Project Reduces Overtime, Boosts Morale | Strasser Woodenworks
Strasser Woodenworks manufactures bathroom cabinets and accessories. The company is located in Woodinville, Washington and has 48 employees.
Strasser needed to make some productivity improvements and reached out to Impact Washington, a NIST MEP affiliate, for assistance. A number of manual operations were affecting the company’s profitability, and Impact Washington suggested a Lean training and improvement project. The president of Strasser Woodenworks has known Impact Washington’s account executive for 17 years, benefiting from consistent updates on manufacturing news and product offerings. The company decided to move forward with the Lean project.
A consultant from Impact Washington with a proven record of Lean Transformation facilitated the project, focusing on the Assembly, Finishing, and Cut Line areas. In Assembly, the team from Strasser Woodenworks created a flow line for cabinet assembly, establishing two lines with visual controls, Kanban carts and locations, and a new assembly layout to minimize interruptions. In Finishing, they improved the rub-out process, established a single piece pull system, and created staging areas. Finally, the team established a Kanban-controlled supermarket and one-day process in the Cut Line. The improvements reduced the number of changeovers, decreasing lost productive time and reducing overtime labor. The Lean project gave employees an opportunity to impact their work environment, boosting morale and increasing the chance of sustaining improvements.