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Arizona MEP and Life Startup Essentials Work Together to Improve Business Fundamentals


With years of experience working with the homeless through government housing programs, the founders of Life Startup Essentials (LSE) in Phoenix, Arizona, aspired to increase the success rate of individuals and families transitioning to permanent housing. LSE provides pre-packaged kits of household items to social service agencies to give to the newly housed. The "Welcome Home Kits" furnish a living space with kitchenware, bedding, cleaning supplies and bath ware,  everything needed to start up their new homes and create a stable, self-sufficient environment to thrive.

The Challenge

The company, started by three family members who saw a need in the community and decided to fulfill it, quickly became successful. Running a business was new to the founders and COO Anthony Newell sought to expand his knowledge of business operations by attending an Arizona MEP workshop on lean and OSHA. After the workshop, Arizona MEP Senior Client Advisor Tanya Perkins contacted CFO Courtney Newell to learn more about LSE. The meeting led to Arizona MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, performing an assessment and developing a strategic plan for the company. Other focus areas included hiring new employees, building a sales process, safety training and selecting an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. <
When we started the business, we saw the need in the community for our services, but we did not have experience with kitting, inventory management, shipping, etc. We were piecing training together to gain more knowledge. When Tanya met with us and shared the resources Arizona MEP could provide, it opened a new world for us. They have been a great partner and have positively impacted our operations and our company's growth.
— Courtney Newel, CFO/Co-Founder

MEP's Role

According to Courtney Newell, the most crucial training was understanding the lean toolset and how to apply it to improve the process and flow of building the kits. The company saw real-world results, saving four minutes per kit or five hours weekly.

As the company grew, the leadership team started to look beyond family members to fill critical positions. Recruiting and hiring employees is challenging and the company found success and cost-savings with an Arizona MEP custom-designed program. Offered as a flat-fee service, the Arizona MEP human resource expert developed job descriptions, conducted interviews and onboarded three new employees. Arizona MEP also developed a nine-month sales training program that included one-on-one training and learning to improve lead capture, qualification and follow-up skills.

To get started in the search for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Arizona MEP helped the company create a specification document and identify an ERP that aligned with LSE’s desired needs. The team then began an evaluating and testing period to ensure the selected program was the best fit.

Created April 28, 2023