Phillip Coles has an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Science, an M.B.A. in supply chain management from Lehigh University and an M.S. in applied economics and management from Cornell University.
In addition to his formal education, he also studied lean and continuous improvement at The Kaizen Institute, the Manufacturer's Resource Center and the Toyota Supplier Support Center.
Before joining Lehigh, Professor Coles taught various business courses at Pennsylvania State University, Syracuse University, Alvernia University, and Cornell University Summer College. He has over 30 years of industry experience, including serving as vice president of strategic management, project manager and Kaizen facilitator in charge of the continuous improvement program at a multi-million dollar produce company. In this role, he was able to visit several leading manufacturing companies such as Dell Computer and Toyota Motor Company to learn about their supply chains.
He also runs a consulting firm where he has assisted companies to increase efficiencies through improved plant layouts and balancing of assembly lines, in addition to aiding green-fields startups and company expansions.
Professor Coles has been quoted in a number of leading business and finance media outlets including The Associated Press, US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and WFMZ-TV. Aside from technical journals, he also published in national outlets and trade journals such as The Wall Street Journal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Supply Chain Management Review, as well as refereed journals in the agricultural sciences, business and economics. Professor Coles also has articles in plant pathology, compost and entomological journals and is a columnist for Discourse Magazine.