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Leveraging Lean principles to increase efficiency and reduce costs

With the help of: Impact Washington


Scratch & Peck Feeds is a family-owned company that manufactures Certified Organic, whole-grain, non-GMO, soy free, and completely raw chicken feed produced through a limited processing technique. Since launching in 2010, the company has added organic feeds for ducks, turkeys, pigs, and goats. Originally based in Bellingham, Washington, Scratch & Peck Feeds recently moved its plant to Burlington, Washington — more than doubling their production space to meet the needs of the fast-growing demand for their products.


The Challenge

While Scratch & Peck Feeds’ new, larger plant allowed for the opportunity to expand its business, the company quickly realized that the facility posed key layout challenges that could adversely affect production and worker safety. Given the long-range goal to build a thriving regional food network in which Scratch & Peck provides an integral link, management sought to adopt the appropriate tools to assist them in elevating their business practices through an emphasis on both production and customer service.
Working with Impact Washington gave our company access to a variety of seasoned industry professionals.  These instructors molded the training specifically to our needs.  They developed a great learning environment that encouraged team building and skill sharing.  The true testament to this investment of time spent on training is evident in the fact that these systems are still in active use today, long after the training ended. As a result, we’ve seen a definitive improvement in our company’s overall time and cost savings.
— Steve Thiele, Operations Manager

MEP's Role

Scratch & Peck Feeds first met the Impact Washington team, part of the MEP National Network™, when some of their employees attended a publicly offered course on FSPCA Preventative Controls for Animal Food. Following this event, they received a formal introduction to the Impact Washington team from the Bellingham Economic Development Council, who recommended them as a partner to help achieve their company’s vision for the future.


After conducting a thorough assessment of Scratch & Peck Feeds’ needs, Impact Washington identified the tools necessary to enhance a Lean and continuous improvement culture within the company. Impact Washington Account Executive, Steve Winters, managed and facilitated the project, including the securement of a JSP (Job Skills Program) grant. He then strategically partnered with key trainers to systematically guide the company’s employees through each step of the Lean techniques and methodologies including Principles of Lean Manufacturing, Value Stream Mapping, Project Management, Kaizen Workshop, Toyota Kata Workshop, and Excel Training.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021