Leading Change in Manufacturing: Mel Zehnpfennig of Dynamic Improvement Group

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-21-23
In this episode of “People Solve Problems,” Jamie Flinchbaugh engages in an enlightening conversation with Mel Zehnpfennig, Managing Partner at Dynamic Improvement Group. With a wealth of experience spanning over two decades in lean manufacturing, Mel shares his approach to tackling complex problems in various industries, from automotive to more diverse sectors like pet toys and kitchen cabinets. Central to the discussion is Mel’s two-phase approach to problem-solving. He first focuses on comprehensively understanding the problem from the client’s perspective. This foundational step ensures that both he and his clients are on the same page. Following this, Mel emphasizes the importance of assembling a diverse, cross-functional team that includes key stakeholders like plant managers and operators. This inclusive team composition is crucial for accurately identifying problems and devising effective solutions. Mel also addresses the strategy of managing multiple problems concurrently. He advocates for prioritizing issues based on their impact and the effort required for resolution, underscoring the significance of quick wins in building team confidence and maintaining momentum. The conversation shifts to the evolution of manufacturing over the past years, where Mel points out the increasing importance of data in problem-solving. He highlights how historical data is instrumental in establishing baselines and uncovering root causes, marking a shift from traditional methods. For more information on Mel Zehnpfennig’s work and his innovative approaches to problem-solving in manufacturing, you can visit the Dynamic Improvement Group website. Additionally, to connect with Mel and follow his professional insights, his LinkedIn profile is available here.