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Internal Lean and Marketing Growth During Pandemic


The Olde Mill of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been a premier manufacturer of handcrafted reclaimed architectural woodworks and custom wood products for over 40 years. Real wood products made by the real wood experts. The Olde Mill is passionate about reclaiming history to craft masterful woodwork, and they know that means both learning from the past and growing with the future. Their teams of experts work together to offer an unparalleled experience - from design and planning to execution and installation.


The company carefully selects structural timbers from salvaged longleaf pine to be re-milled and re-engineered to beautiful naturally finished beams. The wood beams have the look and feel of solid structural beams as well as the advantages of an engineered piece: multi-functional, durable, lightweight, and easy to install. The Olde Mill focuses on the highest quality craftsmanship of a variety of stock and custom architectural products chosen by home builders, commercial contractors, and homeowners.

The Challenge

With the company at a sales plateau, Richard Ourso, owner of The Olde Mill, decided to focus his efforts on cultivating the external and internal workings of The Olde Mill. He contacted Dan Stumper of LCTCS MEP of LA and Justin Dedden, LCTCS MEP representative at Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC), part of the MEP National Network™, for help.

The people we worked with were very patient with us and made it a low pressure situation.
— Richard Ourso, Owner

MEP's Role

Internally, Dan and Justin evaluated the company using a COVID-19 Business Assessment, followed by a detailed lean assessment and then a LEAN 101 training for 10 employees, supplemented with a standardized work assessment. Externally, The Olde Mill focused on round two of economic gardening, rebranding their brand manual, and a more aggressive digital marketing strategy. The LCTCS MEP of LA’s BRCC representative assisted The Olde Mill in finding and collaborating with a third-party marketing consultant who helped with branding design and consulted on a brand manual.


As a result, the lean improvements and marketing advances ultimately led the company to experience cost savings due to utilizing the MEP program for services related to their current needs as well as an increase in new products, equipment and IT, which ultimately led to savings on their investments during a difficult period. Current sales are trending well above year over performance.

Created July 28, 2022