For more than 73 years, Jersey Shore Awning Co. of Wall Township, New Jersey, has been designing, fabricating, and installing awnings for homeowners and businesses throughout the Jersey Shore. The Jersey Shore Awning Co.’s multi-generational family business has been proudly serving the community with quality, hands-on service, and they’ve developed a reputation at the Jersey Shore that’s recognizable and iconic. Their process for adding an awning to any residential or commercial property is easy and their team carefully handles all stages of the process, starting with design, fabrication, and culminating in the installation of premium custom awnings.
Wade McClellan, third generation CEO of Jersey Shore Awning Co., and his two brothers have been involved in the business as far back as he can remember, with Wade taking over in 2015. Wade was forced to reevaluate the operation and look for areas of improvement that could increase efficiency to lessen the demand of the team and himself, without jeopardizing productivity and profits. Jersey Shore Awning needed to continue keeping up with demand, but not at the cost of its team members and his family—and that’s where the conversation for Kaizen training began. They weren’t sure what next step to take and were encouraged by another ‘MADE in new Jersey’ manufacturer to connect with NJMEP, part of the MEP National Network™.
I would one hundred percent recommend working with NJMEP. What it really did in its most base form— it got me off the proverbial treadmill—so now I can actually sit in my office and do air-traffic control, and actually run the business” says Wade, “If we’re going to grow, being on the production line for me is a waste of the company’s resources. This project taught us how to keep more of the money coming in. I still work too much, I’m in here every day, but now I have time to sit and do what I need to from a managerial and lifestyle standpoint.
Prior to engaging with NJMEP, Wade had no idea the MEP National Network existed. He was looking at ways to maximize his ROI, rather than just hustling more and more at the expense of his health, time, and business. “I knew there were plenty of loose-ends here and there,” he says, “and the NJMEP Kaizen training program gave us a bird’s eye view [of our operation], rather than just hacking our way through the woods.”
Kaizen means improvement. Moreover, it means continuing improvement in working life. When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone—starting with production workers and continuing up through the chain of command. The Kaizen training program included a total of 24 hours of lean training, broken up over the course of three days, totaling 8 hours of training per day. The first day began with assessing the current standing of the organization's lean practices, and then provided a general overview of lean principles. Next, training was provided to staff on how to create a process map as well as delivering in-depth explanation of 5S and how to identify the correct metrics to monitor. Finally, visual management, flow, and Kanban training was delivered to the participating teams.