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FAMCO - Meridian - Lean Enterprise

FAMCO - A Breath of Fresh Air


Established in 1989, Fresh Air Manufacturing Company (FAMCO) headquartered in Meridian Idaho is one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest manufacturers of sheet metal and plastic, air ventilation products.  FAMCO's customers include heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing and siding distributors. The company also designs and manufactures parts and products for OEM's in the HVAC and  other industries.

FAMCO currently manufactures and distributes from three plants located in Meridian, Nampa and Caldwell Idaho to thousands of wholesalers across the United States and Canada. FAMCO products are used in HVAC to Roofing, and Building Materials. FAMCO's quality starts with using the finest raw materials available and having an experienced team following lean manufacturing principles. Under Lean Manufacturing, every procedure is measured, analyzed and checked for quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Welcome to FAMCO in Meridian.

FAMCO President, Marty Artis, displays one of the company's products.


FAMCO 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 , 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.

This board shows evidence of the ongoing Lean efforts taking place at FAMCO.

Organization on the FAMCO factory floor shows the effects of Lean.


  • 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

FAMCO employees working in Lean work cells have everything at hand needed to do a job.

FAMCO’S Lean initiative improved productivity and morale during
what could have been a “down time” and positioned the company
for the economic recovery.


“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 elt a part of the improvement initiative which greatly improved morale."

Marty Artis, President

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