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Lean Training and Kaizen Pilot Successes as a Result of Business Assessment Findings


In 1994, Lenny Lipari, Craig Landry, and Nancy Landry opened a small shop in the heart of southern Louisiana. Action Specialties has since grown to be one of the nation’s top advertising specialty institutions with both a local and international base of satisfied customers. Action Specialties advertises that they can, "customize any product to showcase your brand."

Today, Action Specialties is based in New Iberia, Louisiana, a small city known for its rich heritage and southern hospitality, with a second location in Houston, Texas. The company’s New Iberia workforce of 50+ employees operates from a 40,000-square-foot facility. Their production floor is home to industry-leading professionals and cutting-edge machinery, equipment and supplies. From high-speed, wide-format printers to automatic, brilliant-color screen printers to 100+ monogramming heads, Action Specialties has the tools and expertise to fulfill and complete any job.

The Challenge

Action Specialties’ Production Manager Michael Lipari reached out to the LCTCS MEP of LA, part of the MEP National Network™, for a business assessment. Through the assessment the LCTCS MEP of LA team learned the company was experiencing low turnover, lacked a structured process improvement program, and needed to better embrace safety culture.

Working with Baxter Saucier and Wynn Landry through Lean 101 and the Kaizen program has added great value to our company. We are working leaner and producing more products with the best quality and service in the industry.
— Michael Lipari, Production Manager

MEP's Role

LCTCS MEP of LA project managers recommended a Lean 101 training for the Action Specialties staff as a first step toward addressing process improvement. During the training led by LCTCS MEP of LA Project Managers Baxter Saucier and Wynn Landry, twelve students received a combination of lecture and simulation to learn and apply the basics of lean manufacturing.

Next LCTCS MEP of LA project managers recommended Action Specialties establish a Lean/Kaizen pilot program. This multi-day event was conducted as a hands-on 5S/workplace organization/visual controls/process mapping implementation exercise in the shipping and receiving area. Once the Action Specialties team completed the exercise LCTCS MEP of LA team members captured future state action items and had a closing meeting with management to discuss opportunities and a lean pathway for the future. As a result of the work with LCTS MEP Action Specialties saw significant increases in annual revenue.

Created October 20, 2022, Updated June 15, 2023