Success Story: Chippewa River Industries

Chippewa River Industries


Location: Chippewa Falls, WI
Years in Business: 39
No. of Employees: 180+

Products: Labeling and packaging of ball-mounts, greeting cards, hardware bagging, and partitions. Additionally, they print promotional towels for the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Major League of Baseball (MLB)

NWMOC Projects: Principles of Lean, Value Stream Mapping


Chippewa River Industries' (CRI) production involves working with a variety of products, subcontract packaging, and assembly vendor for nation-wide companies. With that comes an array of packaging and assembly requirements. As production revenues increased over 300% in four years, CRI acknowledged that, to continue a manageable growth rate with staying competitive, maintaining labor, set-up, and operations costs, it was vital that they become more organized and efficient. Before moving to a new facility that doubled production space, they wanted to ensure that they were utilizing the space and staff resources to the best of their capability and abilities.


After visiting the CRI plant and discussing the need with company representatives, MOC Project Managers planned and conducted a Principles of Lean Manufacturing Workshop for 101CRI employees.  Later, the Project Managers facilitated a Value Stream Mapping Event and a 5S System event, where employees developed current and future state Value Stream Maps (VSM) and a Value Stream Plan for the sales, shipping, and administrative areas.  NWMOC Project Managers continue to coach the team.


  • Cycle time in the greeting card line was reduced from 2.2 hours to 7 minutes
  • Reduced floor space of greeting card line by 40%
  • Approach is being applied to six other production areas

Chippewa River Industries

I can see the training CRI received from MOC as vital to CRI's future success. It opened a lot of eyes at CRI in terms of identifying waste and taking the measures to significantly reduce or eliminate it. Applying the Lean Principles we learned to one product line was a revelation in terms of the immediate positive impact this has on our operations. The MOC staff did a great job with teaching the perspective and vision one needs to have in order to properly implement these principles.

~ Dave Lemanski, Director