Here's a story about a small Michigan manufacturer that is using Lean as part of their growth strategy, as opposed to those who use it strictly for cost cutting in a shrinking business.
They were barely a manufacturer in 2004:
“… the company was an “immature manufacturer,” having outsourced the majority of its manufacturing while keeping research and development internal…”
Not only did they start manufacturing, but they came at it from a Lean perspective:
Instead of downsizing its staff, Mopec has increased employment and added assembly workers.
“We saw great potential for growth in our industry for our products and we weren't sure how to best manage those processes,” VanDusen said. “But with the help of outside resources we laid out a plan for an efficient shop floor and since have invested more than $200,000 in equipment and even more in new employees.”
There are more details in the story, but I like their results:
Through the lean training Mopec more efficiently aligned its machinery and plant floor, so some additional space didn't have to be developed.
Mopec has nearly doubled its work force to over 50 since 2004 while boosting revenues. Profits have remained strong, executives said, and the company has used added cash flow to make substantial internal investments.
Way to go, Mpoec! I hope they remain on the pathway of continuous improvement.
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