LEAN Coordinator & Analyst Manufacturing
"Manufacturing is a hands-on experience. I can't identify hidden potential, problems, and waste without being directly on site. Manufacturing challenges me to see things from another person's angle, think "outside of the box", and allows individuals to create incredible ideas which will bring the greatest possible success for the company."
Lena’s deep technical knowledge, combined with the leadership skills she demonstrated during her previous role, made her an easy choice for the Lean Coordinator at Kennametal’s Nabburg Steel plant in Germany, where she became directly responsible for overseeing and implementing operating efficiencies. She leveraged her teambuilding skills to involve the right stakeholders, gain their buy in, and work together to update processes and procedures. Today, she is on track to save an additional $1.5 million this fiscal year.
Lena puts her expertise to work to help others become well-versed in Lean manufacturing. Her leadership and mentoring of others has resulted in surpassing the Green Belt percentage originally set for her plant. Lena is often invited to other plants in the region and asked to participate in functions outside of manufacturing to educate others on Lean principles, as well as provide guidance on projects. Lena’s newest application for mentoring is the implementation of KATA Coaching to help leaders generate ideas in a “bottom up,” collaborative fashion rather than a “top down” approach.
Lena has been elected as the Youth Representative for Kennametal’s plants in Germany, serving as a conduit between the company and the apprenticeship program. She is passionate about building the talent pipeline and feels strongly that being accessible to more junior team members helps them to develop professionally. Lena is also working with local universities to help them introduce more Lean concepts into their curriculum, including volunteering her time to teach other university students in order to create a Lean learning culture from the beginning.