Lean Success in Michigan

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Hiring, new floor plan help spur manufacturer – MLive.com

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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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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1 Comment
  1. Andy Wagner says

    I think I’ve mentioned before, my brother is an architect for a Detroit hospital system. I forwarded the Mopec article to him and he told me that Mopec is a regular supplier to them. He said nobody can beat them for price, quality and custom work.
    We also had a conversation the other day about Wiremold. He says architects, one of their principle customers, have stopped using their products because the variety of colors and flexible configurations has gone down considerably since their glory days.
    A great reminder that lean means giving your customers what they value!

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