Litelab Corporation

Lite Lab workers pose posters about lean practices.

Since the company’s early days as a disco lighting pioneer, leaders of Litelab Corporation have considered themselves entrepreneurs. They have evolved the Buffalo-headquartered company into one that provides lighting solutions for museums, high-end fashion retailers and private clients around the world. Today’s ambitions include adopting advanced manufacturing technologies to make the enterprise more competitive. To get there, Chief Operating Officer Larry Christ doesn’t believe in reinventing the wheel. The Lean method of reducing waste, in his opinion, is a guidebook for success that also makes for a richer, more satisfying workplace. After years of sending Litelab employees for TCIE Lean training, Christ enrolled to become more familiar with the tools and better engage with employees. He carries a folder of concepts imparted through the “liberating” program that changed the way he thinks. His commitment, paired with the dedication and enthusiasm of employees, is giving rise to a shift from indicting others to discussing processes. A culture of continuous improvement is taking shape.

The Approach

  • Trained more than one dozen managers and key personnel in applying Lean through TCIE’s Certified Lean Professional (CLP) program
  • Introduced fundamental Lean concepts and tools through TCIE’s Eyes for Waste training to approximately 40 employees in purchasing, production, inventory, fabrication and assembly
  • Implemented a refined framework for capturing data related to performance with the guidance of a UB TCIE Lean expert facilitator

The Impact

  • Increased understanding as to how Lean-driven changes contribute to company improvement
  • Identified resources and tools expected to contribute toward greater management and employee success
  • Reduced the occurrence of a parts shortage in production by 30 to 40 percent through actions including adjusting inventory, relocating commonly needed parts and implementing a Kanban system
  • Established the foundation for a culture rooted in open communication, which has spawned more than 30 improvement suggestions