Summertree is a minority-owned business that specializes in creating finely crafted baby and children’s
furniture. The company’s products are high-end; each piece is individually made using “old world wood
working techniques,” and then personalized with custom hand rubbed finishes. The company has 25
employees and is located in Riverside, CA.


Challenge

Summertree was experiencing an increased interest in their products, but was having difficulty meeting all of their current orders. Workflow issues were cited across all departments due to
unorganized processes and a lack of a strong infrastructure. The company would not be able to increase sales from new orders unless they could manage the current demand and retain their key
customers.

 

Solution

Summertree connected with CMTC and consultants recommended a Lean Transformation Program. Managers and employees were first trained on the importance of continuous improvement and participated in numerous Lean training sessions over the course of six months.


CMTC identified the main causes of the backups and delays, which were mainly attributed to inefficiencies, disorganization, and miscommunication between team members. Value Stream
Mapping was used to create a blueprint for the company’s Lean transformation and prioritized the activities required to improve their workflow. A Kaizen event was also conducted to prioritize smaller and incremental improvements in their processes.
Pieces of equipment were reorganized on the shop floor, creating a more sensible flow for production and enabling team members to identify any issues or backups in production earlier in the process.


A new standardized documentation process to track orders was implemented and key performance indicators (KPIs) were also established. Management could now evaluate and sustain the success of implemented changes on an ongoing basis.

 

“With CMTC’s assistance, we were able to improve our workflow and better manage demand. As a result, our company experienced $400,000 in increased sales, 6 new jobs, and $250,000 in cost savings.”

- Pockets Alvarez, CEO

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