Sims Custom Woodworking

Operational Assessment Case Study

Problem Statement

Launch and Explore 

Sales and productivity had been consistently rising up until about the last year and has been holding pretty steady recently. They have had to increase their staffing and their labor costs as a % of sales have been decreasing recently. They attribute this mainly to an increase in time taken at the front end of a sale and how many times they have to interact with customers before making a sale. Customer decision making time seems to have increased dramatically.


Initial assessment involved a walk-through if the facility and a general understanding of the various areas of organizational capacity. From this and subsequent meetings it was evident that SIMS was interested in pursuing operational improvements in the areas of order fulfillment, cycle time, workplace organization and cleanliness. These assessment meetings helped identify opportunities. 

In the data collection and analysis phase of the assessment interviews were conducted with subject matter experts, process observation and collection of process data, and development of a project charter and Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers (SIPOC) for the in scope process. Please see some of the findings of the data collection and analysis 

The initial assessment along with the data collection and analysis was used to identify the highest priority improvement areas which were investigated in more detail through “Deep Dives” using Lean methodologies (e.g. 5S, Value Stream Mapping (VSM) etc.) most appropriate for the specific priority area. These priority areas have been translated to specific productivity improvement projects.


specific productivity improvement projects that were identified included:

  • Operational Flow improvement project: improving the layout of the area by using the 5S method on the Facility which has a potential to reduce task time by 0.6hours per counter top and wait time by 14.5 days per counter top
  • Implementation of Templator Equipment: Templating time savings annually was projected at 503.75 hours and a cost saving of $ 10,946.49
  •  CNC Machine: investing in Specialized equipment reduce the current task time by more than half as well as reduce manufacturing errors that slow the process. PACE calculated a potential 361.196591 hours saved and $ 7,843.88 saved annually.

Executive Summary
Sims Custom Wood Working is a manufacturing company that fabricates and installs post form laminate, beveled edge laminate and solid countertops. They also sell a variety of sinks including under-mount sinks which have seen increased demand recently. Sims requested Operational Assessment, funded by Fednor SMART productivity assessment program. Upon completion of the operational Assessment PACE. was able to identify and recommend Actions in order to reduce customer wait times and improve productivity.