Rick's Bio

I bring a fresh perspective and innovative approach to problem-solving, offering unique solutions beyond the conventional. Let me help you uncover exciting possibilities.


I excel at collaborating cross-functionally to uncover overlooked solutions to complex problems, both technical and non-technical. My passion lies in streamlining processes by identifying constraints and maximizing conditions, reducing waste, and educating others for sustainable improvement. When faced with tough challenges, I bring my expertise to the table and work to find innovative solutions that make things safer, faster, more efficient, and cost-effective. If a solution cannot be found, I expertly guide the team toward the best available option.

My name is Ricardo Santana, and my background is as diverse as you will find.  I started my career as a Safety Engineer. From there, I have managed technicians and engineers running energy center operations, Industrial waste management in the likes of Copper, Lead, Solvent collection, Acid Waste Neutralization, Hydrofluoric Acid treatment, Ammonia treatment, hazardous waste, and the shipment of Dangerous Goods. As a licensed Chemical Engineer, I have been a process engineer responsible for industrial waste treatment and many improvement events.  These experiences as a manager and individual contributor led me into the world of Lean.  I have had some great trainers and mentors, among the most brilliant minds I’ve ever met.  One of my mentors was hired because he was so good at statistics. His first job was to confirm that a statistical software package did what it claimed it could do!  The guy is so awesome that he smiles when he talks about it, but it is not even a big deal for him.


I got my first immersion into Lean concepts in 1998, got formally trained in 2005, and it became my primary role in 2010.  I got my Green Belt in 2013, my Black Belt in 2014, and my Master Black Belt in 2017.  Throughout my career, I have facilitated more than 170 continuous improvement events in workplace organizations, high-precision maintenance interventions, Kaizen events, and Hyojunkas (those are standardization events). These events have targeted Facilities equipment maintenance, Facilities Operations, Café Services, Security, EHS processes, Finance, Building Services, Construction, Commissioning, Tool Install activities, Technology Transfer, Asset Management, Labs, and Data Centers.  The lessons learned had been so many, and the need for a velocity of implementation was so strong that I developed proprietary processes to establish standards and applied System Theory (thank you Dr. Rashap!) to assess the health of an existing system. I have also developed standards for introducing new processes and succession pipelines to ensure processes that depend on people stay alive and in touch with reality.


All these initiatives returned more than 120,000 hours in efficiency gains and more than $550M in ROI, creating benefits in Latin America, the US, and targeted sites in EMEA.  You can think of me as a support team member that can supply you with tools and techniques to land efficiency gains faster.  With my diversified experience behind you, you’ll have a leading edge over all others competing to make their stuff faster, cheaper, and better.