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Sports Equipment Manufacturer Drastically Cuts Total Production Lead Time

With the help of: CONNSTEP


Jaypro Sports is an athletic equipment manufacturer providing sports and recreation products for every level of play. The company is headquartered in Waterford, Connecticut, operating out of a 67,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The company applies color finishes and protects outdoor sports equipment with one of the largest state-of-the-art and environmentally-friendly powder coating and wash systems specifically designed for their unique mix of product. Jaypro Sports continues to invest heavily in machinery and equipment to excel in the industry.

The Challenge

As part of their commitment to continuous improvement (CI), Jaypro Sports emphasizes training for its employees to sustain a lean manufacturing culture. As part of their ongoing employee training efforts with CONNSTEP, Connecticut’s MEP center and part of the MEP National Network™, the company sought to address cost and lead time issues with the LG-1X lacrosse goal, one of Jaypro's most popular products.

Jaypro wanted to reduce the cost of production of the goal, since its margin was minimal, and in the process increase sales and improve market share. Long lead time was also negatively impacting customer satisfaction (as well as Jaypro’s operating costs), which needed to be addressed in order to achieve the company's objectives for this product.

This project was about making it easier to produce our best-in-class lacrosse goal with fewer issues, reducing the cost and total production lead time. The more we got into using lean principles, applying them to our processes, the more it made sense. We think of lean as a continuous improvement mindset, making it our mentality.


— Blake Bragaw, Manufacturing Engineer

MEP's Role

The production of the LG-1X lacrosse goal from receipt of the work order through assembly at final pack had an average lead time of 158.7 days. Jaypro conducted a value stream mapping (VSM) exercise and followed lean principles conveyed by CONNSTEP to determine the most efficient way to get their lacrosse goal through the production process faster with a reduced lead time.

A key to improving workflow involved redesigning the shop floor plan, which had an unnecessary amount of distance between operations. With far too much work-in-progress (WIP) on the shop floor, WIP zones were added to streamline the process. The company also added new equipment including a deburring machine and rotary sander which helped reduce production time, improved first pass yield, and resulted in fewer returns.

A preventative maintenance sheet helped to reduce machine downtime. Dedicated WIP areas and travel lanes expedited work, with signs for each department visually displaying work orders that properly set the order of production. A process change form was created as an incentive for employees to provide improvement ideas and solutions across all Jaypro product lines.

Created January 4, 2024