Established in 1989, Fresh Air Manufacturing Comp


FAMCO ­ Meridian products are sold by leading wholesalers and retail outlets throughout the US, Canada, and several foreign countries. When the economy faded and orders slowed in 2008,

Marty Artis holds a FAMCO vent product.

President Marty Artis holds a FAMCO vent product.

FAMCO President, Marty Artis, decided to take advantage of the breather to focus on Lean initiatives that had been on hold. He brought in Idaho’s Manufacturing Extension Partner, TechHelp, to assist with a plant assessment, then worked with TechHelp to plan and implement a Lean Manufacturing initiative. TechHelp Manufacturing Specialists worked with the FAMCO management team to support the Lean Manufacturing transformation. FAMCO used Lean implementation techniques to set up several production cells, supermarkets and kanban systems to improve manufacturing operations. By late 2008, FAMCO management recognized that its order processing might benefit from some of the Lean techniques that manufacturing had adopted. In early 2009, FAMCO took advantage of the economic slowdown to engage TechHelp in Leaning its office processes.



  •  Because FAMCO front office and warehouse operations were included in the Lean transformation, all departments now speak and understand the same language and adhere to the same practices.
  • Lean reduced the time from receipt of an order to the work order arriving at the factory floor by about 65%.
  • Lean shaved another 20% off FAMCO’s already low customer lead time.
  • FAMCO created a more professional image by reducing delivery errors and by making it easier for customers to confirm orders.
  • FAMCO significantly improved on-­time delivery by reducing lead time from customer order to shipment by 50%.
  • Improved operations and customer service led to retained sales of $100,000.
  • Six jobs were created or retained.
  • Lean led to an annual cost savings of $20,000.
  • FAMCO invested $25,000 to improve operations.
  • Employee driven goal setting and goal attainment led to a noticeable improvement in employee morale.
  • Lean helped FAMCO avoid a multi million dollar plant expansion by reducing the amount of space needed for production and storage
We could have gone into shut down mode during the economic downturn but instead decided to pursue Lean initiatives that had been on the back burner for a while. Working with the TechHelp guys was great. By engaging our entire team, everyone felt a part of the improvement initiative which greatly improved morale. Marty Artis, President FAMCO