An Unconventional Approach to Lean Manufacturing
Located in Muncy, PA, Kwik-Care LLC was founded in 2019 as a start-up manufacturer of a patent pending line of “feel better convenience kits”, which are designed to provide consumers with a cost-effective, comprehensive approach to the treatment of minor illnesses.
The owner has been working with IMC on several initiatives since starting the business, including business planning, financial forecasting, product development, supply chain sourcing, and market and sales development planning. As the official product test launch was unfolding in spring of 2021, the company was beginning to secure initial orders across the country; however, the Kwik-Care team was struggling to efficiently set up an assembly process, as the kits contain over a dozen components that must be placed in a specific way to properly fit within the packaging.
With the goal to maximize assembly time and layout to determine labor needs and scalability of production while meeting the specific assembly placement of products within the retail package for visual and space needs, the IMC team incorporated a creative in-field approach to tackling the client’s challenges. An onsite, class field project was arranged with IMC’s in-progress Lean Manufacturing Level One Certification class. The class spent an afternoon at the Kwik-Care production facility and tackled different challenges for each workflow and job breakdown.
The real-time results produced by the class efforts were outstanding, which included: decreasing assembly time by 45% resulting in significant labor cost savings and the proven scalability of production to the target goal and beyond; addition of a simple label machine and digital scale to allow for package design simplification and greater quality control, resulting in additional cost and time savings.
It was an extremely successful experience for Kwik-Care, the Lean Manufacturing Certification class and the IMC team and will be used as a model for future projects.
Laurie Fontaine Jenkins, Owner of Kwik-Care LLC says, “Working with Brenda Holdren and the IMC has afforded us great insight into areas that we were lacking knowledge for our business to move forward and do it with efficiency. The value and resources that Brenda and the IMC has brought to our new company has played an integral part in our business launch and getting to market this past spring. We are now in retail locations, vacation/campground stores and university bookstores across the country and we would not be here without Brenda and the IMC.”