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Woodland Furniture - Idaho Falls - Lean Manufacturing

Woodland Furniture Company
Location: Idaho Falls, Bonneville County

Situation:

Woodland Furniture Company, a maker of high-end wood furniture which it sells through interior design houses, was having difficulty meeting sales demands, with production constrained by a seeming lack of manufacturing space. TechHelp was asked to come and assist with the design of a new 100,000 square foot building to be built adjacent to the current facility. The projected cost for the additional facility was $6.5 million. Prior to pursuing new construction, the company agreed to implement Lean Manufacturing techniques.

Solution:

Senior management from Woodland attended Lean training, and then worked with a TechHelp manufacturing specialist to identify opportunities and develop an implementation plan. The lean implementation began with a selected area of the manufacturing operation, and a cross-functional team of individuals that included senior management. The team was trained on a Monday, and began a kaizen event on Tuesday to implement the first product family. In that same week, the entire workforce at Woodland was sent to the Lean 101 Workshop. TechHelp led the first kaizen, which developed a basic pattern and methodology to be used by management at Woodland for future kaizens. Within one month, Woodland had changed their entire manufacturing areas from functional organization to product families with pull systems.

Impact:

Three months after bringing in TechHelp, Woodland had:

  • Eliminated the need for new facility ($6.5 million cost avoidance).
  • Created approximately 40% available space in present facility.
  • Eliminated overtime , which was 20-25% of direct labor costs.
  • Improved productivity.
  • The company now makes four times as much product as last year.
  • Reduced lead time from 12 weeks plus to less than 1 week.

Testimonial:

"We are thrilled with what TechHelp has done for us. On our own it would have taken us years getting to where we now are. TechHelp came in and helped us get there in months. We saved more in our first 60 days than our entire investment, our employees are now on a profit-sharing program, and we've been able to shelve plans we had for a new factory. Thanks to TechHelp and the lean manufacturing approach, our current facility will suffice for the next five years with 40% growth per year."

Lynn Harker
CEO
Woodland Furniture

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