Winning Teams™ Program Yields Dramatic Improvements in People & Process
Lasko Corporation is a worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacturing, and distribution of air moving devices. Lasko has established a leadership position in the manufacturing of residential and commercial air movers; particularly in the areas of pedestal fans, residential air movers, and exhausters, and in a rapidly growing niche business operated under the Air King America subsidiary. The company was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania with manufacturing locations in Tennessee and Texas.
In 2013, Lasko’s products had found a unique and secure position within the industry, however, leaders recognized the need to modernize and streamline their entire business process, particularly the manpower, machinery, and capital intense sectors, in order stay competitive. Further, they were facing increased difficulty hiring and retaining qualified people. Lasko’s owner and executive team sought new and innovative approaches to increase the rate of corporate change while maintaining the quality and delivery of their products and customer service. They also determined that in order to maintain their competitive position and develop and manufacture innovative products, they needed to engage their entire organization, from the shop floor to the executive suite.
Lasko Corporation has made the decision to embark on a Lean Continuous Improvement strategy as a key driving force in sustaining and accelerating the growth and profitability of their businesses. John Fox, CEO of Air King, together with the DVIRC team, led by Jeff Kopenitz and Rush Johnson, began a multi-year journey toward establishing a Lean Continuous Improvement corporate culture at Lasko.
The DVIRC consultants began to implement the company’s proven Winning Teams™ program, which combines the technical tools of lean with the soft skills of leadership, coaching, and organizational development, at Lasko’s West Chester site, engaging a team of 20 people from across the Air King manufacturing and executive teams.
Next, Lasko executives, having realized the power of the Winning Teams™ program, engaged DVIRC for a second round of training and projects; however, this time they included leaders from the Tennessee and Texas operations. This expansion of company representatives allowed the organization to identify and drive further improvements in the West Chester operations.
“Our partnership with DVIRC, and in particular Jeff Kopenitz and Rush Johnson, has allowed our team to successfully meet the business and client challenges and grow our business in excess of 15% annually. Our people have demonstrated the confidence and skills to meet the challenges of today and lead us forward” – John Fox, CEO, Air King Division
Over the past five years, Lasko has made significant progress and reported savings as:
- Increased Sales: $8,960,000
- Retained Sales: $250,000
- Cost Savings: $75,000
- Retained 108 jobs
- Created 24 jobs
- Invested $115,000 in P&E
- Invested in new P&P: $3,000
- Invested $26,000 in workforce
Lasko has also launched several innovative product lines and successfully delivered significantly increased volume due to increased teamwork, improved problem solving, and implementation of standard work. DVIRC continues to work closely with the Lasko Air King team to continuously identify opportunities and support the implementation teams to assure they are using the best possible methods and tools.