C&N Manufacturing located in Boyd, Wisconsin, was established in 1987. The company employs 40 people making summer camp trunks, camping accessories and clothing, foot lockers, duffel bags, and trunk accessories.
There's definitely a change in culture-- less control from management, and more control for employees to improve their processes. Lack of stress, knowing what tomorrow will look like, and having employees responsible for what their workday will look like made a huge difference. We're really starting to blur the lines between departments. Everybody is working together.
When President Ed Holand and Sieglaff realized their system had flaws, Holand reached out to the Manufacturing Outreach Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, part of the MEP National Network™. "They wanted to make improvements, serve their customers and meet demands better but weren't quite sure where to start and what to address," said Ted Theyerl, SMOC senior management engineer.
Lean training, which identifies and eliminates various types of waste in the manufacturing process, began with C&N's trunk-makers. "[In one week,] after production employees attended a lean workshop and did a VSM on their process, the employees made changes to the layout of the production floor to balance the process times, limit work in process, improve the flow and agreed to cross-train and help each other out," Theyerl said.