Action Floor Systems Begins Lean Journey
Location: Mercer, WI
Headquarters: Mercer, WI
Years in Business: 18
No. of Employees: 100
Products: Sports-floor options in solid hardwood, synthetic polyurethane, and recycled rubber
NWMOC Projects: Lean Certification Training, 5S Events, Value Stream Mapping
After experiencing a slight turndown in their business, Action Floor Systems wanted to remain competitive and become more efficient while reducing costs. They were working on a 1- to 5-year strategic plan when they "changed their mindset" from lean manufacturing to becoming a "lean enterprise." Three employees were chosen to attend the NWMOC's Lean Certification Program, where they embraced "lean thinking" and acquired a determination to "get out of our rut." They learned to break down processes and look for ways to eliminate waste, beginning with their subfloor production process.
As their excitement grew, those first three employees shared their knowledge with their co-workers. Then they enlisted additional employees to help them revamp their subfloor production process. Their first project was a huge success—they reduced production time from 3 man hours per unit to 1.5 man hours per unit. They also constructed a cart and rail system to ease handling of subflooring materials and reduce transportation time, saving an estimated $7800/year in labor costs alone. They removed equipment that hadn't been used in over a year and established a Red Tag area to facilitate reassignment/removal of unused items in a timelier manner. Management at Action Floor Systems was open and supportive to the changes, which are ongoing in many areas of the plant as they continue to become a Lean Enterprise.
“ I would encourage anybody in manufacturing to contact the NWMOC. They talk the talk and walk the walk. They really know how to relate to those of us who take it right to the manufacturing production floor. ”
~ Karl Anderson, Plant Manager