Implementation of Lean Manufacturing Tools in Cheese Processing Plant

Challenge: A Cheese Processing Plant partnered with our team to conduct a wall to wall review of one of their North American plants. The objective of the project was to increase ROA for the plant as well as demonstrate to the group the effectiveness of Lean Manufacturing tools with a view to a rollout for their North American assets.


Traditional top down culture with minimal operator involvement in problem solving and continuous improvement disciplines

Minimal visual management tools on the floor. KPIs only discussed weekly with Plant Manager and direct reports

Poorly balanced packaging lines for key SKUs leading to loss in direct labor productivity

Low packaging machine up time

Yield for key production lines regularly below budget and engineering targets

Poorly scheduled milk deliveries, poor allocation of SKUs based on fat content of RM


Development and implementation of tailored management training for supervision and management. Setting targets and relevant KPIs, Short Interval Control and variance analysis, daily, weekly and monthly action log management

Training & Development

Training in basic continuous improvement tools: Sources of waste, 5 Whys, RCA. Visual management workshops with operators (one Kaizen event implemented per production line)

Training & Development

Standard work analysis and work observation campaigns with supervisors, Takt time/ cycle time analysis by line, rebalancing and training by the work station

Operations Excellence

Implementation of Overall Asset Effectiveness by key production line and identification of bad actors for maintenance

Operations Excellence

Design and implementation of refined yield metrics (moisture, protein, fat, give away), and setting of targets based on FG SKUs and inputs

Operations Excellence & SCM

Review of milk deliveries by supplier and implementation of supplier service ranking



Results of our engagement include:

DL productivity improvement between 20% and 25% on 3 key packaging lines

Yield improvement between 1 and 1.5 points for top 15 SKUs (70% of production)

“Compared with the other consultants I have worked with in the past, I found that you really listened to what we had done in the past but had not been able to implement. Because of this we were able to implement change faster and sustainably”

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