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Manufacturer’s Edge Training Helps Janska Re-imagine Work Flow: Remarkable Growth is the Result
Janska was founded in 2002 when owner Jan Erickson decided to pursue her dream of making fashionable, durable, and easy-to-wear fleece clothing. Based in Colorado Springs, Janska started out small and has grown rapidly in size, output and recognition. In addition to being featured on such programs as the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America,” Jan also regularly receives accolades from her peers and her community, including the 2014 Colorado SBA Small Business Person of the Year award.
Manufacturer’s Edge has been assisting Janska since 2011,when Janska’s business was just under $1M, by delivering various programs like Value Stream Mapping for both the manufacturing operation and the office functions, project management, 5S, consulting on time studies and product flow.
Janska acquired a cut-and-sew operation and moved into a larger facility. Janska’s growth and expansion brought new challenges: a second shift, an increase in inventory, etc. After touring their facility and evaluating their needs, Manufacturer’s Edge helped Janska identify and apply for a Colorado grant for process improvement, 5S, Kaizen, facility layout and conducted classroom and on-the-floor implementation for the entire workforce in both Spanish and English. Manufacturer’s Edge paid particular attention to evaluating the effectiveness of their batch process system; Janska had been cutting fabric in layers that were 25-40 deep and then transporting the batch across the warehouse to complete the next step of the process. While at first glance this seemed like the most logical method, the company was open to exploring the possibility of reducing transportation time as well as minimizing waste by decreasing defects – something that is difficult to mitigate when a single flaw in the system could result in 25-40 defective garments at a time.
After evaluating the production process, Manufacturer’s Edge suggested that Janska introduce one-piece flow that would allow stitchers to sit an arm’s length away from each other and work to complete one garment at a time. Thanks to the hard work of their employees, particularly Janska’s lead operator, the new workflow was implemented and has resulted in greatly increased productivity across all units. Transportation time and energy is minimized, waste and WIP is reduced. As an added benefit, the company is also able to gauge productivity more accurately since each garment that is started is then completed. It was determined their weekly production more than quadrupled due to the new one-piece flow. For example, one of Janska’s top selling products, the MocSocks, took an average of six minutes per pair to produce under Janska’s previous processes. With the aid of Manufacturer’s Edge and its focus on process improvement, a pair of MocSocks is now completed in only 2.5 minutes—thereby maximizing the company’s ability to meet market demands and significantly grow its revenue stream today compared to 2011.
In response to this newfound increase in productivity, Janska was happy to be able to give back to their employee base by raising wages—truly a win-win-win for producer, employee, and consumer alike.
The training we’ve received has revolutionized our company. It’s been truly instrumental.” Jon Thomas, Vice President