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Leader Starter Kata (LSK) Helps Company Achieve a 24% Overall Business Improvement in Less Than Nine Months


National Custom Hollow Metal (NCHM) offers an extensive range of custom-crafted stainless steel and galvanneal metal doors and frames. Whether destined for heavy-duty industrial environments, hospitals and laboratories, restaurants or storefronts, NCHM doors are expertly crafted to precise tolerances and exact specifications out of materials specifically chosen to ensure superior durability, appearance and ease of operation.

The Challenge

Because of their highly regarded products in the marketplace, NCHM anticipated a steady increase in sales volume and realized that it required a different approach to meeting future challenges and opportunities. Since resources of time, money and labor were limited, they needed to become more focused by addressing the right things, at the right time, for the right reasons. After having embraced Lean Manufacturing in years past, NCHM turned to AMS, part of the MEP National Network™, for further assistance. 
I have worked in various segments of manufacturing for over 30 years and the Leader Starter KATA program is different from any other CI program I have experienced. It guides you down a path towards a solution that consistently provides the best answer. Leader Starter KATA forces you to look at all areas of the company for improvement by breaking down process, communication and people into 3 sub-categories. As VP of Operations, my focus is production, but LSK has taken me outside my area of responsibility to solve problems where they originate. National makes custom hollow metal products for customers who need it quick, nothing we make goes to stock. This combination has been a recipe for disaster in that 'special' and 'rush' make it easy for mistakes to pop-up. Leader Starter KATA has helped us to examine and improve many areas of our business including consistently reduced defects, month in and month out. Thank you for introducing us to this program. Using the Leader Starter KATA approach to problem solving will be a valuable tool for our growing business.
— Bert Mayer, Vice President of Operations

MEP's Role

Leader Starter Kata, a Mike Rother Toyota Kata concept, was offered as a solution to help them develop a challenge statement, create a target condition, identify obstacles and conduct PDCA experiments accordingly. Following a one day on site LSK kickoff, weekly Zoom kata coaching calls over an eight month period were conducted to address progress based on their 9 KPIs.
Created April 30, 2022, Updated July 16, 2022