Case Studies

Lean and Supply Chain Application

Business Process Improvement
Performance Measurement
Six Sigma
Supply Chain Management
Warehouse & Plant Operations

Uncovering Opportunity through Lean Assessments

When we are contacted by a prospective new client for consulting services, we typically recommend starting with a Lean Assessment. Assessments are a fast and painless way to uncover opportunities to improve your business with a plan for efficiently implementing those improvements.  During the Assessment we talk to people from across the organization, tour the facilities, and ... >

How to Understand and Increase Profitability

Focus on Profitability; Revenue and Cost are just inputs To download this case study please click here. Profitability is Key! As business grows, declines, or remains steady, a clear understanding of profitability by segment is paramount.  Increasing revenue is great so long as your costs are not increasing disproportionately. Decreasing costs is also wonderful assuming it does not ... >

Performance Measurement – Employee Retention

The link below shows two Performance Scorecards, one for a manufacturing business and one for an accounting firm. Performance Scorecards Download Accounting Firm The accounting firm Client was working with us on improving their Audit process. This project successfully reduced the time to produce audit reports for their clients from 45 to 22 days.  As you can ... >

Lean in Services Case Study

Client Background Recently we had the opportunity to work with a client that doesn't make or move any material goods.  Impact Group does the important work of caring for families that are being relocated because of the jobs of one of the adults.  28 years ago, Laura Herring determined that companies focus completely on the employee ... >

The Ideal Lean Scorecard (An Assessment Tool)

The Ideal Lean Process All employees show up to work every day, are motivated, can work at any operation and are constantly looking for ways to improve processes Supplies can be ordered and delivered immediately, in whatever quantities are needed and are defect free Equipment never breaks Processes have no variation and produce defect free ... >

Lean Meetings?

Do you ever feel like all you do at work is go from meeting to meeting? Is it a challenge to squeeze all of the meetings you are required to attend on your calendar? How many meetings should a healthy company have and when do we cross the line on healthy communications and too many meetings that ... >

Are You Brave Enough – “To Pay for Performance”

Pay-for-Performance: Quality & Throughput Many companies are worried about paying for performance because they are concerned that: 1) quality will suffer, and 2) it can inhibit teamwork.  Our case study for this e-newsletter shows how to balance quality versus throughput, and teamwork versus individual contribution. Designing a pay-for-performance system that everyone believes in is hard work, ... >

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

The case study below is a summary.  For more details click on the full white-paper. The problems with surveys Most companies that want to measure customer satisfaction create a survey.  These efforts usually fail for multiple reasons. The "annual" survey measures satisfaction during too short a duration Response rates are low There are too many questions Questions ... >

Hospital HR Dept Performance Measurement

Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare The next few months' newsletters will look at Lean Six Sigma applications in Hospitals. We all have a vested interest in seeing our hospitals continuously improve productivity and quality. These case studies will show how we used Lean Six Sigma tools to improve various aspects of administration and patient care. Problem In hospitals, ... >

Hospital HR Dept. 5S Visual Management

Lean Six Sigma in Hospitals - 5S Visual Management Details: 5S Implementation 1). This HR department hoarded paper. Like many people the HR Specialists felt the messier their desks the busier they must be. It was cultural! Everyone's desk looked like these pictures. 2) Once we did the initial 5S blitz, we created a 5S Implementation Schedule for ... >

Evaluating Costs in the Entire Value Stream

Finding Cost Reductions in the Value Stream We used Value Stream Mapping to evaluate costs from "Field to Table". All processing costs were analyzed. The scope was to attack overhead costs and processes that were increasing expenses or reducing sales. "Costs of goods sold" was excluded. Examples of processing costs were distribution direct labor, store ... >

Streamlining Warehouse Operations

Lean & Six Sigma in Distribution/Warehousing This Distributor began their Lean Journey in the middle of the Great Recession. Despite the fact that sales were down, they were willing to invest in reducing costs and improving Customer Service. They chose 3 problem areas of the company and combined Implementation Projects with Supply Velocity's Lean Workshop. We will ... >

Streamlining Distribution / Transportation

Lean Six Sigma Tools Performance Scorecard 5S Visual Management Details 1) This project was totally driven by the Scorecard. Once the team created its Bulk Delivery Department Scorecard, they quickly realized what had to be done to improve performance. We came up with a saying that "the data will lead the way". Download Delivery Lean PowerPoint Presentation2) This company had ... >

Streamlining the Shipping / Accounting Process

Lean Shipping Process This company manufactured products for the construction industry and distributed highly engineered components produced by other companies.  Manufacturing and Distribution were separate businesses, which came together at Shipping. This project was driven by the company's CFO, who felt that shipping processes, which had never been looked at, were wasteful.  As you will see below, ... >

Inbound Freight Process Streamlining

Inbound Freight Savings Project Outline This project was fundamentally about getting two departments (Purchasing and Logistics) to see the entire process and determine how they could work together to save the company money on inbound freight. Our first objective was to understand the problem and the opportunity. We developed a problem statement. Download PowerPoint Presentation "Inbound Freight." The ... >

Six Sigma Sales – Ranking Customers

On-Target Sales Strategy / Six Sigma Sales We hope you find value from our examples of Lean Six Sigma at work. Due to the difficult economic environment many organizations face, we will spend the next few months looking at the application of Lean Six Sigma to Sales Strategy, or what we call On-Target Sales Strategy, and ... >

Six Sigma Sales – Understanding Customers Better

On-Target Sales Strategy / Six Sigma Sales The economy is not getting any better... but you can buck the trend! Knowing your customer creates focus and focus creates success. Read below how we used Six Sigma to create a focused sales and marketing strategy by deeply understanding the best markets for our Client. Problem This organization was featured in ... >

Creating a Lean Sales Process

Sales is like any process, it operates by design or default. Using Lean Tools we redesigned a very successful company's sales process to improve Sales Rep Productivity, getting more Profit from every Rep. Problem This month's case-study Client sells transportation equipment, services this equipment and sells replacement parts. The owner had executed a successful growth strategy, and in ... >

Six Sigma Sales Rep Analysis

Lean Six Sigma Tools Cause & Effect Diagram Pareto Analysis Comparison Analysis (Box & Whisker Chart) This manufacturing/distribution company had 8 sales reps that covered specific geographic regions of the northeast United States.  The company manufactured several components and distributed others to a very specific industry-niche. We started the project with a Cause & Effect Diagram of everything that impacts ... >

Six Sigma Pricing Strategy Analysis

Lean Six Sigma Tools Cause & Effect Diagram Scatter Diagram As stated above, the company's sale force all wanted to lower prices to help them sell more (close more business). We analyzed what impact (good or bad) that might have on sales and profit. We started the project with a Cause & Effect Diagram of everything that impacts sales ... >

Sales-Estimating Strategy Analysis

Lean Six Sigma Tools Cause & Effect Diagram Performance Scorecards Scatter Diagram We started the project with a Cause & Effect Diagram of everything that impacts sales and close rate. Download Estimator Inside Sales Analysis March 2011 PowerPoint Presentation. This e-newsletter will focus on estimator effectiveness, which the team felt could be a significant area for improvement. The ... >

SKU (stock-keeping-unit) Optimization

One of the best aspects of pursuing (part time) my Ph.D in Supply Chain Management is that I get to research certain topics and apply them to help my valued Clients.  I am currently writing a academic paper on SKU Optimization.  It is based on a method that is case studied in this month's e-newsletter.  ... >

Decoding the DNA of Customer Profitability

This month we will feature ground-breaking work in finding attributes that predict customer profitability.  This project was done for a Supply Velocity Client (products shown below) with the support of a Ph.D Supply Chain Management study at the University of Missouri St. Louis. The Ph.D program has been a great way to learn new skills to ... >

Secrets of Winning Proposals

When it comes to winning proposals, we find that many companies, including this Client, over-estimate their Win %. Company executives stated that Win % was 80%. In reality it was 37%. Once we discovered this important fact they wanted to find out what helped them win proposal. Overall proposal data is shown on Slide 2 ... >

Lean Operational Process Improvement

This Newsletter will case study Phase 3 of the improvements made to our custom cabinet and millwork manufacturing client. The prior few months we profiled the improvements they made in their business, via Performance Measurement and On-Target™ Sales Strategy. This month we will review the improvements they've made in Operations. They produce custom cabinets and millwork ... >

Lean Scheduling & Order Delivery

This newsletter will case study Phase 2 of the improvements made at our Transportation Equipment Distributor client. Last month we reviewed how we streamlined the sales process to give Sales Reps more time to sell and grow profit. This month we will review how we delivered on the promises we made to customers, providing this ... >

Lean in Hospital Primary Care

Lean Six Sigma Tools Performance Measurement 5S Visual Management Spaghetti Diagrams Time Study Details - Performance Measurement The team first learned about Performance Measurement and then created their Performance Scorecards.   As you can see, On Time Delivery of service shows up twice as measures of seeing patients at their appointment times. (How may of you have waited for your doctor's ... >

Biggest SKLUsers: SKU Rationalization

SKU Rationalization Project Outline Our initial analysis indicated that they had a high concentration of strong performing SKUs (70.63% of sales came from the top 25% of SKUs) and a significant number of low performing SKUs (1.47% of sales came from the bottom 25% of SKUs). SKU Analysis Presentation. The next analysis (slide #2) showed why ... >

Lean Warehousing

Lean Six Sigma Tools Pareto Analysis Spaghetti Map Process Flow Map This valve manufacturer produced a semi-finished product that its customer final assembled / packaged for their original-equipment-manufacture (OEM) and distributor customers. The final assembly/packaging was being transferred to the valve manufacturer. Instead of producing 200 stock-keeping-units (SKUs) in larger lot sizes they would be producing and shipping ... >

Using Value Stream Mapping to Reduce Overhead

Reducing Overhead Labor with Value Stream Mapping This Plastics Manufacturing Company was caught in the Great Recession.  They had to reduce costs when some of their customers cut back, including an auto-plant that closed.  However, being a capital intensive manufacturer, the options were not obvious. Lean Six Sigma Tools This project used Value Stream Mapping to identify underutilized ... >

Lean Six Sigma at a Custom Manufacturer – Performance Measurement

This custom cabinet and millwork manufacturer was the in-house manufacturing division of a larger residential construction company.  They grew very rapidly with a large multi-year order and were spun off as a separate company.  The large multi-year order ended and sales dropped precipitously.  The overhead costs from equipment and manufacturing space quickly created a loss ... >

Proposal Strategy using Strategic Filters

We will use as a case study the same Defense Contractor Client discussed in the April e-newsletter. One of the things we learned in that project was the significant labor that can be expended developing a proposal. Depending on the opportunity, engineering, materials and direct labor costs have to be estimated at a high degree ... >

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“For several years we have worked with Supply Velocity to support us with their expertise on Lean Operations and Supply Chain Management. Supply Velocity has helped us implement Lean, improve our inventory systems, and educate our people. They are professionals who are always available to help us as needed.”
Lorenza Pasetti, CEO, Volpi Foods
“Isolating a problem, finding short, and long term solutions with measurable results is what was promised and results is what was delivered by Supply Velocity. Upon launch of the Lean Six Sigma Selling System, we knew more about our customers, our products, and were able to create a solid plan to increase sales of our most profitable products. Within months of implementation, our booked sales jumped 60% and our most valued customers were getting direct, active, and calculable attention.”
Mark A. Presker, General Manager, Architectural Millwork of St. Louis
“Many thanks to all three Supply Velocity presenters. I think you guys took a very difficult time for learning and capitalized on everyone’s time and training needs. I truly hope this helps your business as this was a considerable undertaking on the part of Supply Velocity. Outstanding!!”
Mark Holdinghausen, VP of Operations, DEMA Engineering
“We used Supply Velocity to rethink our sales process. By analyzing the entire process we found wasted time in our Sales, Admin and Operations departments. Streamlining this process created extra time for each Sales Rep, allowing them to spend more time with Customers and increase the value we add. Gross profit margins are up 40%!

We are now using Supply Velocity to help us rethink our entire Strategic Plan.”

Jeff Reitz, Vice President, Central States Bus

“I am thrilled to provide this testimonial for Supply Velocity and their outstanding work in implementing Lean Warehouses and processes at Crescent Parts & Equipment through the COVID pandemic. With their data-first focus and Mitch’s exceptional coaching and experience, they transformed our business into a more supply chain-oriented organization, enabling us to grow while prioritizing employee safety and creating a better work environment. Supply Velocity’s expertise in Lean methodologies and their comprehensive evaluation of our customers have been instrumental in optimizing our operations and increasing customer satisfaction. We highly recommend Supply Velocity to any company seeking to implement Lean processes and enhance their supply chain efficiency.”

Josh Cole, Director of Supply Chain, Crescent Parts & Equipment
“Supply Velocity is driving instrumental change in our inventory management processes. This is critical for us to be competitive in a supply chain environment with numerous disruptions. They are making change happen, which can be challenging in a 182 year old organization.”
Jim Carroll, Executive Vice President Operations, Schaeffer Manufacturing
“Closure Medical recently completed a major reorganization in order to enhance our ability to rapidly create innovative medical devices. We hired Supply Velocity to help us map out the process and service flows of the new organization that would maximize our product development process (PDP). In four weeks, Supply Velocity helped us envision a new PDP structure, develop measures and accountability for each step, and gain consensus within the organization. Supply Velocity’s focus on speed and accountability helped us complete a critical project in a timely fashion.”
Gabe Szabo, Vice President, Product Development, Closure Medical – A Division of Johnson & Johnson
“We are pleased that Essex selected Supply Velocity, Inc. as our Lean Implementation Partner. At one facility, we have saved over $350,000 in work-in-process inventory, reduced throughput time from 2 weeks to minutes and increased inventory turns 3 to 8 times per year. All these results are in just 6 months. Our return of investment is very high.”
Terry Etter, Vice President of Operations , Essex Medical Systems
“In 2015 we began working with Dr. Mitch Millstein to optimize our inventory locations supporting e-commerce and in-store inventory needs. From this work we developed a new omni-channel warehousing and inventory plan that entirely redefined our approach to warehousing, inventory management, store distribution and fulfillment. As a result of the analyses by Dr. Millstein we have begun the move to an improved omni-channel design by reassigning MSAs to new warehouses, greater leveraging of in-store inventories to satisfy e-commerce demands, and exploring acquisitions of new warehousing space in strategic locations. We have already seen an improvement of $300,000 from both more efficient shipping strategies due to better inventory management.”
Rob Bowers, Vice President of Strategy, Total Hockey
“Supply Velocity has helped Clean succeed in a number of ways. First, they provided the education that kicked off our Lean Process Improvement journey. They also facilitated a number of large supply chain and process improvement projects including: 1) building quality into our direct-labor productivity incentive program, 2) designing the layout of our garment warehouse, and 3) streamlining our route service process.

We have integrated the methods that Supply Velocity taught us into our management and strategic planning. In the process our quality measurement has improved 22% from 2013 to 2015, we have reduced required annual labor by 2200 hours from the garment facility layout project and we’ve seen 50% decrease in error rate. Obviously the numbers speak for themselves, but just as important, Supply Velocity has been fun to work and have become true partners. They have “taught us how to fish” so our internal teams are able to implement change on their own, with the skills we learned from Supply Velocity. This relationship has been invaluable.”

Jeff Lazaroff, Senior Vice President, Clean Uniform
“Our experience with Supply Velocity was one of the best values we have ever had from a consulting project. Cyril Narishkin brought a structured lean methodology, invaluable experience and engaging facilitation skills to help us streamline a very complex and disjointed sales order process. Just as importantly, our team now has the knowledge and process competencies to address other business improvement opportunities going forward.”
Mike Howard, CEO, Aspeq
“The role of the Erie Insurance Marketing Department has been evolving over the past several years – from a support role to a more critical role of driving growth in our organization. Because of our increased workload and desire to prioritize the most critical projects, we hired Supply Velocity to teach us the skills of Lean Six Sigma.

Participants included the Promotions, Market Research and Agency Licensing sections of the Marketing Department.

We learned valuable tools to help us to prioritize based on the voice of the customer.

I firmly believe these skills made a difference in how we work every day. We are moving new projects forward, eliminating or changing ineffective processes, and we are a much stronger department. We continue to use the tools to help us with our highly-complex and time-consuming projects. Supply Velocity helped us to accomplish our goals.”

Karen Rugare, Director of Marketing, Erie Insurance
“In thirty years of hiring consultants, Supply Velocity, Inc. was the first to tell me what they were going to do, set a price they stuck to and substantially exceed my expectations. I have recommended them to friends and acquaintances. They were true partners in assisting with the turnaround of an acquisition we had been struggling with for two years.

Their math-based technology, solid down-to-earth facilitation skills, and positive, patient and enthusiastic attitude combined to make our implementation of Lean a very rewarding experience.

We increased our production by 50% in the first month of implementation and continue to see improvements. Improvements have not only been realized in productivity, but also in quality and morale. We have increased profitability by $2M on flat sales of $10M.

Based on Supply Velocity, Inc.’s integrity and our results, I will continue to refer them to others and utilize them in the future as we expand our company through acquisitions.”

Bill Gilbert, President, Fusion Coatings

“Supply Velocity created visibility within our Assurance Services Group… visibility of performance, Client-service, employee satisfaction and processing time. Using the Supply Velocity System, Audit Report Cycle time is down over 50%. We are using his strategies to create greater Client loyalty.”

Fred Kostecki, Partner-In-Charge, Assurance Services, Rubin Brown
“We used Supply Velocity on our Warehouse optimization project. One of the key characteristics of Supply Velocity is that they listened to our requirements and provided a clear path for our Warehouse processes using lean tools and our future sales growth as objectives.”
Haris Tokalic, President, Grand Rock, Inc.
“In the spring of 2003, the St. Louis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross engaged Supply Velocity, Inc. to perform a study and make recommendations to streamline office processes, maximize cash flow in purchasing and warehousing and restructure and enhance our maintenance department. Supply Velocity, Inc.’s process was methodical, flexible, staff-oriented, inclusive and, above all, trackable.

In the last six months, our Chapter has realized expense savings of over $380,000 annually, and significant improvement in intra-company service levels has been attained. Supply Velocity, Inc. will return to the Chapter periodically throughout the next 18 months to audit our newly implemented processes. We have been pleased with our results and Supply Velocity, Inc.’s professionalism.”

Joe White, CEO, American Red Cross – Saint Louis Chapter

“Supply Velocity gave us the tools to analyze our business and processes based on the facts and numbers versus our perceptions. Our common quote was “Let the numbers lead us”. The key for our organization was how quickly we moved from classroom to actual project initiation. We were able to jump in, start using the tools and see a difference right away.

The get-into-action approach was good for our culture.”

Ned Lane, President, CeeKay Supply

“In a time of volatile supply chain disruption, Supply Velocity is helping us develop Demand and Supply Planning processes to proactively tackle these new challenges. They are genuine partners, working with our team, facilitating and teaching.”

Jane Thrasher, Vice President of Supply Chain, Horizon Hobby
“We engaged with Supply Velocity to help us embed process improvement at all levels of the business. Our team learned from Mitch to let the data drive decisions, to use Lean tools to help us see our processes critically and objectively, and to create a control plan to manage all of the tasks that were the outcome of the data study.

The project turned out to be very significant to the company and most importantly, our customers. We reduced our customer wait times by 40%, and cut in half the labor cost to fulfill customer orders.

Some results are not able to be measured. However, as a result of this project, we have started to build a Lean mindset and culture, which is part of our strategic mission to save our customers money. Supply Velocity has been a valued partner in this mission.”

Dionne Dumitru, COO, Weekends Only
“Mitch Millstein and his team helped guide our shop fabrication division in the re-layout of our custom pipe and steel fabrication facility when we moved into a new building. It is not only the results but how he helped. We were involved in every step. I personally did time studies and was able to see the non-value added steps required to manufacture in our old layout. When we created our new layout, everyone was involved, from the executive team to our direct labor force. With Mitch’s help we increased our throughput by a 3x multiple, while providing more competitive prices to our clients as a result of the efficiency improvements.

This has enabled us to not only make more money but also to expand our commercial reach and serve more, and larger customers. I would recommend Supply Velocity to any company that wants to make improvement in supply chain and operations.”

Geoff Gross, President, Gross Mechanical
“Supply Velocity has provided the technical expertise and political capital to move our project forward. They have just the right amount of push and the right amount of support. Supply Velocity has helped us make real changes to improve efficiencies in logistics without jeopardizing our performance. We’re happy and our customers are happy.”
David Walters, President, Hy-C
“Myerson engaged Supply Velocity, specifically Ray Davis to visit our plant in Trinidad to conduct a two day assessment of our production procedures and provide us feedback on areas for improvement and where applicable, areas for future analysis.

Put simply, we got everything we paid for and in addition to more in depth analysis, we got specific tasks that were immediately actionable. Our local management team found Ray to be engaging, highly credible and insightful based on his wide experience. In other words the cultural differences and lack of specific industry knowledge weren’t impediments to things we could implement immediately and on our own. In a nutshell it was money well spent and will pay itself back many times over.”

Lee Hartwell CPA, Plant Manager, Myerson Tooth
“We are using Supply Velocity’s Lean Six Sigma methods to analyze a variety of processes including rationalizing SKUs (stock-keeping-units). By using math to evaluate SKUs we took some of the emotion out of our decisions. We expect significant increases in sales and productivity from reducing poor performing SKUs.”
Mark Kelso, Director of Process Improvement, Save-A-Lot
“Anheuser-Busch Precision Printing had been implementing Lean Operations on our own for the past two years. We needed to move faster and partnered with Supply Velocity, Inc. Through Supply Velocity, Inc.’s mathematical workflow balancing and visual management tools, dramatic improvements were achieved. The entire converting operation was rearranged based on Lean principles. The result is a 20.6% productivity improvement, enabling us to operate with 23 fewer people in production.”
Rich Lavosky, General Manager, Anheuser-Busch Precision Printing
“Supply Velocity’s Lean Six Sigma System has given us new tools to help improve our sales performance. We have learned new ways to analyze our business which makes problem solving more accurate and has made us better leaders.”
Rachel Andreasson, Executive Vice President – Marketing, Wallis Companies

“Your process encourages this group to work together, better communicate and have fun doing it.”

George Edinger, President, C&R Mechanical
“C&R was struggling with labor productivity. The construction crews were often missing materials that they needed to do their work. This caused significant idle time. Supply Velocity, Inc. and C&R used value stream mapping and visual management tools to make dramatic improvements in operations. Most importantly, two years later C&R is sustaining and improving on the implementation. C&R’s return on investment was 11:1. C&R had a record year last year in both sales and profits and would not have been able to pull it off without the changes Supply Velocity, Inc. helped us make.”
Tom Kuthe, V.P. Construction Operations, C&R Mechanical