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.

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

Operational Excellence

Fresh Air Manufacturing Co. (FAMCO)

Meridian, ID

FAMCO Leans in on Continuous Improvement

When the economy faded and orders slowed in 2008, FAMCO decided to take advantage of the breather to focus on Lean Manufacturing initiatives that had been on hold.

Project

TechHelp, a member of the MEP National Network™, worked with the FAMCO management team to support a Lean Manufacturing transformation. FAMCO followed Lean principles to set up several production cells, supermarkets, and kanban systems to improve manufacturing operations.

By late 2008, FAMCO management recognized that its order processing operation would benefit from the same Lean techniques that its manufacturing had adopted. So, in early 2009, FAMCO took advantage of the economic slowdown to engage TechHelp in Leaning its office processes.

Results

  • Reduced the time from receipt of an order to the work order arriving at the factory floor by about 65%.
  • Improved on-time delivery by reducing lead time from customer order to shipment by 50%.
  • Operations and service improvements led to retained sales of $100,000.
  • Generated annual cost savings of $20,000.
  • Employee driven goal setting and goal attainment led to a noticeable improvement in employee morale.

Avoided a multi-million dollar plant expansion by reducing the amount of space needed for production and storage.

“We could have gone into shut down mode during the recession but decided to pursue a Lean initiative that had been on the back burner for a while. Working with the TechHelp guys was great. By engaging our entire team, everyone felt a part of the improvement initiative which greatly improved performance and morale.”

– Marty Artis, President, FAMCO