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Golden Artist Colors Uses its Creativity to Improve its Business

steps for achieving a goal
Credit: iStock/Olivier Le Moal

Golden Artist Colors, Inc., or simply GOLDEN, founded in 1980 and based in New Berlin, New York, manufactures paints for the art materials market. The company produces a line of acrylic colors that includes recreations of historic pigments, the Williamsburg line of artists' oil paints, QoR watercolors, and decorative and architectural paints and mediums. GOLDEN became an employee-owned company in 2002 and currently employs 234 people.

GOLDEN embarked on a project to improve production efficiencies and effectiveness, and requested the Alliance for Manufacturing and Technology (AM&T), part of the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the MEP National NetworkTM, provide training in Lean and Continuous Improvement to support the effort. The company obtained a Workforce Development Institute Grant to offset a portion of the costs.

The training and support that was provided to Golden Artist Colors by AM&T was perfect. During the very first site visit I gained the confidence that they really cared about providing us with a proposal that was going to meet our needs. The project manager/trainer provided us with the tools, resources and understanding of Lean with a model that keeps focus on sustaining our efforts and the continued development of our program. Three years into our program we continue to learn and engage our employee owners along the way and continue to reduce costs and increase throughput. We have been provided with the building blocks to have a sustainable Continuous Improvement program and value the relationship that we have established with AM&T.

—Matt Asma, Training and Development Specialist

Golden Artist Colors and AM&T looked at the company’s operations and determined what kind of Lean and Continuous Improvement training would be of the most benefit. As a result, AM&T provided a series of training events from February to October 2017 to engage employees at all levels. First, an overview of Lean concepts was provided, with a focus on Standard Work, 5S, and Visual Workplace for all operations employees. Second, two five-day Kaizen events in paint making and filling taught participants how to work as a team designing and implementing improvements using Standard Work, 5S, and Visual Systems. Staff learned how to facilitate Kaizen events, including planning and preparing activities as well as how to conduct events and perform follow-up. Staff learned basic facilitation tools and team dynamics to promote high performance teams. An 8-Step Problem Solving Training helped GOLDEN team members learn how to effectively solve and prevent problems that can save the organization time, money, and resources. Finally, AM&T worked with GOLDEN to create a sustainable Continuous Improvement program.


  • 33 jobs created, and 14 internal promotions
  • $40,000 investment in new equipment
  • 50% reduction in cost per piece in the targeted cell

Could your company benefit from assistance with Continuous Improvement? Connect with your local MEP Center for more information.


The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership is the official representative of the MEP National Network in New York. The MEP National Network is a unique public-private partnership that helps small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today’s technology-driven economy. The MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

About the author

New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) is a network of organizations that provide growth and innovation services to small and mid-sized manufacturers in every corner of the state to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. 

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