Inside Raven

Bringing Innovation to Life

Team members across our organization are dedicated to Helping Farmers Serve the World. They work together to achieve goals that will ensure that we continue to advance farming through technology and innovation.

Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor Zach DeJong oversees manufacturing for the electrical and mechanical side of our products. His team of manufacturing engineers, engineering technicians, and machine technicians work together to deliver products to customers. They serve as an in-between for design engineering and production.

Zach's team works closely to solve challenges that may arise and support the plant in continuous improvement to ensure we are always raising the bar in efficiency and quality. Challenges can include system issues with our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, assembling issues in manufacturing, and any failures that appear during testing. The work done by this team to catch and correct any issues ensures that the finished products are of the highest quality.

Zach also supports the machine shop at our manufacturing plant where machines take raw metal and transform it into products. Some of these machines run for multiple hours, while others take less than a minute to produce a part. Managing the timing of these machines to ensure optimal time usage is key to successful delivery of our products to customers and prevents backlog.

In addition to overcoming challenges in the day to day, Zach is also skilled at overcoming big picture challenges, Plant Manager Emily Wegner said. A major challenge for manufacturing has been managing growth. As production needs have increased, team members have been busy managing various roles and responsibilities. Zach has been key to the process of hiring more team members to better define roles for each member of his team.

Zach is good at starting conversations and holding others accountable to project timelines. The drive that Zach has keeps the team going.

— Emily Wegner, Plant Manager

Zach was instrumental in a recent move from the previous production facility to the current space where our machine shop is held. This move required preparing the new space as well as getting old equipment ready to move into it. Plant Manager Emily Wegner said that the move required patience and skilled coordination throughout the five-month project, and Zach did a great job overseeing it.

A key part of managing products is consistent use of our ERP system. Over the last 18 months, Zach’s team has taken the initiative to create a system that will drive results for production. They have taken ownership of the system, establishing methods for project management and product tracking that ensure we deliver results on time to our customers.

These efforts have created a coordinated system of project management that will improve processes for future work in manufacturing, Plant Manager Emily Wegner said. Manufacturing is a complex environment where projects and systems happen simultaneously, so Zach’s efforts will improve accountability and efficiency so we can deliver products to our customers.

For Zach, the time he’s been at Raven has given him new opportunities to learn and grow. He’s been with Raven for five years, and he said that in that time, he has learned to adapt to changes and drive results despite circumstances.

Since I started at Raven, I’ve learned a lot about the fast pace of manufacturing and the changes that can arise. I’ve learned to adapt to those changes to avoid running into problems.

— Zach DeJong, Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor

As Zach has learned how to manage these changes and adapt to his environment, he has been a leader in the department. His commitment to growth and delivering results has allowed him to create new processes that Make It Simple for us to achieve key results for the organization.

Zach’s dedication and service mindset create success for our
organization as he finds ways to drive efficiency and deliver solutions that benefit customers, team members, and the organization.

Zach is a very humble person, but he’s a driving force for Raven. He is a quiet leader who gets work done.

— Emily Wegner, Plant Manager