Spectrum Aquatics was one of MMEC’s early clients, and they have been now been working together for more than 20 years. To help reduce long production lead times, MMEC helped Spectrum use tools like 5S, Setup Reduction, Value Stream Mapping, and spearheaded a long-term effort to develop, implement, and extend lean manufacturing best-practices. Through the lean & 5S efforts, 20% of facility floor space has been freed up which has enabled Spectrum to add several capabilities to its operation. For example, the company is now able bring a powder coating system in house. Powder coating vendors in the supply chain have been a major bottleneck process that inhibited the product flow, so completing this process internally will help facilitate shorter production lead times. In addition, lean efforts have allowed automatic parts deburring to be integrated into the manufacturing process, resulting in a 30% reduction in labor cost. Most recently, Spectrum Aquatics is working with MMEC to implement a Smart Talent Program. Smart Talent builds systems to attract talent, engage employees, and enhance training & development capabilities to address the workforce challenges of this industry in Montana.