Western Trailers – Lean Manufacturing

Western Trailers improves efficiency – with some help [the broken link was removed]:

Western Trailers President Jerry Whitehead and a couple of other senior managers went through TechHelp’s lean-manufacturing course a few years ago. Now, the company is paying for all of the approximately 50 supervisors at the 225-employee manufacturing plant to go through a new and more intense version. “It’s just good manufacturing, getting the waste out,” Panter said.

There’s a need for greater efficiency, especially as companies get bigger, he said. Western Trailers built a new manufacturing plant in 1998 and expanded it last year. The company has added about 75 manufacturing employees in the past two years, Panter said. “With the rapid growth we had, it was easier to lose focus on the principles because we were trying to get product out,” he said. “This brought us back into focus. And it’s helpful to teach the people on the floor.”

I am much more interested in lean stories where waste is reduced and employment increases than where employment is decreased. The idea is to reduce waste, increase value to customers and grow.

Related: Idaho’s TechHelpWisconsin ManufacturingApplied Quality Engineering EducationTerex Handlers: Lean ManufacturingLa-Z-Boy Lean

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