Using Lean to Expand Capacity… Who Loses?
Is there a Hallmark card that says, “Sorry you lost your job?” They do, sort of.
When companies use Lean, it's not uncommon to find extra capacity through efficiency and uptime improvements. That's good for the growth and long-term future of the facility. That's the case at a Hallmark cards factory in Topeka KS.
“We have excess capacity now to accommodate that,” O'Dell said. “We estimate production volume will increase by 10 to 15 percent.”
Hallmark employs 800 in Lawrence and 720 in Topeka.
“We have implemented lean manufacturing principles in Lawrence and Topeka,” O'Dell said. “We've made process improvements.”
This is a nice victory — a win for that factory. A bit of a problem — there are some “lose” plants who will be losing jobs as work is shifted from there to Kansas.
Hallmark Cards Inc. is moving manufacturing operations from three plants in Canada, Indiana and Arkansas to plants in Topeka and Lawrence, but no new jobs will result, the company said Wednesday.
The move will eliminate 335 jobs â€” 195 employees at Hallmark Canada in Toronto; 80 at DaySpring Cards in Siloam Springs, Ark., and 60 at Sunrise Greetings in Bloomington, Ind.
I wonder if they were also using Lean at the other plants…. or are they the losing factories because they didn't use Lean?
This would be a real challenge if you're using Lean at multiple sites… what if you increase capacity at each, but can't spur an increase in sales to match? They have no choice but to consolidate to the plant deemed “best?” Many companies have a “No layoffs due to Lean” policy (which is smart). Would that mean “No layoffs due to Lean at this plant”??
Have you ever been in a similar multi-plant situation? What are your thoughts?