Tom Ambler

Tom has a 30-year career of successes that reflects his versatility and creativity with experience ranging from the hands-on, nitty-gritty of a startup company through strategic planning in Fortune 500 companies. He has been President of a multi-plant, custom metal stamper where he led a turnaround and expanded the company through acquisition and new plants. As COO, he has directed a four-fold expansion of a young natural gas compressor manufacturing, service and leasing company in just two years. In his role as a principal, CFO and VP of Operations he was instrumental in the development of a startup manufacturer of proprietary electronic products for the transportation industry that led to a licensing agreement with a Fortune 500 company. He served as VP of Operations of a Fortune 500 subsidiary chartered to acquire and build a group of premier custom manufacturers serving industrial markets. His business knowledge and expertise span many diverse industries and company cultures and include all functional areas.

Tom graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Industrial Management and Metallurgy and has completed graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and NYU, exceeding the course requirements for an MBA with a concentration in Management Science.

Contact Info

1509 Kenyon Drive
Naperville, IL 60565
Phone: (734) 995-3465
E-mail: 

Consulting Testimonials

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Articles by Tom

“What if” Oil and Water Do Not Mix – Lessons from BP
Acquisition Candidate Selection
Acquisitions: 8 Steps to Success
Acquisitions: Developing a Successful Integration Process
Are you frustrated by the lack of results in your strategic planning efforts?
Are You Listening to Your Customers? How Small Changes Produce Market Share Gains
Are You Preventing Your Company from Growing? How You and Your Leadership Team Could Be Causing Bottlenecks
Are You Really On Track? Mistakes Made in Execution
Are Your Goals Causing Bad Behavior?
Beat the Competition with Process Technology
Book Review: Value Migration How to Think Several Moves Ahead of the Competition
Business Survey Results
Challenging Old Paradigms and Achieving Success
Close the Gap between Planning and Execution - Monitoring Checklist Keeps Execution on Track
Coming In Out of the Rain
Customer relationships: What does this concept have to do with strategy?
CVS Envisions a Different Future
Dare to be Different - How Choosing a Road Less Traveled Allowed Cummins Engine to Outstrip Their Competition
Differentiate Your Company - Don't Poke the 800 lb. Gorilla in the Eye!
Differentiating a Price Sensitive Product to a Value-Added Product
Do You Have Strategic Planning Problems?
Do You Really Know Your Strategic Competency? Reassessing Your Strategic Competency May Lead to Significant Growth
Everyone Knows Execution is Important – So Why Do We Fail to Execute?
Execution: Can You See the Path?
Fitbit Focuses on Corporate Clients to Generate Growth
From Near-Bankruptcy to Market Leadership: LEGO’s Success is All about Childs’ Play
Game Playing Will Be Important to Sony’s Future Success
GE Spins off Major Appliance Division - What Can a Small Company Learn from this Divestiture?
Help! My Market Doesn't Need My Product Any More! How to Strategically Position Your Company for Success in the Face of Changing Market Preferences
Honest Tea Teaches Coke A Lesson
How Can Smaller Companies Compete and Win?
How do you keep good employees? Hint: It may not be what you think.
How Does Strategic Planning Deal with Seismic Changes in an Industry?
Innovation/Opportunities: Short-term vs. Long-term - How do You Decide?
Innovation/Opportunities: Short-term vs. Long-term – How do You Decide?
Know When to Hold 'em and When to Fold 'em - Knowing when to get out of a core business is key to being successful in the future.
Lessons Learned from Boeing’s Stumble:Risk assessment is Key to a Successful Strategy
Lessons Learned in Aligning an Organization. Two Way Communication is Key - Part 1
Lessons Learned in Aligning an Organization. Two Way Communication is Key - Part 2
Lessons Learned in Aligning an Organization. Two Way Communication is Key - Part 3
Lessons Learned: Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Teach Important Lessons
Lessons Learned: Flint, Michigan
Lessons Learned: How Good Strategy Can Be Hurt by Poor Execution-Caterpillar Identifies an Attractive Market; but Outcome Hurts Bottom-Line
Lessons Learned: Sony Falls from Market Dominance - Loss of Focus Causes Poor Decision Making
Lessons Learned: What Can We Learn From Yum Brands’ Success?
Listening: An Important Skill for Successful Strategic Planning
Made the “Nifty Fifty” New Product List and Fought to Make a Dime - Lessons Learned in Protecting Intellectual Property and Partnerships
Manufacturing Companies Gain Flexibility through 3-D Printing
March to a Different Drummer - Part 3
March to a Different Drummer - Part Four
March to a Different Drummer - Part One
March to a Different Drummer - Part Two
Mistakes Happened - But Did You Learn From Them?
New Year’s Resolutions:  What resolutions have you chosen?
Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Strategic Planning Efforts Lack a Systematic Approach
Overcoming Strategic Gaps--an Optics Design Case
Playing to Win
Re-invigorating Strategic Initiatives - How to keep moving forward
Setting the Tone from the Top: Safety and Operational Excellence
Silo Mentality Causes Conflict in an Organization - Can Strategic Planning Help?
Social Media and Strategic Planning
Sometimes a Road Less Traveled is Best
Sony: Results are in – Sony’s Strategy Results in Record Profit
Strategic Alignment: Why Isn't Everyone on the Same Page?
Strategic Planning: A Time for Reflection
Strategic Planning: Are Your Decisions Based on Facts or Opinions?
Strategic Planning: What Did You Learn? How One Company Went Off Course
Strategic Planning: What is the Board's Role?
Strategic Planning: When Can Goals Be Bad?
Strategic Planning: When Good Goals Go Bad
Strategy Bits
Strategy Bits - Part 1: Customer Concentration and Market Segment Analysis
Strategy Bits – Part 2. Innovation: Where to look for it
Strategy Bits-Part 4: Your market is shrinking; Can you find a new market for your product/service?
Strategy Bits–Part 3: Market Feedback-Key to Identifying Growth Opportunities
Strategy Planning Is Messy
Strategy: Turning Trash into Treasure
Success Sows the Seeds of Failure - Toyota’s Complacency Causes Reputation to Crash
Succession Planning - Important Items to Consider
Technology and Labor Trends – Can this Combination Generate Opportunities for Your Business?
Ten Reasons for Strategic Planning How to Make a CEO's Life Easier
The Importance of Scenarios when Dealing with Uncertainty
Three Action Plan Mistakes Strategic Planning Teams Make and How to Avoid Them
Three Keys to Recovery Success:Re-focus Your Efforts to Outperform Your Competition
Time to Set Goals for 2016 and Beyond: What Can We Learn from VW?
Turn Your Threats into Opportunities
Understand What Differentiates your Company in the Market
Use the Recession to Trigger Rejuvenation: Develop a Strategy to Revitalize your Company
WD-40 Finds Growth for 50 Year-old Product
What Changes Impact Your Bottom Line? Hint: There Is More To Pricing Than Meets the Eye
What Happens When the Host Country Environment Changes? A Tale of Currency Devaluation You Have Successfully Outsourced - Part One
What Happens When the Host Country Environment Changes? A Tale of Currency Devaluation You Have Successfully Outsourced - Part Two
What is your Twenty-Mile March?
What Went Wrong with Apple Maps? What Can We Learn from these Mistakes?
When is Gaining Market Share a Bad Idea? 
When Is It Strategic to Say No to New Business? When can higher volume lead to lower long-term profitability?
Winning Companies Focus on Winning Customers
Xerox Positions Itself to Succeed in the 21st Century - What You Need to Do to Ensure Your Company Does Not Become Obsolete
You are #1 in your Core Markets - Now, How Do You Grow?