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Persistence and Perseverance Drives a Lean Transformation

Company Profile

ControlTek is a Vancouver, Washington manufacturer of custom-printed circuit boards, each unique to the needs of the end product. Owned and operated by the LaFrazia family, ControlTek has proven its success year over year by delivering a quality product and unmatched customer service. The company currently employs 100 people.


ControlTek contacted NIST MEP affiliate, Impact Washington, seeking continuous improvement initiatives that would help them maintain their competitive stature. Lean Manufacturing did not initially seem like a worthy option for them because management considered their products too unique. Impact Washington convinced them that Lean could work for the company, however.


ControlTek worked with the Impact Washington team of resources to initiate Lean 101 training and Lean Language training for their employees. They used Kaizen improvement sessions to develop common objectives and annualized goals as well as execution plans. They standardized what they could, worked to eliminate waste wherever feasible and found new opportunities for cost reduction and containment. They use the lean tools and language to run their organization, making it the standard practice. They also learned the Kaizen process so they could have employee-run events in order to facilitate continuous improvement opportunities regularly. They used lean training and lean manufacturing to secure their competitive position and improve their business processes on an ongoing basis.

We have learned to use experts when we can’t resolve problems or meet goals on our own. Leveraging the expertise of Impact Washington has helped us to evolve our company in a manner that strengthens our competitiveness and market impact…Impact Washington has helped us to establish a Lean-focused culture and build upon the family and customer values that have driven our company through the years.

Stacey Smith VP of Marketing and HR / ControlTek