Jim Rainbolt

Jim Rainbolt is an FTE Senior Advisor and change leader with 43 years experience implementing continuous improvement with a large automotive OEM. He has experience in manufacturing, engineering, design, program management and research & development and is skilled at working with multi-functional teams.

Notable experience and accomplishments:

  • Developed and implemented a global common engineering change management system at a major OEM, which replaced three change management systems and resulted in improved launch quality and reduced training, IT, and management overhead costs
  • Designed and facilitated a methodology that enabled senior executive leadership at three major automotive OEMs to jointly identify and pursue areas of pre-competitive research that resulted in reduced costs and accelerated results
  • Simultaneously coached a number of multi-company teams to improve existing industry benchmarking activities encompassing multiple vehicle technologies, and to initiate new benchmarks, expanding beyond the initial area of engines/transmissions to include hybrid, battery electric, and hydrogen propulsion systems
  • Conducted an analysis of a novel go-fast engineering process used to develop a successful new vehicle technology and identified key success factors that were subsequently deployed in new product development programs
  • Designed and facilitated a number of workshops to identify and assess the value of new product innovations, including rear vision camera and trailering assist technologies, resulting in significant gains in intellectual property
  • Designed and managed the first crowd sourcing experiment a major OEM to assess the value of current and proposed product features. Results and lessons learned have been used to seed additional efforts to value potential R&D investments

Prior to consulting, Jim spent 35 years at General Motors with positions in Manufacturing Engineering, Manufacturing Quality, Product Program Management, Internal Business Consulting, and Research & Development. Jim also spent 8 years at Electronic Data Systems managing assembly plant floor systems and as an account manager with P&L responsibility for a $7M business. While at GM, Jim also provided business and technical support to USCAR (United States Council for Automotive Research), an LLC jointly owned by GM, Ford, and FCA. In this role he worked closely with executive leadership at the three owner companies as well the United States Department of Energy, and national labs to conduct pre-competitive research in a number of auto related technologies.

Jim has an MBA from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from General Motors Institute. He is also a holder of multiple patents in the area of autonomous driving user experience.