Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

ATN's Lean Tools: The Right Formula for Johnson Labs


Johnson Labs is a woman-owned business enterprise located in Troy, Alabama, that currently produces cleaning & restoration products, hunting products, and agricultural products. They have over 150 formulas for cleaning, janitorial, restaurant, and fleet care maintenance.  Established in 1988, Johnson Labs is an FDA and EPA-registered facility, manufacturing products for companies across the nation. Additionally, Johnson Labs offers research and development and analytical laboratory support. Johnson Labs currently has 19 employees.  

The Challenge

After handling the company business for over 30 years Louis Johnson turned operations over to his wife Karla. Karla recognized that a major workplace reorganization was needed to run the business efficiently. Due to the lack of workplace organization, valuable space could not be utilized for testing new products and processing orders more efficiently.  They needed to be able to reduce manufacturing waste while streamlining productivity. Karla consulted with ATN, part of the MEP National Network™ to develop a plan to tackle the areas that were unorganized and provide a more visual workplace.
We are so thankful for the ATN team walking us through analyzing our processes and creating more efficient and profitable procedures. We were so impressed by how practical the trainings were and how Brandon Lineberry and the team jumped in to help us implement the new processes. Brandon’s follow-up calls are also key to our success with the training. He always checks in about a month after the training to see what we’ve been able to implement and answer any questions. No other company gives us the quality instruction and follow-up support that ATN does. Thank you for investing in small business!
— Karla Johnson, CEO

MEP's Role

ATN developed a plan using lean tools. They began by delivering an Introduction to Lean Principles class for employees that included a hands-on simulated factory where participants learned to apply lean concepts to their workstations. Kaizen events were planned in three areas: mixing, packaging and filling. The Kaizen plan included training in quick changeover and 6S. Processes were first observed, timed, and documented. This task allowed the employees to define the current state of their processes.

Next, employees brainstormed an action plan for improvements.  For the desired state, it was agreed to rearrange the area layout, apply lines and labels on all needed items, and create a 6S standard of work to help sustain. Additionally, process improvements were made by replacing some hoses, piping, and lines in essential work areas.  Lastly, an action plan was put in place for items that still need to take place to complete their workplace organization.  

Created October 22, 2022, Updated February 4, 2023