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Transformational Changes in a Transformational Industry


Midstates Group has transformed in its 35 years to become a multi-faceted print and media solutions group, providing many print-related solutions for their customers under one roof. What started as a print shop is now one of the largest of its kind in the nation, providing printing, mailing, fulfillment, and design services for clients around the globe. Based in South Dakota’s third-largest city of Aberdeen, Midstates employs over 150 people in their 180,000-square-foot facility. 

The Challenge

As the business grew leadership wanted to fix a few growing pains within the company, first and foremost making sure on-time deliveries continued to be top of mind for the company. With an introduction to South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions (MTS), part of the MEP National Network™, in 2017, a meeting, and a business assessment, MTS and Midstates agreed to start on a lean transformation journey. 

We really like working with MTS, and that’s why we continue to do so. We appreciate that MTS is very approachable, responsive, and always available. MTS employees have a genuine willingness to help our company and they have a true understanding of our organization, which is really important in helping us truly grow and improve.
— Paul Hopkins, Vice President of Manufacturing

MEP's Role

From starting with a value stream map (VSM) for the production process and employees in different roles attending Lean 101 courses to having company leaders attend the Lean Leadership for Supervisors course and CEO peer group, Midstates and MTS have become true partners throughout the years. 


The VSM provided opportunities and tactics for the group to work together to remove waste and increase efficiencies in their process and introduced the company to concepts like 5S and set-up time reduction. Three Midstates employees are now bronze-certified in Lean and multiple employees have taken Lean 101 to help drive the concept throughout the company. Pair that with three other employees participating in MTS’ newest offering known as Lean Leadership for Supervisors, and the company is well into its journey for continuous improvement on all levels.

Created November 2, 2021