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Robinson Stave: Practical Problem Solving


Robinson Stave are makers of quality oak bourbon barrels that began as a family-owned business by C.B. and Imogene Robinson in a small southeastern Kentucky stave mill in 1958. They secure renewable white oak logs from all over the southeast and turn them into staves to produce 53-gallon barrels known throughout the industry for their quality. We char the insides of each barrel to provide the distinctive color and taste for some of the best-known bourbons in the world.

The Challenge

Expansion and rapid growth in the past couple of years was preventing organizational leaders from handling a growing list of problems efficiently while demand for their product was increasing exponentially. Productivity was well below target while downtime in the facility was high, resulting in productivity loss. There was not an agreed upon or well understood communication methodology to address these issues and promote teamwork. For help the company contacted the Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA), part of the MEP National Network™.
I used to throw things at a problem and hope something sticks. This class forces you to develop a strategy to find a longer lasting solution that increases production rather than just winging it.
— James Carmen, Manager

MEP's Role

COVID restrictions forced the AKA team to modify the highly interactive problem solving classroom experience into a virtual one. Leaders were taught the thinking and communication methodology of problem solving in a simple format which was easily incorporated into their system of meetings, staff updates and regular checks to support and address operational issues.
Created October 26, 2021, Updated July 1, 2022