What Drives Us

The motivation behind everything we do at Kent Elastomer is continuous improvement. For us, continuous improvement means we’re willing to question everything – every aspect of our processes and jobs. Are we doing it the best way we can? If not, how can we improve?

Our biggest tool to accomplish continuous improvement is Lean manufacturing practices. All team members are given Lean training within the first six months after being hired. This gives everyone the chance to have a voice in improving any of our processes and procedures, as well as their own job. Our teams have held over 800 continuous improvement events! During these events, known as Kaizens, we come together to identify areas of improvement and problem solve.

Continuous improvement creates an environment that allows our team members to thrive in their roles and contribute to KEP’s success at a higher level. There is also personal fulfillment that comes from practicing continuous improvement – especially when it’s done to help us manufacture products like life-saving medical equipment!

We Skip the Red Tape

From our focus on continuous improvement flows several other values that drive our teams, including teamwork, open and honest communication, accountability, creativity and responsive leadership. What all of these values have in common is they require no barriers between departments.

At KEP, we don’t have “red tape.” All of our team members are encouraged to discuss anything that would make us better – and they can approach anyone at any time with their insights and ideas, from the shop floor to the President’s office. This also allows us to adjust to changes quickly and effectively.

Personal & Professional Development

We encourage team members who show promise and interest to pursue leadership roles within our company. We know that the best leaders are the ones who have experience on the shop floor – which is exactly where our President started out, too! This also provides value to our customers by ensuring that leadership has hands-on experience in our facilities and is familiar with all facets of our company.

We use a Predictive Index as a communication tool and to open up opportunities for people to say what they want to achieve. For our team members who have identified specific personal and professional goals, our team leads work with them to make sure they are on track to meet those goals, as well as provide assistance in whatever ways they can. If pursuing higher education would help a team member level up to a leadership role or further develop their strengths, we are happy to work with them to fund their undergraduate or Master’s degree.

For shift leaders, supervisors and other leadership roles, we also provide formal leadership training to help team members learn the skills necessary to thrive in their new role. This off-site training program continues for a couple of days a week for three weeks.

Making a Greater Impact

We know that the result of our hard work and focus on continuous improvement is high quality products and services for our clients – but we also recognize that our impact extends beyond what we manufacture. We also aim to be good stewards of our natural resources and give back to the communities we are part of.

We push to do more with less by focusing on energy saving initiatives and environmental sustainability. This has led to us receiving Ohio EPA’s E3 award for exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship.

Additionally, supporting the local community is a big part of our culture at KEP. Our team members participate in volunteer days, fundraisers, and other events that help our community. We recently helped a local non-profit by applying our Lean manufacturing practices to streamline their processes and maximize their use of space. “Doing good” also stretches beyond the work day for our team members – who do everything from serving on school boards to hosting raffles, youth groups, coaching youth sports and more.

Join Our Team

Looking to kick start or grow your career in manufacturing? If our culture seems like it would be a good fit for you, we encourage you to learn more about our careers at KEP!

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PO Box 668
Kent, OH 44240



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