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MRC Training Enables Kitchen Magic to Enjoy the Benefits of Standard Work


Based in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Kitchen Magic is the leader in kitchen remodeling for an eight-state area of the northeastern U.S. The company was founded in 1979 by Jost and Reine Fleck and specializes in kitchen cabinet refacing. Kitchen Magic’s team of experts has designed, manufactured, and transformed more than 50,000 kitchens over the last 40 years; award-winning options include cabinet refacing, new cabinetry and countertops, while complementary in-home consultations enable homeowners to view quality products in their own home.

The Challenge

Nazareth-based Kitchen Magic, a manufacturer of kitchen cabinet refacing components as well as countertops for their kitchen remodeling services, sought to create a standard work-based manufacturing model. In this way, the company hoped to streamline employee training, leverage innovative problem-solving methods, and implement Lean and Toyota culture to create a team of problem-solvers. To this end, the company turned to MRC for Lean Implementation/Lean Master Certification, Problem Solving Training, Toyota Culture, and Customer Service training.
Managers can’t solve all the problems; you must have everyone working from the ground up.
— James Mayers, Assistant Vice President of Operations

MEP's Role

In addition to completing a Lean Implementation program, Kitchen Magic’s Assistant Vice President of Operations, James Mayers, and Assistant General Manager Bradley Stepp both recently graduated from MRC’s Lean Master Certification program.  Over the course of several months, Mayers says they gained an in-depth understanding of Lean methodology while building a library of problem-solving resources. Perhaps more importantly, they gained the ability to coach other teammates in the future.

Mayers adds that the A3 Problem Solving methodology, which has been shared with the company’s managers and enables measurable process improvements, led to the need for standard work.  The company has worked for the past year to document standard work and define expectations.  In this way, marrying Lean-based time studies and A3 problem solving enabled Kitchen Magic to reduce their cycle count rate errors.  In one case, that counting improvement reduced the number of plywood sheets missing over a one-month period from 72 sheets to just 4. These efforts dovetail with customer service training as well.  Mayers says the company has defined a standard training schedule for new hires to clarify their responsibilities, which has led to more efficient onboarding.

Lean Culture training with Mike Hoseus, meanwhile, led to the creation of visual boards to communicate daily management routines and provide a visual reminder of KPIs. “Hosting the class here was great,” Mayers says. “The whole class used our business model as the basis for teaching of Lean Daily Management.”

Created August 4, 2022