Success Story: Andersen Corporation

Andersen Corporation

andersen logoProfile

Location: Menomonie, WI
Headquarters: Bayport, MN
Years in Business: Founded 1903; Menomonie plant founded 2000
No. of Employees: 220 employees in Menomonie

Products: Double-hung windows and custom-size, custom-color architectural windows

NWMOC Projects: Six Kaizen Events


Andersen Corporation had worked with the University of Wisconsin-Stout before, so when Lean Specialist Jon McNamara joined Andersen in July 2009, he wanted to tap UW-Stout's resources for assistance again. The company needed to reduce the footprint of its fixed windows (200 Series) to create more space for the new line of custom-color, custom-size architectural windows (A-Series). NWMOC Project Manager Ted Theyerl and UW-Stout Associate Professor Jim Keyes put Jon in touch with 12 UW-Stout students, who conducted six Kaizen events for Andersen Corporation in Menomonie. All 12 students were enrolled in Jim's INMGT 440 Lean Enterprise course.


The 12 students were assigned to six Kaizen events, two students for each event: Reduce the 200 Series footprint; Improve carton pick accuracy; 5S the mailroom; Relocate the maintenance department; 5S the visual creform area (metal tubing/carts/workbenches) and Reduce travel time in the part presentation area of the 200 Series.  Each Kaizen team was led by an Andersen Corporation employee as the UW-Stout students learned about support functions and how to focus on value-added steps while identifying waste and then eliminating it. "It was a great opportunity for the students," Jon commented, "and valuable for us. We have to focus where the value is added to our products, and that's out on the shop floor." Aided by the students' expertise, the footprint of the 200 Series was reduced, maintenance was relocated near the 200 Series line, and shop floor space was cleared for expansion of the new A-Series custom windows. Now Andersen has the space to fabricate and assemble both of these product lines. Additionally, Andersen has hired one student and has given another student an internship.


  • Reduced 200 Series line size by 42%
  • Reduced packing block travel distance by 71%
  • Reduced carton pick time by 24%
  • Increased accuracy of carton pick by 50%
  • Reduced part presentation cart floor space from 146 sq. ft. to 100 sq. ft.
  • Developed staffing plan playbook to handle fluctuations in demand
  • Reduced number of decisions for picking carton types
  • Reduced line side inventory from 20 parts to zero parts
  • Set up FIFO for part presentation carts

Kaizen Improvements Presentation

Footprint Reduction Presentation

Andersen Corporation

It was a great opportunity for the students, and valuable for us. We have to focus where the value is added to our products, and that's out on the shop floor.

~ Jon McNamara, Lean Specialist