MRC - Manufacturers Resource Center

 

Innovative Office Products

 

MRC Enables Innovative Office Products (“Innovative”) to promote Continuous Improvement and establish standard business practices

“MRC’s training is the backbone of our manufacturing processes—from a product and people standpoint.”

– Shane Gross, Human Resources Manager

Situation

Easton, Pennsylvania-based Innovative Office Products (“Innovative”) is a leader in the design and manufacture of ergonomic, space-saving mounts for monitors, notebooks, and tablets. What began as a family-owned operation in 1986 has grown into a global company that serves buyers in the corporate office, retail, hospitality, healthcare, government, and broadcasting industries. Innovative engaged MRC for simultaneous Kata and Soft Skills training to elevate the team’s collective skills, encourage autonomy, and empower individuals to take action without going up the chain of command.

Solution

“MRC helped us build responsibility among these key players and make sure they could handle new tasks as they were delegated,” says Shane Gross, Innovative’s Human Resource Manager. “The problem-solving piece within the Kata training created a foundation with existing team leaders and enabled these individuals to step into new leadership roles.”

Although the parallel Kata and Soft Skills training entailed the use of two instructors, the programs were related; they involved the same group of people, and the timing was the same, with attendees alternating between Kata one day and Soft Skills the next.

“Soft Skills are the other side of the supervisory role,” Gross says. “We needed these leaders to build the right management and supervisory skills to handle people, not just production. Kata helps trainees establish a goal, identify challenges, and develop effective solutions. The soft skills, meanwhile, build the ‘people’ side of the equation, enhancing their awareness of conflict management, effective ways to provide feedback, etc.”

Again, this year, Innovative also sent a number of participants to MRC’s Manufacturing Leadership Institute (MLI) program.  Gross says over the years the company has sent numerous salaried/office roles through the program, and they have found it to be an effective way to emphasize the use of Innovative-specific business processes. “We use it to expand people’s awareness from a business standpoint,” Gross says. “The program involves people from different companies, and it gives everyone a chance to hear other companies’ perspective not just lectures. It’s an opportunity to learn what others are doing and see how they address similar problems.”

Results

  • Gained a combination of soft skills and the Kata methodology of identifying and structuring problems so they can be continuously addressed and solved in a scientific manner
  • Innovative estimates this training could reduce production costs by more than $50,000/year
  • The education gained by the MRC MLI program attendees enables them to assist with implementing and integrating new and improved business processes into Innovative’s organizational culture.

To learn more about Innovative Office Products, please visit their website at www.InnovativeWorkSpaces.com