All posts by Martine Loevaas

LCI – Recapping the Year

2016-2017 has been an improvement year for the student organization, Leaders in Continuous Improvement (LCI). In the past year, we have doubled our membership, rebuilt the organization from scratch, and found new and fun ways to run our general meetings. The organization has become very organized, and both the e-board and general members have been given many fresh opportunities.

In the fall of 2016, we started with a very successful K-day, and the E-board worked to spread the knowledge of continuous improvement to students attending the event. We drew students in by offers of candy and stadium cups before they gave our Lego 5S game a shot. It was very favorable with the students and a large portion of them showed up to our first general meeting of the year to begin their continuous improvement journey.


The semester continued with fun general meetings where we focused on activities connected to various topics such as 5S, fishbone diagrams, process mapping, etc. Our members enjoyed the activities and had a good learning experience during the meetings. A question we asked ourselves before going into the fall semester was “When companies come to us with recommendations, how do we know what member is the best one?” The e-board worked together for a couple of weeks and came up with a level system. Every member walking through the doors to our meeting is level 1, and when they want to move up, they have to attend general meetings, Gemba walks, guest speakers, etc. to earn points. Our highest level is 3, and that is our members with the most knowledge and participation in our organization. As an E-board, we want to have members at all levels, but we do encourage members to move up as well. For example, one benefit you get if you move up to level 2 is a career fair flag to put under your nametag. This was a huge hit during Career Fair in both the fall and the spring and many of our members got interviews because of this. The organization will always want to improve so we will see what is in store next semester.


In both the spring and the fall we had Gemba walks and industry trips for our members to attend and to see lean in practice in the industry. In the fall we went to the Michigan Tech Library, BOSS snowplow in Iron Mountain, and Pettibone in Baraga. In the spring, we went to The Muffler Shop, Quincy Woodwrights, and our bigger industry trip, Parker Hannifin. These industry trips were beneficial to our members as they get to see how various companies embrace lean and continuous improvement, as well as the added benefits of practicing lean.


Next year, the E-board is planning great things for LCI and one of our goals is to get more students excited about Lean and continuous improvement. Have a great summer, Huskies!

Welcome, Stephen Butina!

New to the team here in the Office of Continuous Improvement is Stephen. He will be joining our other student PICs: Aspen, Martine, and Rylie, and will also be expanding his horizon one Lean concept at a time. Stephen jumped right into things about two weeks ago, and we are already being shown promising things from his work ethic and kind nature. We are excited to teach yet another student, better yet, another person about the ways of Lean. Stephen is now going to give you an introduction to who he is.

Hello Everyone!

My name is Stephen Butina and I have recently been given the opportunity in becoming a Student Process Improvement Coordinator here in the Office of Continuous Improvement.

I was born and raised in Upper Michigan and graduated from Jeffers High School with the class of 2014. I spent my first two years of college studying business administration at Gogebic Community College. After finishing my associate’s degree, I transferred to Michigan Tech where I am now currently working towards my bachelor’s degree in business management. Having grown up in a small community, it has proven to be wonderful to be able to stay close to my family and friends, while also expanding my knowledge at such a remarkable institution.

Being able to become flexible and knowledgeable through different working/learning experiences has truly expanded my knowledge and understanding of what goes into running a business. In my first two weeks on the job, I have merely scraped the surface of what Lean and Continuous Improvement represents and stands for, and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to not only learn about the Lean culture, but to also work with our team here in the Office of Continuous Improvement.


We are just as excited to have the opportunity to work with Stephen and to watch his growth through Lean and of yourself.



Stephen 4

Leaders in Continuous Improvement: Gemba Walks

About a year ago, Leaders in Continuous Improvement (LCI) had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Parker-Hannifin facility in Manitowoc county, and five of our members got to experience their implementation of Lean and continuous improvement. This year, LCI has had a great year and our membership has grown tremendously, and on April 15th we will be going back to the Parker-Hannifin facility with 10 enthusiastic members. Our members have learned about Lean through our hands on gemba walks with the Muffler Shop, Pettibone and Systems Control. Members have also helped advance the interest in Lean and continuous improvement on the Michigan Tech campus. Going over topics such as 5S, root cause analysis, visual management, kanbans, waste, and process mapping at the Parker-Hannifin facility increased our members’ knowledge, allowing them to then share with other students on campus.

We would like to thank Parker-Hannifin again for hosting us and we look forward to deepening our relationship over the years to come.