Singles will Drive your Lean Gains- W Machine Uses Small Wins to Drive Employee Engagement

It’s baseball season.  At least for now in the COVID era.  While we all think we need to hit home runs on the Lean journey- you don’t.  Hear how W Machine Works used small wins to drive their employee engagement!

This week on American Lean Weekday, I interview W Machine works who have been on a continuous improvement journey since 2005.

One of the key elements on my American Lean Weekday podcast is the weekly interviews that I conduct with companies on their Lean Journey.  These companies are from various industries and are all different sizes.  I have interviewed leaders from family-owned businesses to multi-national organizations.  This podcast can be found here.  This is episode fifteen on the American Lean Weekday podcast.

W Machine Works is a machine shop located in San Fernando Valley, California.  They primarily support the Aerospace and Defense industry.  Established in 1978 starting with one mill and one lathe, they have grown into a new 27,000 square foot facility with 60 employees.  Since receiving negative feedback from a key customer in 2005, they have been on a continuous improvement journey ever since to become a Supplier of Choice for the industry.


These are some key points taken from my interview with the President of W Machine Works, Marzel Neckien.

  1. While conducting a facility tour with a customer in 2005, the customer provided feedback that “we weren’t laid out correctly. We weren’t following Lean practices and that we needed to begin a continuous improvement  journey.”
  2. Some of the key struggles in their continuous improvement journey include “taking time for the improvements, completing open items and sustaining improvements.”
  3. Some of the biggest successes have been “Putting the processes in place to support unattended machining on the second shift. We have 10 machines running unattended on the second shift and that has enabled increased growth.”
  4. “It has been great to see employees embrace taking on tasks and achieving great things together.”
  5. “Got to have small wins, small wins drove employee engagement.  Let employees see that it will work, and it will avalanche and get bigger.”
  6. My advice is to find a consultant that you can trust, they will hold you accountable and you will have greater results.”

As always, it is an honor to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!

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