Johnsonville Sausage 
Intermediate level
Advanced level

Unleash the power of front line members

Front line members are the experts - use them that way


Practitioner Presentation
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Location Code
11:00am-12:00pm Hynes Center, Level 3 TS/12



One of the major competitive advantages is the members of an organization. At Johnsonville, hear how it believes that its members are the experts and they are they best at improving the daily processes.


Hear how Johnsonville Sausage has implemented power teams that target improvements within the scope of members' daily responsibilities. Learn how it is looking to improve quality, safety and cost across the value stream through continuous incremental improvements. Discover the four non-negotiable requirements that power teams have to ensure success, as well as key points of setting up and sustaining these teams. Learn how Johnsonville has launched four teams to-date with plans to have a power team on every production line and eventually into functional areas in the front and back offices.


Johnsonville Sausage was founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, who opened a butcher shop named after their small hometown of Johnsonville, WI. Over the last 70 years, the brand has grown to become the No. 1 national sausage brand and features brats, smoked-cooked links, meatballs and summer sausage. Today, Johnsonville products are available in all 50 states and 40 countries.

Presenters: Steve Sorenson / Jim Kunst

Steve Sorenson is the continuous improvement coach at Johnsonville Sausage and has extensive experience with all aspects of people development and coaching, from working with individuals to large groups. He has a solid background in lean facilitation and implementation, with good knowledge of lean principles and tools. Sorenson believes that becoming a lean organization is 20 percent the lean six sigma tools that an organization adopts to deliver operational efficiency and 80 percent the culture an organization creates. 

Jim Kunst is the team leader of Johnsonville Sausage's stuffing process area at the Riverside Smoked Sausage plant. He is also the leader of Johnsonville's initial power team. This team has delivered beyond expectations and Kunst will share his personal insight and experiences into that has worked well and what has not gone as planned with the launch of the power team.