Ellen Fulcher
Quality Manager
Caterpillar Inc.

“A strong manufacturing base enables progress and achievement. By adding value to the goods we produce, we add value to our society. This brings opportunities and resources to our communities, and our people gain capability of providing for their families. Through these benefits manufacturing impacts both our present and future.”

Ellen has been with Caterpillar for more than 29 years and currently serves as Quality Manager, bringing a breadth of knowledge to the company. Through her leadership and the “Built in Quality” program rollout, her team achieved best-ever quality levels for products produced at Caterpillar’s Aurora facility—which has been a game changer for internal operations and customers.

She has served Caterpillar in multiple capacities including as Manufacturing Engineer, Supply Chain Manager, and a facilitator for the company’s Breakthrough Leadership for Men and Women classes. Her leadership has spurred an array of impactful outcomes including the successful implementation of a new paint technology and the development and deployment of the Aurora plant’s first metal working fluid management program. Ellen was integral to the deployment of the Caterpillar Production System (CPS), as well as the roll-out of an internal quality certification program. As Supply Chain Manager, she led her team’s efforts on lead time reduction, which resulted in more than $8 million dollars in reduced inventory.

As a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Ellen taught Six Sigma classes to hundreds of new Black Belts at Caterpillar and individually coached several others. She is currently leading the facility's “Prepare Our People” portfolio which has been recognized for its best-in-class career development processes. She is passionate about mentoring, with a specific interest in helping women and minority team members. Ellen is focused on providing Caterpillar employees with training and certifications that will prepare them for careers in the industry, such as taking advantage of classes available through the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS).

Ellen has taught education class at her church parish, has been involved with the Aurora facility’s United Way campaign, and has served on boards for Junior Achievement for the Western Suburbs of Chicago and the Youth Services Bureau of Illinois Valley. By mentoring high schoolers from the Austin Polytechnic High School in Chicago, she helped students develop skills and prepare for college.   

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