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Marked for growth Featured

7:00pm EDT January 29, 2008

Visual Marking Systems Inc. has seen compounded annual growth of 9 percent from 1982 to the present. The company attributes its success to the commitment to lean enterprise principles and aggressive adoption of new technologies, both of which improved the company’s productivity.

In 2005, the executive management team at the commercial printing company sought to improve what were declining productivity and profitability results through a structured strategic planning process.

Through brainstorming and analysis, VMS identified key areas for improvement.

Overall, the strategic planning process tightened the company’s focus on improving quality, productivity measures and adopting new technology in the print industry.

As the management team set forth to begin initiatives toward the key goals, using lean techniques was identified as a potential framework for these initiatives.

After extensive education on lean principles for the management team in late 2006, the executive team committed to lean enterprise transformation for the company in 2007. The company had some prior experience with lean but did a poor job implementing it.

So, 2007 began with a comprehensive educational seminar for all management, supervisors and key employees at the company.

Once the leadership was educated and ready to move forward, it communicated the plan to all company personnel and began training all employees. Dolf Kahle, CEO, is the company’s lean champion and has communicated the company’s commitment to lean and has acted as the trainer for all company personnel on lean techniques.

In order to be considered a certified lean master, the company insisted employees complete the education, pass a lean test and be involved in a successfully completed kaizen event.

VMS also created innovation for customers through technological advancements, hitting its stride from 2005 to 2007. New digital technology allowed VMS to expand certain markets and increase print quality and manufacturing productivity. Overall, the digital capabilities presented a significant selling advantage to VMS because it can now accomplish print quality many competitors cannot.

The quality, profitability and innovation strides made by VMS throughout 2007 have not only drove increases in most of the metrics the company tracks, but they also better position VMS for growth.

HOW TO REACH: Visual Marking Systems Inc., (330) 425-7100 or www.vmsinc.com