Lean Manufacturing is a continuous improvement methodology that empowers employees to create customer value and eliminate waste. Typical Lean benefits reported by Idaho companies include:

  • reduction in lead time – from several weeks to a few days (please customers with faster delivery)
  • a 50% improvement in floor space utilization (eliminate costly plant expansion)
  • a 70% reduction in travel distance (eliminate wasted time)
  • a 50% reduction in inventory levels (boost cash flow and profits)
  • an increase in quality and productivity (please your customers with high quality and competitive prices)

Lean companies also report improvements in:

  • safety – due to Lean’s emphasis on orderliness, standardized work, efficiency and visual cues
  • employee morale & retention – due to Lean’s emphasis on employee feedback and involvement

See how In the Ditch Towing Products in Mountain Home, Idaho has ridden Lean to growth and success.

In today’s highly competitive global market, few firms will survive by wasting time, money and resources or by having had poor customer service.

The Lean Enterprise works to eliminate waste and is focused on meeting customer demand. It is about getting the right things, to the right people, at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities while minimizing waste and being flexible and open to change.

TechHelp has helped facilitate Lean Transformations at Idaho companies such as Buck Knives, Litehouse Foods, Great American AppetizersWoodgrain MillworkQuest AircraftFAMCO and Idaho Wrecker Sales. These companies win business because of they are on a constant quest to eliminate waste and to add value to their products and services.

Lean focuses on reducing eight types of waste represented by the word DOWNTIME:

Defects Overproduction Waiting Non-Value Added Processing Transportation Inventory (Excess) Motion (Excess) Employee Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (Not used)

Transforming to a Lean operation is more revolution than evolution and leads to new ways of thinking and doing from the shop floor to the executive corps.

The workstation at left at Idaho Wrecker Sales in Mountain Home includes several features of Lean including cellular flow, point of use storage, kanban inventory management, visual workplace and quality at the source.

All parts, tools and visual guides needed to build the IWS Speed Mount product are in one place. Production is triggered by customer orders and workers and materials flow to where they are needed to meet customer demand.


“Lean has given Standlee Forage the tools to ensure competitiveness in the marketplace. It really helps you think outside of the box.” Dusty Standlee

The House of Lean Building Blocks: TechHelp Manufacturing Specialists are accomplished Lean trainers and experienced Lean practitioners. Our specialists do not abandon clients at the classroom door. Instead, we combine the training and action needed to create the “traction” that drives a successful Lean implementation. Our primary goal is to give companies the tools needed to become self-sustaining in an ongoing quest for Lean perfection.

TechHelp introduces the Lean Building Blocks during a public or private Lean 101 Workshop that can be tailored to general manufacturing, wood products or food processing. Lean 101 can be an eye-opening and thought-provoking activity that creates a passion for production perfection.

The real value of Lean, though, is in its application in the workplace. Our Lean classes are used as a springboard for shop floor implementation activities that lead to measurable improvement and impact.

Lean Courses Include:

Principles of Lean Manufacturing:  This one-day workshop can be taken alone or as the prerequisite course for all other Lean workshops. It introduces Lean manufacturing principles and a systematic approach that can eliminate company waste. A mix of classroom and live simulations will enable participants to experience first hand how to apply Lean concepts in a company.

5S Visual Workplace: This workshop examines the visual factory. Made up of hundreds of simple visual devices, a visual workplace shares vital information quickly and accurately with the people who need it most – the employees. Visual devices are powerful solutions for working smarter, not harder, and can dramatically improve quality, on-time delivery, lead-time and employee morale.

Setup Reduction: Setup Reduction introduces a systematic, low-cost, shop-proven method that has reduced setup and turnaround time in all types of manufacturing environments. You will learn how to apply specific tools and techniques through real-world examples, using videos and exercises to reinforce the training.

Cellular Flow: Cellular flow is the linking of manual and machine operations into the most efficient combination of resources. The goal is to maximize value-added content while minimizing waste. The resulting “work cells” balance manufacturing operations so there is a continuous flow of product. Parts movement is minimized, wait time between operations is reduced, inventory is reduced and productivity increases.

Total Productive Maintenance: Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a process to maximize the productivity of plant equipment for its entire life. TPM fosters a workforce environment where employees work to reduce equipment downtime to zero while improving quality and capacity.

Change Management: Unless people and culture issues are addressed early, Lean will only be successful 25-50% of the time. There are many potential barriers to change, and the challenge is to identify them and design a strategy to address them. This workshop deals with change management and how to achieve a smooth transition.