J&D Tube Benders Bent on Lean Success
Location: Schofield, WI
Years in Business: Since 1968
No. of Employees: 115
Products: Hydraulic tube assemblies and manifolds
NWMOC Projects: Principles of Lean, Value Stream Mapping, Quick Changeover, 5S Events, Business Coaching
President Tom Felch attended ISO training offered by the NWMOC, and J&D Tube Benders became ISO 9001 certified in the year 2000. When Tom wanted to improve their efficiencies, make better use of his employees and workspaces, and raise profits without adding headcount; he contacted the NWMOC, and their lean journey began. Tom addressed his employees with the truth, saying "I don't know all the details of this lean journey, but we're going to learn together."
After the first 20 or so employees had attended lean training, they began to "talk the lean lingo," which attracted the attention and peaked the curiosity of their co-workers. As more employees were trained in lean manufacturing, the skepticism dwindled away and they truly "bought in to" it. After a quick changeover event, one employee spent the weekend in his home shop building himself a new workstation. The excitement, pride, and increased ownership of work areas are creating change for the better at J&D Tube Benders. The implementation of lean manufacturing methods has led to a 10 to 20% increase in throughput. All employees are rethinking their work processes and suggesting new ideas for improvement. "We're pleased we made the choice to go forward with our lean journey. It's going to be a foundation to grow our business," commented President Tom Felch. Tom's son Jon leads their Lean Team, which includes a representative from each of their nine departments.
Today, all employees have been trained in lean manufacturing and their journey continues.
“ We were very pleased with the services of NWMOC. The project managers were professional and responsive to our needs. We saw immediate results! ”
~ Tom Felch, President and Owner