December 5th, 2023
RoMan Manufacturing: Applying Lean Principles and Practices for Success
Meet RoMan Manufacturing
Meet RoMan Manufacturing
RoMan Manufacturing (www.romanmfg.com), founded in 1980 and located in Grand Rapids, Mich., is a family-owned company with a deep commitment to manufacturing water-cooled, high-current and low-voltage power sources to the highest quality standards. As a global brand, RoMan is dedicated to providing innovative solutions in a constantly evolving globalized market. RoMan's family of companies includes non-ferrous casting and full panel integration capabilities, employing more than 230 people.
RoMan faced significant challenges due to rapid growth and the need for effective leadership in multiple departments. The acquisition of the Power Systems product line during the COVID-19 pandemic presented unexpected growth and the necessity to promote from within, given external labor market difficulties. The promotion of an internal staff member required RoMan to quickly formulate a plan to equip them with a solid understanding of Lean principles and practices.
RoMan recognized the need for focused leadership training which included Lean Principles and Practices. Through their connections at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), RoMan’s newly promoted supervisor collaborated to:
- Establish workflow improvements
- Align work centers to facilitate sub-assembly flow into the primary work area
- Set up a sustainable pitch and work cadence
- Develop standardized work procedures
This learning journey encompassed not only technical skills, but also critical leadership skills, enriching the Power System division's associates and aligning their focus on key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Cost Savings: Approximately $750,000 in 2023
- Improved Productivity: 80% increase in output since the beginning of the project
- New Jobs: 4 full-time employees
- Increased Sales: Entry into new markets due to enhanced Power System builds
resulting in an increase of $360,000 per week
- Establishment of a new $3M facility to accommodate expanded work
- Enhanced company culture, featuring huddle boards and group discussions leading to 1-2 continuous improvement activities per week
- Recognition as one of three finalists for Large Tier Manufacturer of the Year by Michigan Manufacturers Association
“MMTC’s contribution to RoMan's Lean journey over the past 11+ years has been invaluable, enabling us to enhance operational efficiencies and compete effectively in a globalized market. This task was unique, focusing not on teaching processes but on developing a young, high-potential individual within our organization. MMTC’s connections proved to be the perfect mentor for this transformation, bridging the gap from an engineering mindset to an operational one. Moving forward we've established a blueprint and culture that nurtures the success of individuals aspiring to advance within RoMan.” - Chad Schondelmayer, VP of Operations