Sharing Some Lean Journey Lessons

We know if a company says Lean is easy, they’re not doing it right. Lean improvements are tough and difficult to sustain, nevertheless we are dedicated to sustaining them in our facilities and always looking for new ways to improve. Under our President Bob Oborn’s leadership, our team maintains, sustains and continues to improve our processes and our products.

The benefit to our customers is a high-quality product, every time, that’s competitively priced and has short lead times.

Bob continues to find new and innovative ways to address Lean improvements and provides all of the employees at KEP the platform to contribute as well—through regular use of Kaizen, 6S, Micro-Kaizen, and “Stand in a Circle” events, our best minds at all of our different facilities address and find ways to get better for our customers.

Bob’s best day at work? “When employees make a breakthrough in a continuous improvement event that makes the customer happier,” he said.

Throughout our Lean improvement journey, we’ve taken many opportunities to talk to others about our successes, but also our failures, and help share the knowledge we’ve gained since 2006. It’s been over a decade since we made our company-wide decision and commitment to training and becoming certified in Lean Mastery. Through the years we’ve learned that a mistake not corrected is simply a mistake, but a mistake that is corrected is a lesson. Although we like to share our lessons through speaking engagements, tours and other events, we’ve done a lot more than just talk about our own journey. We’ve also passed on some of our lessons to our customers and helped contribute to their own Lean improvements.

One Lean Success Story

A few years ago we put a team together to solve issues for one of our largest customers, a global medical device manufacturer. The company had issues with sticky pallets and torn shrink-wrap, high pallet costs and boxes stacked in a way that led to problems with the flow of their inventory.

We do more than manufacture great products, we ensure that it gets to you in the most efficient way and that costs that can be avoided are, in fact, avoided. Our team went to work and examined our customer’s situation.  We took the time to understand the company’s inventory flow and found a way to more efficiently stack pallets which lead to a time and money savings.

Want to know the specifics about how we helped? Give us a call, then discuss with us what your current concerns or needs are. We don’t run from a challenge—Just ask KEP!

—John Danes, Vice President of Operations

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