Wired to Win in Enterprise Minnesota Magazine

We were pleased to have Enterprise Minnesota do a story on our work  with Lean manufacturing (Wired to Win). We began working with Enterprise Minnesota Business Growth Advisor Jeff Mueller about two years ago now. We started by learning more about Lean, recognizing what a difference Lean could make to our process and our customers’ bottom line and implementing changes throughout our warehouse and front office.

The article highlighted some of our big results…

Some changes were simple fixes: an extra printer here, another email terminal there, or a switch in a machine’s location. Others, like computerized systems for taking customer orders and tracking production efficiency, were more complex. The company’s lean efforts to date have  reduced inventory in raw materials and finished goods by $1 million and saved an annual $100,000 in soft costs, fostering a culture of continuous improvement across the business.

And some of our  small steps forward…

Many of the smallest changes had the biggest impact in realizing an 80 percent reduction in steps walked throughout the plant. In the shipping department, the company installed an email terminal for faster, easier communication with the sales department and front office. Employees in work cells no longer walk to a central location to fetch hand tools, but now have toolboxes in each cell with everything necessary for assembly of its specific product. Extra printers dot the production floor. And pick tickets, which used to be sent to a printer across  the floor for retrieval, are now printed where they should be: right next to the person picking the orders.