Lynch Exhibits of Burlington, New Jersey began as a small, family-owned sign shop that grew into a manufacturer of trade show exhibits and expanded into exhibit design, fabrication, installation and event management. The company currently designs, builds and installs permanent displays for corporate offices, and produces both permanent and traveling exhibits for museums and galleries. Lynch Exhibits has 151 employees, generates annual sales of $15 million, and operates a 210,000 square foot Burlington facility and a 120,000 square foot satellite facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After a cold call introduction and follow-up, NJMEP assessed Lynch’s needs for a Lean Transformation and developed a plan to address the company’s most vital issues. The field agent, in conjunction with third party resource Frank Abatangelo of FJA Consulting, tailored a Lean Manufacturing training program for key personnel. Personal computer skills, project management and manufacturing efficiency were identified as Lynch’s areas of greatest need in order to maintain business growth and satisfy increased customer demands.
The NJMEP field agent worked with Greg Hammell, Lynch’s Vice President of Production, to plan the training and develop an implementation schedule, and worked with Abatangelo to provide the training. The sessions were presented in a series of three-day incremental classes, organized by concept and presented to specific teams designated by the company. These teams comprised floor workers, project managers, account managers, department managers, key executives and support personnel. The Lean training lasted for approximately ten months, beginning in June 2006 and ending in April 2007.
The project enabled Lynch to identify operation bottlenecks, then use the training and improved skill sets to eliminate these bottlenecks. Project managers and account managers became more organized and efficient, and were thus better equipped to handle the volume and velocity of their work. Floor work became more standardized, and results were more consistent and uniform. Errors were reduced, and the need for expedited shipping charges was eliminated.
35 full-time shop employees were retained, and the shop staff grew by 15 full-time workers to address a larger workload, Profit margins grew by two percent as project management skills and efficiency continued to improve. Two museum job support personnel were added to handle increased demand in that division.
Lynch plans to continue using the skills and methods acquired through the Lean training to continue improving and growing, and would welcome the opportunity to work with NJMEP again in the future.
“All of our project managers have become more computer proficient, and are using their newly learned skills to improve their job performances,” observed Lynch Production VP Hammell. “Accountability and responsibility have been accepted by managers, and improved performance has resulted.”