Advanced Process Optimization

Our Story

Advanced Process Optimization was started in 2009 by Jason Merschat. Jason was a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Electro-mechanical Engineering and wrapping up his MBA from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business when he committed to creating his consultancy. After spending a year with IBM – Business Analytics and Optimization group he set off to build APO. 

APO’s first clients were specialized – Aerospace Manufacturing, Firearms Manufacturing, and Military and a Nuclear Testing laboratory. All three required very different methods: The Aerospace Manufacturing client required complex problem solving using Six Sigma, the Firearms plant was a greenfield and was designed using Simulation Modeling, then the Testing Lab required a Lean Transformation. These early engagements set the future path for the next several years for Jason and APO.

Building on this early success Jason set out to expand services by offering problem-solving and project management training. Jason is both a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Project Management Professional. This approach laid the groundwork to expand the Team and offer more specialized and project-driven training to clients that continues to this day.

Today Jason has gained extensive experience in Private Equity and organizational leadership by serving as COO of SixAxis, LLC. By architecting and executing the value creation plan for the business operations, SixAxis was able to have a successful exit and continued success. Jason also helmed PE-Backed Heartland Steel Products as CEO. This executive leadership and Private Equity experience has opened a new chapter for APO in Value Creation, Due Diligence, and Operational Excellence Transformation services for the Private Equity community.

Advanced Process Optimization is headquartered in the lowcountry of South Carolina in Pawleys Island

Our Mission

The Mission of APO is simple: Build better companies, stronger teams, and deeper profits. Integrity matters and trust is paramount. Our only goal is to add value to your company.

Rob Riazzi in the mill
Jason AIST Simulation Demo

Our Team

Jason Merschat

Founder and Principal Consultant

Jason Merschat is an entrepreneur, strategist, and operations expert. With a career that starts blue collar from plumbing and working in the steel mills of Pittsburgh to c-suite executive leading multisite manufacturers to record growth and profits. Jason holds a BS in Engineering from Penn State and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon – Tepper School of Business. Jason is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt who has trained hundreds of students and led as many or more kaizens. Jason takes pride in leadership development and cultural improvement while creating  massive value for his clients

Rob Riazzi

Consultant and Trainer

Rob Riazzi

Rob Riazzi is an experienced Project Manager and Engineer having managed and engineered complex and successful projects for Carnegie Robotics LLC, Carnegie Mellon University – National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), Impact Technologies, LLC . Rob currently brings his talent to manage projects for APO and train professionals in project management and Lean Six Sigma. Rob is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and a LSSBB. Rob holds a M.S. Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Client Testimonials

“Jason is a highly analytical and professional solutions provider. While working at Timken Jason was able to quickly grasp and assimilate a huge amount of information and synthesize this to drive informed decision making on key issue impacting our business.”
Paul Tritman, Director of Operations
Timken Aerospace
“I just wanted to take a few moments to let you know how much I enjoyed the presentation yesterday afternoon. Very informative. By far it was the most relatable presentation to the [LEAN] system of management that I have been through. The hands on exercises that you employed and your ability to relate to “everyone” in the room speaks volumes to why you are successful at what you do. … Thanks again.”
Tim Morris, Quality Manager
"Jason has been and is a great resource to our company. Jason continues to look out for our company’s best interests and goes the extra mile on every task. Jason has high integrity and professionalism, and we look forward to our continued work together."
PROOF Research Logo
KK Jense, Founder & President
PROOF Research
“Jason provided his services to New Horizons in the form of a sub-contracted instructor, teaching Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt classes. I was immediately struck by his unique ability to balance conveying large amounts of detailed information to a varied audience in a manner, easy to understand, interesting to listen to and taught in a manner that is easily retained. Jason’s knowledge in the Six Sigma arena, combined with his vast and extensive industry knowledge proved to be a highly successful combination to create not only certified students, but knowledgeable students.

The amount of positive feedback that flowed from my students was remarkable. They appreciated his support before, during and after the classes. It was evident that Jason judges his success on his ability to make others successful. He accomplished that with ease.”
New Horizons Computer Learning Center
Karen Shramm, Education Consultant
New Horizons Computer Learning Center
“APO was hired to perform a complete analysis of the production process and develop future key projects that involved, employee job function changes, prompting SMED and other 6S events focused Veka on the Value Added steps in our process, and T’ed up projects that help to minimize and/or eliminate the non-value added waste that was exposed in our processes.

The training, benchmarking and hands on Leadership provided by APO, have helped our company begin the continuous improvement journey.”
Ron Salkeld, Director of Continuous Improvement
“Advanced Process Optimization under the direct leadership of Jason Merschat, provided the expertise to resolve a long-standing quality issue for my plant. Within six months, Jason and his team determined root cause, resolved the issues, established best practice processes, and fully trained engineers, leaders, and associates. His work resulted in a net positive ROI of over $200,000, improved delivery performance by 10% on select products, and placed my plant in good standing with key customers including General Motors. On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Jason. He has the unique ability to apply complex problem-solving methodologies on the shop floor in a way that engages people and gets results.”
GGB by Timken
Dan Maroun, Plant Manager

It's not our first rodeo.

At APO, we pride ourselves on having experience at all levels of an organization. Whether on the shop floor or the top floor, we have been in positions where we have both been led and led others. This unique perspective has given us valuable insights into what it takes to motivate and drive improvements within your organization. With our expertise, we can help you take your business to the next level.