Members of the Oregon Lean Consortium reported significant improvements when they met for final reports in Wilsonville on December 11, 2019.

Leaders from seven Oregon nursery, greenhouse and supplier companies worked together for one year with a professional facilitator to develop skills and apply the principles of Lean in each others’ organizations. The following gains were among the reported improvements:

  • Created standard work for bareroot tree grading & processing at Robinson Nursery of McMinnville that reduced process time by 62% and improved productivity by 29%.
  • Determined the least waste way to grade containerized material at JLPN Liners of Salem, reducing people travel by 47% and increasing productivity by 25%.
  • Developed a new way of packing orders at JLPN that improved ergonomics and cut the time it takes to pack a crate by 40%.
  • Reduced clutter, created standard work and developed visual controls to reduce wasted steps and inventory build-up in the receiving process at Farmington Gardens of Hillsboro.
  • Increased productivity by 46% in the NST transplanting process at Weyerhaeuser Turner Regeneration Center and reduced changeover time by 64%.
  • Improved safety and changed the layout on the potting line at Bailey Nurseries’ Yamhill operation to eliminate unnecessary equipment and gain back warehouse space. Created a new liner pulling and grading process to cut transportation and motion waste. Reduced process steps from 119 to 83.
  • Cut lead time for sticking cuttings from 1,155 minutes to 6 minutes at Peoria Gardens of Albany, increasing productivity 86% on the process.

Leadership development in the context of continuous improvement was a consistent message from participants. “This program not only helps build teams; it builds leaders,” said Jonathan Villaseñor of Robinson Nursery. “This consortium is the summit when it comes to realizing potential and playing to individual strengths.”

About Lean and the Consortium

Lean is a proven method for eliminating waste and developing teamwork in an organization. It results in more value to customers, delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort. Deployed effectively, Lean not only reduces waste, but also delivers a message of long-term commitment to employee development and continuous improvement.

A Lean consortium is a small group of companies that work together to learn Lean principles and methods, and then apply them to processes in each other’s companies over the course of one year. The Peters Company facilitates the consortium, delivering all of the training, materials, tools, and event coordination to deliver outcomes that exceed participants’ expectations.

Companies interested in deploying Lean or joining the Oregon Lean Consortium should contact Elizabeth Peters, 503-250-2235 or epeters@petersco.net.

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