Posted by William Mullane | November 9, 2016
All About Lollipops is a novelty lollipop manufacturing company, which has been in business in Boise, Idaho for 25 years. The 30 employee company was recently purchased by Maredy Candy Company of California.
All About Lollipops’ production tooling methods were costly and time-consuming, only efficient for high-volume orders. The process included multiple steps to complete the design, fabrication, and testing of molds. For each new mold, the company developed a sketch, a clay model, a rubber mold, and, eventually,a brass mold. The expense associated with the development process limited All About Lollipops’ ability to tap new markets with a high mix/low volume product strategy. The company contacted Idaho TechHelp (TechHelp), a NIST MEP network affiliate, for help exploring new product tooling techniques.
TechHelp developed a new production tooling process for All About Lollipops by using a computer model to replace both the clay and rubber test molds. TechHelp also advised the company to stop using costly brass for its production molds and switch to plastic, which can be produced quickly and inexpensively. Though plastic presented potential limitations on production, All About Lollipops worked with TechHelp to resolve many of the problems. With new production tooling processes in place, All About Lollipops is in a position to exploit new markets. The company continues to work with TechHelp as it develops other process improvements.
Reduced lead time for design and manufacturing of production tooling, from 3 months to 3 weeks.Decreased cost of production tooling by 50 percent. Developed a wider customer base to yield projected sales of $1 million in the coming year.