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Sturdi-Built Greenhouse Manufacturing Company


Sturdi-Built Greenhouse Manufacturing Co. creates high-quality handcrafted redwood and glass greenhouse kits. For over 60 years, Sturdi-Built has made beautiful, high-quality greenhouse kits in their factory in Portland, Oregon, using clear all-heart redwood. Excellent materials make their greenhouses naturally durable and exceptionally beautiful, with a wide variety of sizes and styles available. Their kits can be in lean-to, freestanding and attached styles, large or small. They frequently customize kits to fit custom situations.

The Challenge

Sturdi-Built faced significant challenges with longer than desired production lead-time and a lack of a process efficiency mindset. Lead times were double the company’s goal, which decreased margins increased expense. The company sought OMEP’s help to improve their manufacturing operations to effect improved profit and cash flow.
Sturdi-Built was favored to work with OMEP’s Mr. Bob Cannon. Bob not only can train well, he is also very easy to work with, and offers his 30+ years of life and manufacturing experience to provide wise advice and counsel. Thank you Bob!
— Mark Seibert, Owner

MEP's Role

OMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, applied their operational excellence and continuous improvement process to create a manufacturing strategy for Sturdi-Built. The manufacturing strategy included observations, recommendations, and best practices for Sturdi-Built to better manage operations, including training for lean manufacturing fundamentals. This training empowered all Sturdi-Built employees to find and solve manufacturing inefficiency and “waste”. OMEP exposed Sturdi-Built to new thinking and armed them with a mindset that would serve them long after OMEP’s project concluded.

OMEP created a value stream map of Sturdi-Built’s processes. This value stream map created a new energy among the Sturdi-Built team and resulted in a flurry of ideas of where and how to make improvements, some incremental and some transformational. Sturdi Built's team next received training in 5S, a workplace methodology that helps create a safe, clean, neat arrangement of the workplace and provides a specific location for everything and eliminates items not required. 5S helped Sturdi-Built to improve workplace efficiency, safety and morale.

Sturdi-Built’s manufacturing efficacy improved about 20% just by changing how they worked. Leveraging the 5S work, Sturdi Built freed up much-needed manufacturing space, including as much as 30% in the initial focus areas. More importantly, the team was left with the skills and a plan to continue incremental improvements. The financial benefit will lead to significant cost savings through improving work flow, and reducing material and labor waste. Sturdi-Built is poised for continued success over the long term, thanks to their new continuous improvement culture from OMEP.

Created April 5, 2022, Updated March 23, 2024