Alek Farkas

Distribution Center Manager, Crayola, LLC, Bethlehem, PA, USA

Alek D. Farkas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, which he completed at West Virginia University. In the process of completing his undergraduate degree, he achieved Dean’s List honors five out of his eight semesters, and President’s List honors his last semester of his senior year. He is an active member of the Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society, a membership offered only to industrial engineering students who have maintained an average scholastic grade in the upper one-fifth of their class. He is also an active member in the Institute of Industrial Engineers, National Honors Society of Collegiate Scholars and WVU Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. He graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors in 2013.

Previous to his graduation from West Virginia University, Alek interned in two separate roles for Crayola. His freshman year of college, he interned with the Research and Development team, where his main project was reformulating a main ink specification for Crayola’s Gel FX Marker line. In his junior year of college, Alek interned with Crayola’s Continuous Improvement department, where he was able to leverage his Industrial Engineering skillset by implementing cellular manufacturing to a floor display kitting department. He also identified significant cost savings associated with improved labor routings in the in this department, and helped with sustainment plans for future job setups to reduce waste and maximize throughput.

After graduating from West Virginia University in July of 2013, Alek was hired by Crayola for a full-time position as a Continuous Improvement Engineer. His essential job functions were to support and lead the training of lean and problem solving skills to hourly employees in conjunction with the Crayola Operating System. He led and facilitated A3 Problem Solving teams set to reduce cost and maximize safety, quality, productivity and customer service within operations. He worked on a number of projects to expand visual management and visual score boarding tools to track daily performance, trends and project charters. Some specific projects with large impacts included a weight capability study for a clay extrusion process that generated justification for tighter process controls and a large scale work sampling project on the forklift material handlers that yielded improved overhead cost and higher utilization within the Bethlehem manufacturing plant.

In October of 2014, a management opportunity presented itself to Alek when a position as a Distribution Center Manager opened in Crayola’s Bethlehem manufacturing facility. Being chosen for the job, he was able to inject an understanding of Lean processes and culture to a team of twenty-five hourly employees and one Logistics Coordinator across a three shift operation. He coordinates efforts to improve material flow into and throughout Crayola’s Bethlehem manufacturing facility, and is also responsible for shipments to their main distribution center and direct to customers both domestically and internationally. A few of his main accomplishments within this role include the implementation of layered leader standard work to quickly identify areas of need, significant improvement in outbound scan accuracy through A3 problem solving and added process controls and the establishment of new material handling standards to maximize labor efficiency and quality. He currently serves within this role at Crayola. In March of 2015, he completed a Lean Experience Course at the Lean Learning Center in Troy, MI. In June of 2016, he completed a Strategic Leadership for Growth and Innovation Course at the Manufacturing Resource Institute in Bethlehem, PA. He completed his initial Green Belt training in July of 2016, and is continuing to drive performance and cost improvements from his project.