Company-wide Lean training leads to Kata

← Back To News December 9, 2020


Kalow Technologies, located in Rutland, Vermont, is an integrated contract manufacturer that specializes in electro-mechanical “turnkey” manufacturing services ranging from strategic engineering through complete machine production to after-market support.  In-house modern sheet metal fabrication and powder coating are unique nimble strengths in its served markets. In business since 1983, Kalow employs over 70 FTE who are experienced in a wide array of industries and provide full-service product support. Key customers include global product care packaging equipment, innovative next generation food, beverage and tech companies.

The Challenge

Kalow experienced significant growth since their previous lean efforts/ training which provided lean thinking training to key operations team members. Kalow’s wanted to offer skills team members could learn and apply to everyday issues and ensure they recognize the benefit from working together by having common experiences. The company wished to have everyone trained so all understood the power of lean, and how it worked with other programs such as ISO 9001 quality management. All executive leaders fully backed and participated in the efforts.

Our experience was highly positive, the right kind of training at the right time for our company and situation. We’ve been able to leverage the learning and dovetail it with our strategic targets.  Eric Lapp, Compliance Manager

MEP’s Role

VMEC proposed “Principles of Lean 101” training sessions for all employees (split into two groups) to emphasize continuous improvement in their ever-changing contract manufacturing environment. After the first group was trained, Kalow added another course, “Structured Problem Solving with Applied Learning,” which also delved into introducing the Kata model to support changes in behaviors, Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata. Ensuring a wide cross section of staff involvement in all of the training sessions, the stage was set to continue company growth and diversification.