Manufacturing – Flow Cells (Dema Engineering)

Implemented Kanban-Flow Cell for machining / assembly / paint operation to increase throughput and improve labor productivity

  • Conducted Time & Motion Studies to understand labor standards and non-value-added steps
  • Created balanced flow process using Takt-Time Grouping to flow all machining operations to a work-in-process Kanban
  • Created one-piece flow process to flow all assembly and test operations to finished goods
  • Implemented 5S Visual Management throughout all operations
  • Used time studies to justify new equipment to improve productivity and quality


Improved labor productivity by 30%, going from a 9 person to a 6 person operation

Manufacturing – Develop Time Standards (Clean Uniform)

Production and logistics company needed to standardize labor across 5 plants to develop time standards that are used in an incentive-based pay system

  • Organized time studies across all 5 plants based on product families using a time-study matrix
  • Engaged management and direct labor to conduct all time studies and document results, creating transparency across the company
  • Used time studies to: 1) Identify non-value-added steps, and 2) Standardize all work around internal best practices from videos
  • Best practices improved labor productivity and the quality (reduced customer returns)


The company used the productivity enhancements to add additional pay incentive based on improving quality (reducing customer returns). The company did not therefore have direct savings but “won” through improved quality and customer satisfaction, and lower employee turnover

Service Operations – Increase Capacity and Reduce Leadtime (Psychological Associates)

Service organization struggled with capacity and meeting customer deadlines. As the business grew their profitability and on-time delivery suffered.  

  • Time studied operations to understand costs required to support various service lines and customers.  Aggregated time study data, other cost information and revenue data to create a full profitability model
  • Using the profitability model, identified highest (and lowest) performing customer segments and service lines
  • Developed capacity model to inform scheduling and improve on time delivery to clients
  • Developed new pricing standards to eliminate unprofitable business


The company used the capacity model to immediately improve customer service expectations and eliminate lack of visibility into accurate delivery dates. The company updated their standard pricing and initiated pricing reviews with clients falling below profitability thresholds.

Manufacturing – Increase Capacity (Celebration Foods)

Ice cream cake manufacturer consolidated two plants into one new facility, with a completely new workforce. Throughput was half of required capacity, causing one of the old plants to stay open in order to meet demand. 

  • Assessed the current state of operations and material flow at the new plant
  • Identified: 1) Production cells were sometimes over-staffed and other times under-staffed, depending on the product being made, 2) The production teams did not know how to flex to different operations, and 3) Production cells often did not have the materials needed to meet throughput goals 
  • Calculated labor requirements for each product at each discrete production step
  • Turned calculations into detailed cellular design and staffing plan by cell and task for each product as a graphic that was projected on the plant’s walls to help production teams understand how to maximize throughput
  • Set up kanban materials storage close to production lines to support raw material availability to the production cells


Doubled throughput with the same number of operations people

Increase Capacity, Control WIP Inventory (Missouri Metals)

Critical metal component manufacturer was not meeting customer demand and had excess work-in-process inventory. 

  • Assessed that bottleneck operations were not being fully utilized and were often “starved” of work while non-bottleneck operations were overloaded
  • Scheduling was releasing new work-orders without consideration of current workload
  • Confirmed constraint operations’ capacity
  • Implemented Theory of Constraints – Drum/Buffer/Rope pull and scheduling system to buffer the constraint operations with a time-buffer of incoming work-in-process
  • New work-orders are released only when a job is completed a the constraint operation


The production process is able to meet customer demand with work-in-process inventory reduction of 50%