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Leveraging Lean at Dakota Storage Buildings


Dakota Storage Buildings, with locations in Sioux Falls, Madison, Brookings, and Milbank, South Dakota, offers the ability to order customizable, quality sheds, kennels, garages, and chicken coops. The family-owned company has 25 employees.

The Challenge

As word spread, the demand for Dakota's storage buildings increased and the company was having a hard time keeping up. Dakota Storage Buildings wanted an outside perspective to analyze its production process and systems to see if there was a better way to organize its operations and maximize their workforce. 
We enjoyed working with MTS. Their ability to come in and look at our processes and find bottlenecks was outstanding. Keith’s ability to challenge our thinking and provide a different viewpoint on our process was great! Eighty percent of our problems were in twenty percent of our processes.
— Lenny Stahl, General Manager

MEP's Role

South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions (MTS),  part of the MEP National Network™, started by identifying the organization’s bottlenecks and problem areas with value stream mapping. The activity helped Dakota Storage Buildings visualize waste in their processes and gather critical information to improve their operations. They also did some project work with MTS to iron out other inefficiencies and position their company for growth. Employees attended training and the annual South Dakota Manufacturers’ Day Summit to learn more about continuous improvement and Lean strategies.

By investing in the growth and development of its employees, Dakota Storage Buildings was able to gain support for adopting new processes and procedures. Any skepticism previously held quickly vanished when employees started seeing the results from their changes. Throughout working with MTS, Dakota Storage Buildings was able to increase its capacity and productivity. The company continues to leverage lean and its employees to serve their customers quickly and efficiently.

Created October 24, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021