From offices in Boise, Post Falls, Twin Falls, and Pocatello, TechHelp Specialists help Idaho manufacturers, food processors and entrepreneurs improve their competitiveness through continuous product and process innovation.

Operational Excellence
Advanced Input Systems (AIS)
Coeur d’Alene, ID

Lean Manufacturing Culture Change Revitalised AID With Formation of Rapid Improvement Teams

Advanced Input Systems (AIS) designs and manufactures a wide variety of specialty input panels and keyboards for use in the O.E.M electronic equipment market. AIS has sustained steady growth over the past decade. Top management was looking for a powerful training tool to effect the needed change in the “company culture” to be more competitive in the highly competitive contract engineering and manufacturing business.


TechHelp, a member of the MEP National Network™, provided assistance by delivering seven Lean 101 workshops across all levels of the company. The training and the related electronic assembly simulation provided employees with knowledge of the Lean principles and a keen awareness of the need to change the “status quo”. The company capitalized on this new attitude by forming its own rapid improvement teams that sought innovation in the manufacturing systems with Lean principles as a guide. Convinced of the value of the training, AIS sponsored a Lean 101 session for representatives from all divisions of their parent company to introduce them to this fundamental building block for Lean implementations.


  • 90% reduction in travel distance for customer return processing and a 75% reduction in the time required to process a return.
  • 20% less space needed to produce 20% more product in final assembly area, and a 40-60 % reduction in labor hours to produce most products.
  • Cycle time to build a product was reduced by 40-50% in the last 2 years.
  • 25% reduction in changeover labor and a 90% reduction in machine downtime during changeover of surface mount equipment.
“Advanced Input Systems needed some tools to push Lean initiatives into our direct labor force and support areas. TechHelp provided the high-quality Lean 101 training we needed. The training got our employees excited about the concept of Lean and started a significant internal change in our company.”
John Lowell
VP of Operations, Advanced Input Devices