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5S Training and Implementation Leads to Big Results for Tri W-G

With the help of: Impact Dakota


Tri W-G, a veteran-owned, family-owned business located in Valley City, North Dakota, has been creating quality physical therapy rehab equipment since 1967. Remarkably, some of its earliest equipment is still in service today; Tri W-G builds every product to last. Tri W-G proactively implemented the new safety standards from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before any other physical therapy equipment manufacturer. Its products are compliant to the ISO 14971 Risk Management Standard, and they carry the American Mark of Safety - UL® Classified 60601-1 safety label.

The Challenge

Tri W-G’s main facility includes various storage and warehouse areas for raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods inventories. The storage and warehouse areas lacked organization and were consuming a large amount of the space and a vast majority of facility’s footprint. There were a number of problems impacting productivity, including wasted time searching for and placing components, subassemblies, and finished goods. Tri W-G needed help, and they turned to Impact Dakota,  part of the MEP National Network™.

Impact Dakota has made a significant impact on our production efficiency. We have struggled for years to keep areas of our factory organized and clean. Jodie and Reza worked with our employees to get input on how to best organize for their efficiency, but then also provided training to keep things working smoothly. Our first 5S event exceeded our expectations and we now have employees asking to do more events. Thank you Reza, Jodie and Impact Dakota for all your help!

— Jon Lindgren, Chief Operating Officer

MEP's Role

Impact Dakota began with an initial visit and assessment of the needs, generating a summary report reflecting the assessment that outlined a number of recommendations the impact on productivity of company resources and the immediate need to implement a workplace organization based on 5S system.

Following Impact Dakota’s recommendation, the company took the initiative to evaluate, and get rid of as many obsolete items as possible, freeing up a large amount of space. Subsequently Impact Dakota provided 5S training and facilitated a 2-day kaizen event to further improve Tri W-G’s productivity. Participants in the training and project included employees and supervisors as well as the COO of the company.

During the training, which included a walk through the facility, participants provided inputs about problems and improvement opportunities. Participants put in practice their knowledge of 5S diligently implementing the “sort”, “set-in-order”, and “shine”. They consolidated partial containers/racks, re-assigned inventories for better access, freed up floor and rack spaces occupied by unneeded items, and clearly labeled all racks and inventories placed on them. Collectively, the kaizen event participants' actions lead to improved productivity of the company’s resources including, but not limited to people, space, and materials.

Created January 30, 2021, Updated July 12, 2021