Crown Equipment Corporation 
Beginner level
Intermediate level

Implementing 5S in a U.S. retail network

Lessons learned for the long-term


Practitioner Presentation
Thursday, Oct. 21 Location Code
1:30pm-2:30pm Virtual ThS/35

Times listed in EDT.


Discover how Crown Equipment Corporation implemented 5S in 75 retail facilities and sustained deployment progress during a global pandemic. Hear the lessons learned from ​its 5S journey, ​its current strategies for 5S, as well as ​its plans for continuous improvement.


Crown’s branch operations lean practitioners will explain how they utilized continuous improvement activities, process standard work, virtual meeting applications, and Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) training modules to systematically deploy 5S principles and develop and certify 5S SMEs. Learn how Crown built its SME structure to support the deployment to each of its retail locations with little or no additional expense. To continue the PDCA cycle throughout their journey, Crown focuses on core 5S principles, the 8 wastes and lean management tools. Discover how the company continues to provide training and coaching within its retail network in a post-pandemic world.


Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest material handling companies with a reputation for award-winning product design, advanced engineering and technology, and superior after-sale service. Crown’s business philosophy utilizes vertically integrated processes to design, manufacture and distribute forward-thinking, innovative solutions that improve customer productivity and operating efficiency. Crown produces a broad range of forklifts as well as automation and fleet management technologies. In 2019, Crown made Forbes magazine's list of "America's Best Large Employers."


Brenda Gray is the continuous improvement manager for Crown's branch operations. She has more than 30 years of experience with Crown's business operating systems and processes. She is responsible for the delivery of process innovation and continuous improvement activities across all Crowns retail locations, domestic and global. Gray, helping to foster a culture of sustainable improvements through the creation and embedding of lean methodology and tools, works with cross-functional teams to prepare and conduct continuous improvement activities and 5S. 


Melissa Kaufman is the operational excellence lean director for Crown and is responsible for the global deployment of lean throughout the company's manufacturing and business systems. She has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing operations and has held various positions in engineering, lean, six sigma, value stream and business unit management. Kaufman is currently the chair of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence Regional Presidents Council and serves as a board member for the OSU Center for Operational Excellence. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Wright State University.