Cartridge King, in McPherson, Kansas is a non-profit organization committed to making a difference in the lives of their employees and their community. Their mission is to excel at providing services to individuals with disabilities by promoting community inclusion and employment opportunities with the maximum level of independence and dignity. With several product lines designed to provide employment and generate revenue to support the mental retardation and developmental disabilities community, Cartridge King is providing new life to all they touch.
“Thanks so much for your assistance in making Cartridge King personnel and processes more efficient. While we know that our mission to create work opportunities for persons with disabilities may not always be the most efficient way to compete in the marketplace, your guidance has helped us maximize the capabilities of our current business model.” – Colin McKenney, President, Cartridge King of Kansas.
As with any organization, Cartridge King desired to improve their resource utilization and was eager to learn lean techniques to improve and expand services to their customers, clients, and surrounding community.
John Danley was charged with finding opportunities to share his lean knowledge with Cartridge King to advise them on their lean journey.
Initial sessions focused on creating a current state value stream map and looking for quick wins. John taught the team to use the value stream mapping process to identify imbalances that significantly constrained their capacity. After offloading tasks from overloaded resources to improve the flow, capacity was increased by over 30% within 60 days of beginning the process. This immediate improvement was then followed by additional Kaizen Blitz events which introduced 5S and other lean techniques that the team used to drive additional improvements. The “learn and apply” approach used by John to train the team at Cartridge King has positioned them to leverage lean tools for future improvements. Initial results of applying these techniques during the Kaizen Blitz events increased capacity by an additional 20%.
As a result of John’s work with the team at Cartridge King, capacity has increased over 50% without any additional labor or equipment. This extra capacity is generating additional revenue which provides funds to support the company’s mission. The Cartridge King team is now looking at opportunities to apply lean techniques to other value streams.
Having employees with knowledge and experience using lean techniques, Cartridge King is improving their competitive position in order to provide further opportunities for their clientele.