Value Stream 6 Achieving Business Results

Building a people-centric culture

Achieving business success
Thursday, Oct. 27 Location Code
10:45am-11:45am Dallas Ballroom D, 1st floor ThP/48

Discover how Centek’s employees have become active in the lean journey. Hear how, with an engaged workforce, the company believes that its employees are the best speakers to this change.


Centek has enjoyed great success after opening its doors four years ago. Hear how it started with a proven model of manufacturing and how the management team agreed to start operations with a people-centric culture of change and lean thinking. From hiring to training, the intent was to develop a team of empowered employees. Learn how starting with a value stream map, projects were created to bring the plant to a future map with a true pull system. Hear how employees were actively involved from organizing their areas utilizing full-size shadows of machines to suggesting alternative processes. This resulted in changes to documentation such as standard work and kanban cards. The results of employee engagement have led to over 95 percent perfect attendance and over two years with zero backorder. Lead time has improved from four weeks to just over ten hours, while employees have suggested over 1,500 ideas in two years with a 95 percent implementation rate.


Centek manufactures innovative oilfield drilling centralizers and started operations in Oklahoma City in 2012. It provides its customers with peace of mind through exceptional service and quality, helping America achieve energy independence. At the heart of Centek’s success is its culture. The company’s pursuit of excellence drives its continuous improvement philosophy, and its training, education and development of employees. Centek is the recipient of various awards including Daily Oklahoman Top Places to Work, Metro 50 Fastest Growing and Oklahoma Governor's Manufacturing Leadership Award.

Presenters: Damon Swift / Jerry Hamon / Charlie Brown

Damon Swift is manager of quality and continuous improvement at Centek. He has over 25 years of experience in quality and CI. An advocate of employee involvement, Swift has facilitated tremendous improvements by guiding employees through problem-solving steps, and cultivating a culture of CI. His main focus is on mentoring others so they can lead in CI efforts.

Jerry Hamon is a production technician in the powder coat line at Centek. He has 11 years’ experience in manufacturing and 10 years in construction. A diverse background with some experience in paint and body led the management team to bring him in for the powder coat process.

Charlie Brown is a maintenance technician with Centek. He has worked within 80 percent of the areas on the manufacturing floor. He has eight years’ experience in manufacturing and four years in industry.