The Mentholatum Company

Mentholatum Company production line.

In 2009, a growing Mentholatum Company – with headquarters in Orchard Park, N.Y. – was exploring how to strengthen operations. Leaders of the company that manufactures and markets non-prescription pharmaceutical and healthcare products stepped into the waste-eliminating world of Lean with a “let’s try it out” mentality. Success of a pilot project convinced Mentholatum to embark on a broader program with UB TCIE. Employees are finding new approaches to increase capability and reliability – while operating in a regulated environment – by using an executive-level Lean professional from TCIE.

The Approach

  • Exposed managers, group leaders, supervisors, engineers, lead personnel, office staff and operators to Lean concepts
  • Completed a Value Stream Mapping exercise to improve flow of the New Product Approval Process
  • Educated eight employees as Certified Lean Professionals from the logistics, engineering, packaging development, quality control, quality assurance and production departments
  • Received support in achieving strategic performance goals of improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs with a TCIE Lean Executive-on-Loan professional

The Impact

  • Decreased processing time for the New Product Approval Process from months to days/hours by transforming the process from manual to electronic routing, and by increasing visibility and communication
  • Reduced changeover time of a filling line by 50 percent and increased throughput by 100 percent with no capital cost
  • Created a schedule attainment metric, in which attainment increased from an initial 40% to the current 70-100% consistency on four production lines
  • Reduced production wait time by 38%, travel distance by 46%, travel time by 19% and direct labor costs by 31% after improving warehouse staging
  • Formed a Lean strategy steering committee to identify new improvement projects and institutionalize sustainability of the Lean program