Hardwood Industries was founded in 1981 as a hardwood distributor to residential cabinet shops, commercial fixture manufacturers, general manufacturers, resellers and other B2B customers of secondary wood products in Portland, Oregon.

Labor Savings: order pulling, cut and brand and millwork
$5 Million
New and Retained Sales
Investment in Equipment and Plant

The Situation

Hardwood Industries has grown significantly, expanding to include facilities in Seattle, Medford, and Bend. Currently, they employ over 100 people.

The Solution

Hardwood Industries engaged OMEP for 18 months in 2012 as part of a lean implementation project. In 2014 they hired a Continuous Improvement Manager and engaged OMEP in a mentoring and leadership role to support the new manager’s on boarding process and initiatives. Now that the CI manager has fully integrated to this role, OMEP continues to partner in a variety of improvement activities.


The Results

Partnering with Hardwood Industries’ leadership team. OMEP provides consulting, coaching and ongoing strategic support for their continuous improvement activities. 5S and setup reduction activities have made a significant improvement to Hardwood Industries’ receiving chain operations, including nearly doubling per labor hour productivity. Hardwood Industries now has an even deeper understanding of their daily operations due to value stream accounting activities and newly implemented visual dashboard systems.

Causing improved bottom line results is difficult. We engaged with OMEP because we were stagnant. Our results were subpar and all or our employees were frustrated with below average company performance. Flash forward 3 years and an unbelievable change has occurred. Results have improved, but more important than that is most of our employees have embraced the cultural shift we needed to make. They know and want to get better at their jobs. They know expectations for their job functions and want to achieve them. It’s fun to get better and be a part of a succeeding team. OMEP opened this door for us. We all feel we can continue to improve, will distance ourselves from our competition and produce improved bottom line results.

Jeff Wirkkala

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