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Growth Manufacturers Case Studies

FH Peterson Embraces Change and Sets the Stage for Growth Using Lean

By Kathie Mahoney, Marketing and Administration Director, MassMEP

FH Peterson (Stoughton, MA) knew they had to change processes and procedures if they wanted to grow and remain competitive in the business. They provide prototype, short run, CNC, and conventional machining, using the latest available technologies, with workpiece capacities of up to 15,000 lbs. Like so many manufacturing companies, while their workforce is dedicated to the company and most have been with FH Peterson for over 20 years, changing mindsets and a culture can be difficult. FH Peterson knew they needed a starting point to bring everyone together and begin talking the same language of change.

After doing some research and attending a Workforce Training Fund Program information session, Dave Jewett, Shop Supervisor and Manufacturing Engineer at F.H. Peterson had two training providers in mind. He selected MassMEP’s Principles of Lean Manufacturing program to provide a solid foundation of lean knowledge that would move the company forward as a first step of change.

Everyone in the company went through Principles of Lean Manufacturing and the results were immediate. The intent was for everyone to have the same basis for change and be able to speak the same language. In addition, most folks attended additional 6S training; as a result, further changes were carried out by the staff. These two training programs began changing the culture within the company. Employees were continuing with process improvements as well as "6S-ing" their areas on their own after the training.

Empowering Employees
An employee traditionally knows what works best in their area since they are the ones working in it every day. The MassMEP Lean sessions provide employees with the empowerment tools that enable them to have input into their own work area. Dave commented that sometimes employees were improving their work areas within hours of the session starting. MassMEP training programs are also designed to provide company employees with the tools to continue implementation even after our trainers leave the company.

John Neil, MassMEP Project Manager, encouraged FH Peterson employees during the training and constantly reminded them that they would be trained in 6S after completion of the course. They could then use the tools they were learning immediately on the shop floor.

The FH Peterson culture changed to "out with the old and unused," which has become the new mantra within the company. While touring the facility, a gentleman approached Dave with a cart of things they wanted to sell. The employees were cleaning out an area; they had found them under a bench and they didn’t know where to put them. The employees continue to clean up their areas and the mindset is, "if it is not being used, then why keep it."

FH Peterson is now better prepared for growth. Here are examples of a work area before and after Lean training.



"MassMEP helped us to take time to implement a huge cultural shift within the company. As a result, the philosophy is now embedded in the culture and can strategically decide a plan for future growth." – David Jewett, Shop Supervisor and Manufacturing Engineer, FH Peterson

Lean training impacts on the company, include:

  • New Employees: 4
  • Training investment: $77,000
  • Culture Improvement: Daily checklists drive monthly checklists

About FH Peterson
FH Peterson provides prototype, short run, CNC, and conventional machining, using the latest available technologies, with workpiece capacities of up to 15,000 lbs. Fully equipped to turn a customer’s ideas into reality, their team of highly skilled professionals work to the highest quality standards in the industry today. ISO 9001 certified, they are a full service facility ready to complete the most difficult jobs to meet the most stringent requirements.

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