Lean Manufacturing Class Touts Productivity


Federal program promotes efficiency
Courses provide lessons in cutting costs, saving time

By Kimberly Peterson
The Journal Gazette

Messenger Co. in Auburn used to operate two shifts five days a week to produce prayer cards and register books for the funeral home industry.

But the company was able to eliminate wasted time and materials from its manufacturing process and still increase its business, last year adding a third production shift and 15 employees to handle the extra work.

The shift came after the company’s employees went through lean-manufacturing courses offered by the federally funded Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

The partnership has helped Messenger increase its workforce from 97 in 2005 to 112, and the company projects sales will increase 15 percent this year.

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