and our IPD [Integrated Product Development] project are under extremely challenging timelines. At the beginning, I wasn’t 100% confident we can deliver the results in such short time periods. Then we worked together and worked hard in the process.  At the end, we delivered the desired results in both projects and made the impossible possible.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your work life today?

A: To make change and to bridge cultural differences.

Q: What advice would you give to current or future Tauber students?

A: Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a great interdisciplinary program. Enjoy the learning and take the summer project seriously. You can make some great impacts and build your strengths.

Q: What would fellow alums be surprised to know about you?

A: As an operations guy, I also have my creative side.  Enlightened by IPD, I developed a children’s iPAD holder.  Initially for my daughter, now it’s patented and trademarked in the United States, and received some good reviews on Amazon.  Now I’m seeking investors or partners to sell the products into big retails.

Kevin Zhao
2005 Tauber Team BorgWarner. Back: Dennis Rusiewski, Rick Woodcock, Mark Mundy, Alfred Weber, Jeff Malone Front: Maulik Parikh, J.D. Monot, Kevin Zhou
Kid iPad bag - inspired by IPD!
Kevin Zhao