When Midwest Fabrication and Supply approached Enterprise Minnesota, they had recently secured a large contract with a key customer and needed to scale up operations to meet the demands of this influx of new business. The company had added additional personnel, but it still was not seeing the productivity and output levels that were needed.
Enterprise Minnesota led Midwest Fabrication and Supply (MFS) through a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) project, which was focused on improving lead times, reducing costs and increasing capacity. The project involved a cross-functional team of six to eight employees, which investigated the steps that were critical to MFS’ production process. The team created a current-state map, identified opportunities for greater efficiency, brainstormed specific improvement ideas and developed an ideal future state map. As a part of this project, members of the MFS team received training on lean manufacturing techniques in order to learn how to spot waste in their processes and how to implement improvements. Upon conclusion of the VSM, Midwest Fabrication and Supply was presented with a 60-day action plan that clearly identified key priority areas, responsibilities and target dates.
Midwest Fabrication and Supply produces sheet metal, piping, plumbing and specialty metals for mechanical contractors nationwide. From design to fabrication, MFS applies years of experience to meet custom needs and specifications for any mechanical project. The company employs 85 people at its state-of-the-art LEED Silver-certified facility located in Zumbrota, MN.
We found that Enterprise Minnesota worked hard to be accommodating to our needs. [They] came to us, worked with our schedule, and kept us on task until we could define the problems and the solutions. By bringing a team of employees together from the beginning of the process to the end, we were able to map our processes and identify the bottlenecks in our manufacturing flow. After engaging Enterprise Minnesota, our production rate has more than doubled. This has been a very valuable and rewarding experience for us.