Our Team Culture at KEP - Kent Elastomer Products

Our Team Culture

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 that are used on life-saving medical equipment!

We Skip the Barriers

From our focus on continuous improvement flows several other values that drive our teams. These values are teamwork, open and honest communication, accountability, creativity and responsive leadership.

What all of these have in common is they create no barriers between internal departments, which results in the ease of doing business between KEP and our customers.

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 allows us to adjust to changes quickly and effectively in order to meet high customer expectations.

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 leverage a talent optimization platform called The Predictive Index to help us not only hire the right talent, but also build high-performing teams, measure team member engagement, and inspire team members to identify and achieve new goals. 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.

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 is hosted by LeaderSHIFT, Inc. and held at the University of Akron for a couple of days per 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

Build your experience, identify your goals, and expand your credentials at KEP. Our deep-rooted belief in continuous improvement has shown us that any investment we put into our team members is an investment returned ten-fold. Our team members have been the backbone of our growth and success over the last 60+ years – it’s important that we help them grow, too.

Think our company culture is the perfect fit for you? Grow your career in manufacturing at one of northeast Ohio’s most successful manufacturers. Learn more about KEP careers and apply today >

Related Articles

Polyisoprene: Misunderstood Alternative to Natural Rubber

People often think “natural” means safe and "synthetic” somehow means dangerous – but that’s not always the case. After all, both arsenic and mercury occur naturally and can be quite deadly while man-made vaccines save countless lives. This kind of misconception has...

read more

Natural Rubber Latex: A Beginner’s Guide

Rubber is like the superhero of the elastomer world. You encounter it every day in common products like car tires, shoe outsoles and garden hoses – but you’d never guess its secret identity! Is it man-made? Is it from another planet? Is it trying to save the world...

read more

February 2024 Anniversaries

As February is the month to celebrate love and affection, we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to our wonderful employees on their KEP work anniversaries! Each team member brings unique skills and talents to our company – and we couldn’t do what we do without them....

read more

Talk with KEP

We're accessible any way you want.

PO Box 668
Kent, OH 44240



KEP Customized Tubing Solutions

We love a challenge.

What's yours?

Optimize efficiency?
Build a prototype?
Improve product or customer service?

Let's make it happen!