Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham

Principal & Owner
Lean Accounting & Business Strategy

Ms. Cunningham is a management consultant with over 16 years of experience applying lean concepts to a variety of organizations.  Co-author of two books, Real Numbers: Management Accounting in a Lean Organization, and Simpler, Faster: Systems Strategy for Lean IT, she received the Shingo Prize for Research in 2004.  Her areas of expertise include business strategy development, process improvement, and growth and acquisition planning.

As owner and principal of Jean Cunningham Consulting in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Ms. Cunningham assists clients in developing strategic solutions, streamlining processes, and planning for growth.

Previously, as chief financial officer and vice president of Company Services at Lantech LLC, a Louisville, Kentucky manufacturer of packaging equipment, Ms. Cunningham was responsible for accounting, human resources, information systems, and telecommunications.  From 1991 through 2004, she was a leader in Lantech’s evolution of a small, family-owned business to a lean industry leader.  Lantech’s lean journey was chronicled in the bestseller, Lean Thinking. Ms. Cunningham joined the continuous improvement effort at Lantech from their first kaizen, and took the revolution of lean from the manufacturing floor to the business office.  She was actively involved with Lantech's product expansion efforts through acquisition and product development.

Prior to joining Lantech, Ms. Cunningham was a finance professional with Digital Equipment Corporation and Westinghouse Electric.  Her business experience and training began early in life, when she assisted in her mother’s business from age 12.  Later she taught school and managed a restaurant, which provided a base of practical experience.

In addition to co-authoring two books, Ms. Cunningham has contributed to several publications related to lean accounting and lean operations.  She has extensive experience lecturing on lean accounting and business processes.


MBA, Northeastern University, College of Business Administration
BS in Accounting, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN