ABOUT UNLIMITED DESIGN:
Located in Salt Lake City with 40 employees, Unlimited Designs, Inc. (UD) manufactures architectural products. These products fit both commercial and residential applications, as well as custom designs and professional restorations. UD evolved from a construction company in 1994 where their background involved the installation of many products that they now manufacture and distribute. Today, builders, designers and homeowners turn to UD for lightweight and cost effective products such as Rocky Mountain Stone, columns, domes, unique exteriors and interior accents, steeples, and landscape accents.
Unlimited Designs has seen a rise in their product demand. One of the complications in their business is that much of the industrial work is customized and varied in product and materials. This requires a lot of inventory and storage as well as higher production costs. UD management knew they wanted to lean their processes in order to propel to the next step in their growing business. They contacted MEP Utah, a NIST MEP affiliate, and World Class Transformation to assist with their needs.
MEP CENTER’S ROLE:
The MEP Utah and World Class Transformation assisted with four different projects. Originally they began with Lean 101 classes which introduced lean principles. They continued with projects in 5S (Value Stream Mapping), a Precast Flow and Layout Project, and a large Lean Transformation project.
In the flow development project, UD focused on their stone production area. They went from batch and queue manufacturing, which is a more costly and time consuming process, to a one piece flow. This has greatly improved efficiency in the process and saved on production costs. In the 5 S project, they learned to sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain their work areas. This information helps employees improve the processes and actions within their workspace and ensures that effort is being used efficiently. In addition, dumpsters have been used to remove “stuff” from the yard, thus decreasing the cost of inventory storage. The free area will now be turned into much needed production space, ultimately saving money. The transformation project at UD is ongoing as they analyze different aspects of their business and transform operations into more efficient processes and products.