Morinda Bioactives (Formally Tahitian Noni International), is a 16 year old company with annual worldwide sales of several hundred million dollars. They have natural medicinal-based bioactive products in over 70 countries worldwide, with offices in over 40. At its Provo, Utah facility they have 400 employees. Morinda owns their own manufacturing plants in Tahiti, Utah, and China, and partners with several other facilities around the world.


As Vice President of Global Operations, Charlie Smith was looking for a better way to use his limited human and financial resources to better handle anticipated sales growth within the company. He knew he needed to increase efficiencies, reduce waste, and increase productivity while ensuring the well-being of his staff. He enlisted the Utah MEP, a NIST MEP affiliate, and lean tools to help with his business objectives. However, Charlie quickly realized that the opportunity was bigger than tools. He saw in MEP’s next generation strategies the potential to transform the culture and develop a learning organization.


Charlie organized a steering committee to drive the transformation opportunity. The committee handpicked 22 “influencers” from within the organization to participate in year one of MEP’s World Class Transformation program. James Petersen, from MEP, transferred knowledge, skill, and ability using the learn, do, teach, approach. Over 200 hours (per influencer) of classroom instruction and hands on practice took place. In addition to this effort, four new classes were formed by creating teachers from the original group of influencers. Over 70 people have been trained in the methodology of continuous improvement and are now leading multiple transformation projects throughout the company.

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