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Twenty-three employees from Salco, Seco Machine, American Industries and Birmingham Rail and Locomotive completed Stucki’s continuous improvement practitioner (CIP) course in June and August.

The four-day course, introduced in 2022, trains participants in continuous improvement concepts through lecture, discussion and simulation.

One of the goals of the training is to help participants “gain the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to drive positive change across the company,” said MIKE WALL, continuous improvement coach at Stucki, who facilitated the training sessions at Seco Machine in North Canton, Ohio.

Included is a discussion of the seven wastes of manufacturing: overproduction, excess inventory, defects, wasted motion, overprocessing, long wait times and unnecessary transportation.

“We talk about how to see and quantify the waste, along with other lean manufacturing principles” said Mike. “We then prepare them to use the training to lead continuous improvement teams in their workplace.”

A multi-phase simulation exercise challenges participants to apply what they’ve learned to improve a customer’s operating and financial results. The objective of the exercise is to secure a lucrative contract by meeting minimum requirements for quality, delivery and speed – while also turning a profit.

“I’ve facilitated this training hundreds of times over the years,” said Mike. “A previous Stucki team set the all-time simulation record for groups I’ve trained, and the August class just missed overtaking them for the top spot.”

He also praised the June class for its outstanding teamwork.

“They used available data to draw logical, objective conclusions during exercises and simulations, which prevents opinion or emotion from clouding their judgment,” said Mike. “They also turned in the second-best score of any Stucki team to date on a paper airplane exercise we utilize.”

A total of 71 employees from the Stucki family of companies have now completed the CIP course. Several of those are now pursuing their CIP Qualification, which includes guided self-study in the application of continuous improvement tools, systems, and principles to the company’s operating procedures.

Members of the August class work on a simulation exercise during CIP training at Seco Machine in North Canton.


August CIP course participants flash the number “two” for having achieved the second-best score to date on a simulation exercise designed to deliver quality, speed and profitability. From left: Mike Smith, John Panek, James Albert, Jason Lhota, Jeffrey Poghen, Todd Owens, Mathew Graves, Brian Goc, Joe Cosentino, Tom Delafosse, Mike Wall (instructor), David Clugg, Luke Brooks and Chris Payne.


June CIP course participants flash the number “two” for having achieved the second-best score to date on a paper-airplane-building exercise that is part of each training session. From left: Ramon Reynaga, James Grow, Adam Schulz, Timothy Kuni, Frank Farley, Nick Ergon, Sammi Poploski, Dwayne Goulsby, Carson Wall, Mike Wall (instructor) and Paulina Nunez.

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