CHUTES International – Company to Triple in Size with New Facility

Since 1989, CHUTES International has been delivering quality debris removal systems to general contractors, architects, and building owners, backed by an uncompromising service guarantee. By providing industry-leading solutions, CHUTES International has become a “one stop shop,” making contracting, purchasing, and relationship building easier for customers. The company is located in White Plains, Maryland and has 50 employees.

Situation:
CHUTES International has more than doubled sales revenue since 2010, and is aggressively pursuing strategic initiatives in its bid to double sales revenue again within 5-7 years. The company obtained a multi-million-dollar line of credit to purchase and upgrade facilities at a nearby existing building, tripling its current size while adding the capital equipment necessary to support the targeted revenue growth. In order to accelerate this business transformation, company leaders called on Maryland MEP, a NIST MEP affiliate, to provide some facilities layout services, utilizing Lean principles in preparation for the capacity increase.

Solution:
Maryland MEP engaged key shop floor personnel and leadership team members in analyzing the current processes and developing the pre-work (e.g., assembly charts, spaghetti diagrams, activities relationship chart, proposed layout) necessary for a facilities layout improvement event, or mini-kaizen. The team obtained drawings of the proposed facility and conducted several walk-throughs of the building property and facilities. Company leaders reviewed and revised electronic versions of the proposed layouts, and Maryland MEP provided Lean training to experts from the shop floor and select members of the leadership team.

The team jointly recommended and defended a scaled-model layout to the company president, who approved the model and successfully concluded negotiations on the purchase of the new building. With ownership and accountability from the facilities layout kaizen team, CHUTES International engaged an architectural and engineering design firm to develop the required drawings to their specifications, solicit competitive bids from general contractors, and obtain the necessary permits.

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