The true power of continuous improvement

How 200 jobs were saved through purpose-driven, employee-led change


Practitioner Presentation
Wednesday, Oct. 31 Location Code
11:00am-12:00pm Grand Hall C, Lobby level WS/28



Discover how, through careful, focused, employee-led continuous improvement efforts, a large facility was saved and reached unprecedented, sustained levels of productivity. Gain insights into how the team was able to fully engage and empower the workforce in continuous improvement.


Hear how, three years after opening its doors, an industrial plant was headed for disaster. Productivity and morale had reach an all-time low, and previous efforts to improve performance failed to yield sustainable results. A final attempt was initiated with a focus on empowering the workforce to improve the conditions, the outcome of which would determine the fate of the facility and its hundreds of employees. Learn about the principles and process used to harness the true power of employee-driven continuous improvement, and the resulting impact.


WestRock partners with customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Presenter: Jess Orr

Jess Orr is a performance excellence systems practitioner at WestRock, located in Winston-Salem, NC. She has 10+ years of experience of applying continuous improvement, lean, and six sigma methods in a variety of industries, including Toyota in Georgetown, KY. Orr is master black belt trained, and holds a BSc in mechanical engineering with a minor in math from Virginia Tech. She is also the founder of Yokoten Learning, a platform for sharing continuous improvement lessons and best practices.