After consolidating three of its production facilities under one roof, Lakeview Farms, a Delphos, Ohio-based producer of desserts, dips and specialty foods, turned to Leading2Lean, a cloud-based lean manufacturing software solutions provider based in Wellington, Nev., to reduce costs and bolster performance.

Lakeview Farms, whose brands include Fresh Creations, Gracious Grits, Luisa’s and Señor Rico, says bringing the production into one facility underscored an outdated system for addressing preventative maintenance and the spare parts inventory. This required cumbersome paperwork and spreadsheets and led to tension of employee relations and excessive overtime.

Six months after implementing Leading2Lean’s CloudDISPATCH system, however Lakeview Farms experienced a 34% decrease in line downtime, a 15% reduction in repair costs and a 30% increase in maintenance technician efficiency. Also, overtime was reduced to less than 13%, down from 30%.

Now, maintenance issues aren’t based on guesses of which machine might go down or which manager is the most vocal in calling for priority work. With the Leading2Lean solution based on real-time data, all managers and line operators have instant access to detailed line information, allowing them to monitor all equipment and processes and offer solutions for continuous improvement. Also gone are three-ring binders, carbon copies and manila folders.

“With one touch of my phone, I can see what’s going on at the plant, even when I’m out of town on a business trip,” says Todd Parker, plant engineer for Lakeview Farms. “From the top level down, you can make decisions from anywhere you are connected to the internet in real time. That is invaluable.”

Leading2Lean’s real-time transparency created a single source of data that could be used throughout the facility, allowing for standardized data collection across all plant floors.

The organization of Lakeview’s spare parts department alone more than made up for the cost of implementing Leading2Lean’s solution, Parker says. Leading2Lean helped Lakeview Farms discover a significant volume in unknown spare parts inventory in an overflowing and disorganized spare parts warehouse. Everything has now been accurately inventoried, and parts no longer needed have been identified and liquidated.