Value-stream mapping and operations analysis leads to positive impacts at WB Manufacturing

An MOC Success Story
January 7, 2020


Wisconsin Bench Manufacturing (WB Mfg) is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of furniture, primarily for the education market. They have grown rapidly over the last decade by allowing customers to customize their furniture beyond their standard catalog of products, accessories and colors. This process required numerous emails to manage the RFQ and Order Entry between dealers, customers and supplier. WB Mfg sought to improve internal processes in the office. To evaluate what needed to change, the company began an ongoing collaboration with UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC).


MOC introduced value stream mapping to the company and started the analysis of current operations. WB Mfg formed an internal team to collaborate and analyze regularly to compile a request for quote through order entry process, the upfront sales process before an order get to the shop floor. The company also wanted to improve the work environment. A Voice of Customer (VOC) internal team was created and later labeled the “What’s Up Committee.” This entailed creating events to gather employees outside of the work setting to grow relationships and ask for feedback from employees on what could be improved. 

WB Mfg has implemented changes to their RFQ and order structures and are working on improving both. The company has also created a Continuous Improvement Committee who have created a system to gather feedback from employees to suggest improvements and meet regularly to address suggestions.


WB Mfg sales growth has accelerated since the value stream mapping event. Although there are still elements to roll out, the company felt there was employee satisfaction during the busy season, along with hitting goals for customers with on-time shipping.

  • Increased sales: $3,000,000
  • Retained sales: $2,000,000
  • Jobs retained: 5
  • Increased investments in new products/processes: $505,000 
  • Increased investment in plant or equipment: $100,000 
  • Increase investment in information system or software: $230,000 
  • Increase investment in workforce practices or employees: $50,000
  • Increased investment in other areas of business: $30,000 
  • Avoid unnecessary investments or save on investments: $50,000


“We feel that MOC has the experience to help us with these projects and has a great reputation in the area. We hope to be using MOC for future projects and would also recommend them to another company. They have been a close resource for our company and have made it easy to work with one another to understand our issues and develop solutions.” 

- Mike Kobielak, Chief Financial Officer, WB Mfg, LLC