Zamp Solar began selling off-grid solar kits from a garage in 2010 and within a year, they’d grown into a 2,500 square foot facility. As sales increased, Zamp’s leadership team recognized a need in the RV market for high-quality off-grid solar solutions and, in response, they developed a network of dealers to sell Zamp products to meet that need. Over the years, Zamp Solar transitioned from being an aftermarket supplier for the RV industry to having their systems installed at the OEM factory level for RV companies including Airstream, Winnebago and more. In 2015, Zamp Solar started handcrafting their panels at their headquarters in Bend, Oregon, making them one of the only manufacturers of off-grid solar in America.
Historically, many of Zamp Solar’s components were outsourced internationally, while their re-manufacturing, customizing, and assembly took place in Bend, Oregon. However, as they continued to experience strong growth, Zamp Solar wanted to re-shore some of those components to complete more of the manufacturing processes at their Bend facility.
With the help of OMEP, Zamp Solar implemented lean philosophies to build a foundation for company growth. OMEP worked with Zamp Solar to create both top-down and bottom-up lean implementation systems and training. The leadership team and shop floor staff participated in Lean Enterprise coaching throughout the year and put their training into practice on a daily basis.
Significant productivity improvements were achieved due to Zamp Solar’s continued implementation of lean manufacturing techniques. The team worked to implement a Kanban system for manufactured goods and began purchasing items with longer lead times. This allowed them to smooth out inventory and supply irregularities.
Another more important effect of this transformation is in the adoption of lean philosophies. Production staff are now fully engaged in grassroots improvement initiatives, including improvements in process flow and tooling—they feel engaged, motivated and realize the significance of their input.
The Zamp Solar Team is now well on their way to managing a successful production facility.
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With OMEP's knowledge of the manufacturing process and implementation of lean techniques, we were able to become more efficient and improve morale.