Packaging: Corrugated Containers & Plastic Bags


The CEO of this large integrated packaging company was a board member for one of our highly successful steel company clients. He asked us to help them achieve similar results. They had too much cash tied up in inventory. Their lead times were too long, costs were too high, and delivery performance was not world class. The company had a total of forty-five stand alone plants, all over the world.

Lean Solutions:

Our approach was to establish an internal measurement process that would support and encourage the actions required to become a world class producer. These simple measurements (goal curves) included an aggressive aggregate inventory reduction target, and a similarly aggressive on-time delivery objective. Corporate measurements were standardized, and goals were then pushed down through the organization to become division and plant goals. After a rapid, extremely successful pilot plant implementation, our role became that of train the trainers. We did the initial kick-off, management team overview training, and assisted with goal setting for each plant. The internal support teams that we had trained then took over the majority of plant support. The internal support teams were established and educated in our process. One team was a general lean implementation team, trained primarily by working with us, hands-on, at a few plant sites. Another team was targeted specifically on rapid change-over (SMED). Many of the plants utilized similar equipment, so lessons learned were readily transferable. Our primary focus then shifted from “tools and techniques” to changing the corporate culture. Plants were provided the autonomy to set their objectives, and were expected to achieve them. Corporate and division roles were to support the plants in these endeavors. A process for achieving these goals was left in place.


Corporate wide inventory was reduced by $150,000,000, while lead times, quality, delivery, and profitability all substantially improved. Probably most important; a culture of continuous improvement was established and maintained.
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