Vita-Mix Corporation, privately owned and operated by the Barnard family since 1921, manufactures and markets blending and mixing products to the public and to the restaurant-hospitality industry. During the past four years, Vitamix, led by President and CEO Jodi Berg, has experienced tremendous growth and demand, with production volumes quadrupling. Not only has the volume increased, but the number and types of customers that Vitamix serves has grown as well.
Growing quickly over a short period can create challenges for manufacturing procedures. Fortunately, Vitamix has been able to turn these challenges into opportunities to improve operational capabilities. Vitamix first attempted to implement a lean manufacturing methodology in 2006, only to find that when business activities ramped up, it was unable to sustain the initiative.
Attempts to implement lean methods continued through 2011, when Vitamix recognized the need for a more formal lean and continuous improvement structure to ensure lasting improvements.
In addition to the lean tactics, there are currently three large-scale projects under way in the areas of standardized work, 6S and managing for daily improvement, which have had a positive impact on safety, quality and daily production rates. In addition, eight kaizen events have been completed; these events have focused on quality improvement, production line layout and a warehouse Kanban program. Each of these projects has been completed by cross-functional teams, with production, quality and warehouse personnel playing key roles in the efforts.
Vitamix plans to stay on the same path to continue improving its processes and achieve its lean manufacturing goals.
How to reach: Vita-Mix Corporation, (800) 848-2649 or www.vitamix.com