19 episodes

How do you create calm in manufacturing? Until now, there hasn’t been anything focused on putting the pieces of the puzzle together – people, culture, lean, continuous improvement, theory of constraints, manufacturing, and tech.

How do all of these pieces come together to create the optimal manufacturer? This podcast focuses on the intersection of these topics so commonly talked about in manufacturing, but rarely explaining how to get it done.

Zen and the Art of Manufacturing Bryan Sapot

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

How do you create calm in manufacturing? Until now, there hasn’t been anything focused on putting the pieces of the puzzle together – people, culture, lean, continuous improvement, theory of constraints, manufacturing, and tech.

How do all of these pieces come together to create the optimal manufacturer? This podcast focuses on the intersection of these topics so commonly talked about in manufacturing, but rarely explaining how to get it done.

    Technology Adoption w/ Jason Guss

    Technology Adoption w/ Jason Guss

    On this episode of Zen and the Art of Manufacturing, we take a deep dive into embracing and adopting new technologies in manufacturing. Bryan is joined by Jason Guss, CEO and Co-founder of Iterate Labs, a wearable tech and computer vision company designed to increase safety and production in the factory in real-time.

    As many of us know, the adoption of new technologies is difficult in any industry, let alone manufacturing. Jason gives us insight into getting employees to buy in, reducing turnover, developing people, and increasing safety. He explains how technology can not only digitize the factory but help to engage employees.

    “A lot of these jobs, they’re really manual, repetitive, sometimes boring processes so having a piece of technology that can really digitize their actions and provide scores and feedback to them actually has had a really positive impact. They become more excited, more engaged.”

    At the end of the day, the goal is to keep the worker safe and healthy, and technology can do this while helping employees achieve productivity goals along the way. This helps to create a better culture, Jason explains. When culture is improved, other key metrics start to fall in line like employee retention.

    The second half of the episode focuses on the next steps once a new technology has been adopted. Where do you go from there? Jason talks about communicating value, tying metrics to specific dollar amounts, and integrating with other platforms.

    Join us as we talk about all things technology and adoption with Jason Guss.

    In today’s episode, Jason mentioned a few books that have helped me learn about running and growing a business:


    Sell More Faster: The Ultimate Sales Playbook for Startups by Amos Schwartzfarb
    Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
    7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnies

    About Iterate Labs

    Iterate Labs maximizes lean operations and safety via digitized motion, AI, and real-time visibility. Through wearable sensors and computer vision we connect your workforce’s movement and actions to drive industrial KPI’s and operational performance.

    If you would like to connect with Jason, you can reach him by emailing Jason.guss@iteratelabs.co, via the Iterate Labs website, or through his LinkedIn.

    • 29 min
    Hiring and Retaining in Manufacturing w/ David Klotz

    Hiring and Retaining in Manufacturing w/ David Klotz

    Hiring is a hot topic right now. There are many, many manufacturing jobs available, but manufacturers have are having difficulty filling the openings. David Klotz, President of Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) joins us this week to discuss hiring and retaining skilled employees.

    With over 850 members in the PMA, David is in a unique position, close to the action. His experience provides a point of view unlike any other.

    “Finding talent is very hard. It’s an interesting market, and you have to find creative ways to find talent. We’ve seen customers offering signing bonuses, referral bonuses, partnering with recruiting firms, even advertising on TV and billboards.”

    Join us as we discuss


    Creative initiatives to hire new talent
    Retaining skilled employees, cultivated by a great culture
    Partnering with organizations like the military or correctional facilities to train individuals in manufacturing jobs
    Promoting the trades in the younger generation through vocational training
    What to do to combat product shortages

    What is your company doing to fill these positions or retain top talent? Let us know!

    If you would like to connect with David, he can be contacted via LinkedIn. You can also learn more about PMA and the upcoming conference through the links below:


    Precision Metalforming Association
    Internet of Things Experience for Manufacturers

    Enjoy this podcast? Hit the share button, subscribe for free if you're not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us create calm and improve flow in manufacturing!

    • 38 min
    Building a Competitive Advantage w/ Allison Greco

    Building a Competitive Advantage w/ Allison Greco

    Too many companies focus on the wrong metrics. Instead, if they were focusing on increasing engagement and reducing turnover, other results like cost savings and increased profits would follow. Allison Greco joins us once more for a discussion on continuous improvement, the importance of soft skills, and how that helps build a competitive advantage. 

    It’s all about picking the right metric to drive results she explains.

    So, why isn’t everyone doing this? Well, according to Allison, there are 3 very important factors:


    A leader focused on improvement needs to exist
    The willingness to venture outside of your comfort zone and try something new
    The knowledge that you can’t be “too busy to improve”

    When you have these 3 things, you have a competitive advantage above everyone else. You can iterate and change things faster. You’re 10 steps ahead of the competition.

    All of which drive continuous improvement and increases company engagement.

    But, she makes one very important point, too. Tools give you a structure around the improvement conversations, but the way you approach the soft skills often ends up being more important in accomplishing your goals.

    So, if you’re going to do just one thing to start, she suggests looking in your company for a thought leader This person is a progressive thinker and naturally inclined to improve. You’ll “work with the person to find an improvement and communicate the heck out of that… tell the story, and it will grow.”

    About Continuous Improvement International

    Continuous Improvement International is a member-driven organization focused on offerings around networking and developing soft skills rather than hard skills. They have “meetings of the minds” meetings helping members develop and learn together.

    Of course, there is an online library of resources such as courses and templates that help members work on hard skills, but the overarching goal is to bring people together to work on soft skills.

    In today’s episode, Allison mentions her favorite book and the organization she founded to foster skill-building and networking, both of which can be found below.


    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by John Krakauer 
    Continuous Improvement International

    If you would like to connect with Allison, she can be contacted via LinkedIn.

    Enjoy this podcast? Hit the share button, subscribe for free if you're not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us create calm and improve flow in manufacturing!

    • 26 min
    Planning for Continuous Improvement w/ Allison Greco

    Planning for Continuous Improvement w/ Allison Greco

    Join us as we dive into the world of continuous improvement. But, instead of a focus on tools, we focus on the why. “We have to be very good at persuading people so we focus a lot on the why.”


    Why are we making a change?
    Why now?
    What’s in it for me?

    Allison Greco is a continuous improvement guru, having worked for the railroad, various government roles, oil and gas, and now has founded and leads a continuous improvement organization, Continuous Improvement International.

    “It starts with building a relationship with them before you actually want to go and improve processes… You listen for small things. You listen for things you could help them with today or tomorrow, and you bring them a resource and help them find an answer and build the trust.”

    Join Bryan Sapot, CEO of SensrTrx, and Allison as they talk about:


    How to get everyone on board with continuous improvement
    Understanding the behaviors and habits that drive efforts
    Finding and engaging a key stakeholder that will help your project succeed
    Planning for continuous improvement projects
    Acknowledging the problems that need to be solved
    Improving rather than simply cutting costs
    Selecting metrics to drive the behaviors needed to succeed

    If you would like to connect with Allison, she can be contacted via LinkedIn or through Continuous Improvement International.

    Enjoy this podcast? Hit the share button, subscribe for free if you're not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us create calm and improve flow in manufacturing!

    • 25 min
    Developing Effective Processes w/ Paul Dunlop

    Developing Effective Processes w/ Paul Dunlop

    “If we focus on the right things, develop the right habits, give things the right focus, then the results will take care of themselves.”

    Paul Dunlop joins us for a second time to drill down into lean processes, measurements, effective communication, and daily production metrics.

    Most manufacturers are too heavily focused on the outcome. Instead, focus on the process and measurements that contribute to that outcome. With that, communication and great culture follow.

    Join Bryan and Paul as they dive into making processes work for you, understanding what to measure, structuring daily production meetings, and using those processes set to track against your goals.

    Lean processes can be applied to virtually any industry, but the important thing to remember is that these processes are more than just tools.

    “Lean is and always will be about what’s happening inside of people’s heads, in their brains... “We follow the tools, we follow the process, we follow the dogma, whatever it might be…but lean is fundamentally about people.”

    Using real-world examples and tactics you can apply to your business, Paul dives into the world of lean processes, metrics, and even a little bit of psychology. Tune in!

    During this episode, Paul mentions a few podcasts and a book which can be found with the links below:


    School of Greatness - Lewis Howes
    The Tim Ferriss Show
    Impact Theory - Tom Bilyeu
    The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

    If you would like to reach out to Paul, he can be contacted by email at paul@dunlopconsultants.com.au, on LinkedIn, or throughout his website dunlopconsultants.com.au.

    Enjoy this podcast? Hit the share button, subscribe for free if you're not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us create calm and improve flow in manufacturing!

    • 33 min
    Achieving Lean Success w/ Paul Dunlop

    Achieving Lean Success w/ Paul Dunlop

    "A process is a process, no matter the industry. Most organizations can apply Lean principles and Lean thinking." Paul Dunlop, Founder of Dunlop Consultants and a world-renowned Lean expert, joins us on this week's episode of Zen and the Art of Manufacturing to discuss all things, you guessed it, lean! 

    Most industries are more receptive to "dipping their toe in the water" and using Lean principles to improve workflow, but often, these initiatives fail. Paul explains why and what needs to be done to make these initiatives successful.

    Join Bryan Sapot, CEO of SensrTrx, and Paul as they talk about:


    Implementing Lean from the top-down
    Engaging all employees, regardless of role 
    Developing the habits needed to make Lean stick
    Prioritizing good habits and behaviors 
    Effective communication throughout the company 

    "Developing people and process is the only thing you should be focused on" Paul says. In this episode, you'll learn how to tackle the challenge of implementing (and achieving) Lean practices that transform your business. Tune in!

    If you would like to reach out to Paul, he can be contacted by email at paul@dunlopconsultants.com.au, on LinkedIn, or throughout his website dunlopconsultants.com.au. 

    Enjoy this podcast? Hit the share button, subscribe for free if you're not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us create calm and improve flow in manufacturing!

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

dmholcomb ,

Wonderful Show

Embracing and adopting new technologies in manufacturing is greatly important! Great topic to discuss in your latest episode. Enjoyed the show a lot. Hope you come out with a new episode soon!

If you are interested, I host a CNC Machining podcast called, “The Right Direction Podcast” from Compass Precision. Check it out if you have time!

KevinJones25 ,

Very valuable

The comments, opinions, facts and perspectives are spot on and very valuable for manufacturers. Great podcast, Bryan!!!

Lindsandrews ,

Can’t Get Enough of This Podcast

The content is fantastic, real-world advice that is transferrable to virtually any industry. Bryan does a great job of interviewing the guest, and the guests themselves are knowledgeable and straightforward.

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