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Maintaining Maxwell Products' Lean Journey


Maxwell Products of Salt Lake City, Utah, is a leading manufacturer of pavement maintenance solutions that was founded in 1975. It currently has a team of 75 who work diligently to make product improvements, industry-defining innovations, and advanced, patented technologies. They have devoted years to research and development to make sure their road repair solutions are cutting-edge. 

The Challenge

The Maxwell Products team was eager to see how they could engage leadership and line workers in producing better outcomes and having the self-motivation to do it. They realized their team lacked knowledge regarding lean and believed gaining a better understanding of lean principles would yield dividends in their overall performance. Additionally, Maxwell Products’ team was hand stacking boxes of product on pallets, which was physically taxing for employees and was limiting their growth. They reached out to iMpact Utah, part of the MEP National Network™, to talk about automation options.
Our work with iMpact upped the game. We are starting to see that more empowerment and engagement on our team results in better consistency and quality in our product. We have a few key positions in our processes where we rely on the people to get the processes right, and those processes have improved. We have a mindset of constantly working to be better so we don’t go back to where we were.
— Jared Pringle, Operations Director, Maxwell Products

MEP's Role

iMpact Utah, a University of Utah MEP sub-recipient,  worked with Maxwell Products to increase lean understanding within the leadership team and with line workers. This effort included onsite lean coaching involving Maxwell’s operations director, plant manager, and production manager. Maxwell also completed a Lean 101 training and exercise and a Pit Crew Challenge continuous improvement event. To address their automation needs, iMpact Utah helped them implement a stacking system that eliminated the need to hand-stack boxes. All services were delivered by iMpact Utah subject matter experts.

Upon completing Lean coaching, the Lean 101 training, the Pit Crew Challenge, and implementing a new automation cell, managers noticed a mindset shift in line leaders and workers. More active participants were needed to reach established objectives. They had a newfound commitment to do the job better and be aware of opportunities to improve.

 As a result of all of the continuous improvement, leadership, and collaboration training, the company has seen an improvement in employee retention. Removing the physical demands of stacking boxes also helped that cause and improved overall workplace culture. The newfound commitment to improvement is reflected in product testing, which has resulted in better product quality and consistency. Lastly, implementing the new stacking system has increased manufacturing volumes and saved time.

Created April 12, 2024