Value Stream 1 Engaged People

Continually improving our continuous improvement process

Empowering employees to make daily improvements
Wednesday, Oct. 26 Location Code
9:45am-10:45am Dallas Ballroom A, 1st floor WP/19

Hear how Uponor implemented a visual employee idea system (CI process), an improvement over its previous suggestion box and informal means of implementing ideas.  Learn how to increase employee engagement by providing daily support.


Hear how in 2014, with new leadership in lean, Uponor held a kaizen to improve the CI system with formal recognition, increased support and enhancement to the CI process. In 2013, CIs almost doubled to 348 implemented ideas. In 2015, CIs were part of the employees yearly goal which yielded 831 implemented ideas. Learn how another kaizen was held early in 2016 to improve and simplify the CI process, which ended in a complete redesign of the board, card and process. Uponor is on pace to implement over 1300 ideas this year. Discover some of the key factors along the way that have helped increase the engagement such as simplified process, added support team (meets daily at a different board), many forms of recognition including gift cards and simple thank yous by management, and defined CI measurements for yearly goals.


Uponor is an international market leader, striving to provide better plumbing, indoor climate and infrastructure solutions across Europe, North America and other international markets. In close partnership with building industry professionals, it is continuously seeking out innovative ways to ensure its systems offer the most efficient, reliable and high-performing solutions available to residential and commercial structures around the globe.

Presenter: Brad Graetz

Brad Graetz has been directly implementing lean for 16 years, starting as a manufacturing engineer for Hearth & Home, a Shingo Award recipient in 2005. He has been a key leader in progressing a variety of manufacturers down a lean journey path towards world class. Most recently, as a lean manager at Uponor, Graetz has developed a strategic path including a lean model, lean assessment and an identified best practice employee idea system that empowers employees to make change on a daily basis.