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Now we'll provide the solutions.

MEDP Introduces

NEXT: Strategic Solutions for 

Advanced Manufacturing


The key to forming successful strategies in manufacturing is asking the right questions: What are the next steps for you and your company? What does your ROI look like as industry trends rapidly change and workforce challenges are top of mind? How do you leverage your current momentum and breathe new life into your business plan?

Leaders in the manufacturing space are tasked with these questions in addition to growing opportunities and challenges in the field. As a response, we've created NEXT: Strategic Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing. This new focus driven series will reveal proven tactics, such as how to:

  • Utilize existing resources to reach your full potential in operational excellence.
  • Gain insight over your competitors. 
  • Take a critical eye to your current process in the search for continuous improvement. 

We are proud to feature experts who will dive into the most progressive approaches to performance improvement, leveraging people, and attracting and retaining top talent. Our 2017 focus is targeted at the unique challenges and opportunities facing our regional manufacturers and business leaders.



Gary Conner is a Senior Consultant at the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) who specializes in Lean manufacturing training. Gary has written multiple award winning books on lean manufacturing principles and has won the Shingo Prize twice: once in 2002, and again in 2015 for his book 'Lean Epiphanies.'


Shawn Busse is the CEO of Kinesis, Inc., a marketing firm and Lighthouse Award winner (1 of Portland’s 100 fastest-growing companies, 5 years in a row) named one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America. Shawn helps SMBs connect marketing, HR, finance, and employee engagement to improved company performance.


NEXT is a four session series; each topic tackles a current challenge that advanced manufacturers face. From employee retention to continuous improvement, each discussion will reveal new strategies, and build on previous sessions to present comprehensive solutions.


This session will define the critical steps necessary in preparing your team for an operational excellence transformation. Besides understanding how to use the many techniques in the ‘lean toolbox,' there is a significant need to create a unified and communicated vision. The stresses of change on the system and on team members will also be addressed. This session will provide time tested tools to overcome the challenges of static organizational inertia and the effects of change. 

We will give you the practical steps and information about: 

  • Fostering the C.I. Culture
  • What is Op-Ex?
  • Hoshin Kanri (providing a uniform, shared and understandable objective)
  • Developing business thinkers (business ownership thinking)
  • Developing a Transformation Map
  • Developing your Mission, Vision, Values

“Cheap – Good – Fast…Pick Any Two”. 

This tongue in cheek poster adorns the wall of many offices. Sophisticated customers have come to appreciate that they can get all three (‘Cost - Quality – Delivery) from world class suppliers. Organizations unwilling to adequately address these three key business principles will soon find themselves left off of their customer’s preferred vendor list. Through hands-on experience, case studies and live simulation participants will gain an understanding of the techniques collectively referred to as ‘Lean Thinking’.

We will inform you and give you the tools to develop:

  • Cost / Delivery
  • Lean Simulation
  • The Op-Ex Toolbox
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • 5-S - Set-up reduction – Total Productive Maintenance
  • Point of use inventory – Kanban 
  • Case studies

Lean and Six Sigma are not mutually exclusive. Lean is about making parts quickly and at the lowest cost. Six Sigma is about making perfect parts. It is our assertion that we need to do both. This requires four critical elements: 1 Capable processes 2. Reliable supply chain 3. Lean culture 4. The best people

In addition to exploring practical and universally applicable Six Sigma techniques, this session will deal with the last and possibly most variable element; people. Providing staff members a meaningful work experience, a sense of contribution, a vision and path for personal growth and tools necessary to successfully accomplish their duties requires that the organization provide them a defined, documented, robust and repeatable training system. OMEP’s Smart Talent program is a time tested method to effectively capture and control knowledge from those who hold the information and then efficiently transferring that knowledge to those who need it.

You will walk away with knowledge and strategies concerning:

  • Quality
  • Six – Sigma
  • Identifying and removing process variables
  • Managing the human element
  • Dealing with generational differences
  • Managing the knowledge
  • Smart Talent (Developing robust in house training systems)

With a shrinking talent pool and mounting industry recruitment challenges, the need for right-fit employees has become more important than ever. How can your organization compete for skilled talent to grow and maintain a healthy workforce? Hear from Kinesis CEO Shawn Busse as he uncovers recruitment’s best-kept secret.

You’ll learn:

  • Why most employers are losing the war for talent… and what you can do to come out on top
  • How to transform your current hiring process into an engine of growth
  • Where to find and attract millennial talent… and how to keep them engaged
  • FREE tools to turn marketing into a recruiting powerhouse
  • The real-world strategies that helped one business achieve a 96% employee retention rate


If you are passionate about making positive changes within your organization, NEXT is designed for you. People in the following roles are likely to find the most value from the series:

  • C Level Teams
  • HR Directors/Staff
  • Operations Managers 


Register before February 6, 2017: The NEXT series is $375 for the first registrant and $275 for each additional registrant from the same company. 

Register after February 6, 2017: The NEXT series is $475 for the first registrant and $375 for each additional registrant from the same company. 

*All four sessions and luncheons are included in the price noted. If a date conflict arises an alternate representative can be sent from your company by notifying the MEDP office in advance.


Dates: The four session series will be held on the first Tuesday of the following months:  March 7, April 4, May 2, and June 6, 2017.  The intent is that each session will build upon the previous.  If a schedule conflict should arise you may send an alternate by notifying MEDP in advance.

Time: Each session will run from 10:00 am - 2:30 pm with lunch provided.

Location: The NEXT series is hosted at Cascade Steel and will be held in their Training Facility in McMinnville, Oregon.


Start off the new year with an eye for success -- sign up for the NEXT series today. Limited seating is available.  

Register here for the NEXT Series.

Questions? Email

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