The Importance of Lean Thinking with Jd Marhevko

December 8, 2021

by Cj Pettus

JD Marhevko

Lean thinking has made a big impact on Lean Manufacturing instructor Jd Marhevko’s career.

Lean thinking is essential in manufacturing, and Nexus instructor Jd Marhevko knows it. As evidenced by her honors and awards, Jd is a powerful force. In 2021, she became the fifth American to receive the Women in Industry and Academia award from the IEOM Society. She was inducted into the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2020.

The Importance of Lean Thinking

A professional who goes above and beyond in her career, Jd credits her success to her commitment to continuous improvement and Lean thinking. Jd believes that Lean thinking is important for two reasons:

“The first is a personal reason. Nobody takes care of you but you. Lean thinking helps you demonstrate the value that you can bring to the business that you’re in. By proving that you’re helping to improve upon processes and impact the bottom line, the company usually wants more from you...I call that demonstrating your relevance...The second part is simply to just help make a difference. If you’re not able to help the company, or don’t see how you can help the company, the company itself may lose its own position, adversely affecting both you and your team members. This can also impact the local communities that the business sustains.”

This belief has propelled Jd through a successful career. In the past few years, Jd led teams that took manufacturing plants from bankruptcy to Best in Class in the world—across multiple types of plants. And she has the tools to achieve such an accomplishment thanks to her continuous improvement knowledge. By taking those plants through Lean journeys, these teams were able to completely reverse their courses for the better.

Sharing Her Expertise

However, Jd doesn’t limit her continuous improvement expertise to the industry. One of her pursuits off of the factory floor is teaching professionals how to bring Lean methodology to their companies through the Nexus Lean Manufacturing certificate course. The certificate course offers participants a chance to learn from Jd and other industry and faculty manufacturing experts from the University of Michigan. As part of that team, Jd helps to equip manufacturing professionals with the skills to enhance productivity and increase customer satisfaction.

But Jd likes to connect beyond the two-week course. Not only does she enjoy interacting with participants as an instructor, she likes to stay in touch after the classroom sessions end. She appreciates that the Lean Manufacturing course offers an opportunity for instructors and participants to continue to learn from one another.

Jd says, “I am interconnected with a lot of professionals on LinkedIn. Some of them connect through these courses. It’s been fun, and it works both ways. If I know somebody that needs help in a certain industry, I can put a blast out there and say ‘so-and-so is looking for an opportunity,’ or ‘this team has a job opportunity for someone.’”

Course participants appreciate Jd’s willingness to foster new connections in the manufacturing sphere. Her wealth of continuous improvement experience is an invaluable resource both in and outside of the classroom. Register for an upcoming Lean Manufacturing offering and learn about the importance of Lean thinking in manufacturing from Jd’s perspective.

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