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spring 2011

Moving Forward 10 Opportunity Revolution 12 What I’ve Learned 14 New Dimensions 18 No Looking Back 22 Reviving Whitney

Red tape. And we’ve got lots of it. We also have yellow tape, blue tape and white tape. Some of our tape is striped. Tape for floors. Tape for walls. Vinyl tape. Magnetic tape. We’re seriously into tape. Tape for people serious about Lean. But we don’t stop at tape... we’re also into materials that create mind-blowing visual systems. And tools to maintain a 5S system. And kanban training solutions.

We’re LeanGear and we’re seriously into people who are seriously into Lean.


10 Opportunity Revolution With the evolution of Internet marketing and



spring 2011

social media, our industry faces the opportunity for revolution. The ways in which to reach further and grow bigger are plentiful.




a d va n t a g e

What I’ve Learned Ken MacCormac, President of Capewell Components, Co., LLC shares what he has learned about leadership, loyalty and the value of hard work.

14 New Dimensions With long lead times and a revolutionary new product waiting for FDA approval, Hologic knew they needed to fully integrate Lean


methodologies into the facility’s processes to

Moving Forward

create positive, lasting change.

After the winter we endured here in the northeast, spring is certainly a warm welcome! I can’t help but see it as a


metaphor for positive change in our economic environment.

No Looking Back


Dymotek likes to refer to the economic

Buzz Buzz worthy news, trends, statistics, Q&A


and opportunities to ask the experts.

downturn as ancient history. And the implementation of Lean methodologies, new technology and a diversified customer base, they’re investing in the future and not looking back.



Reviving Whitney

A Change of Course

The efforts of inventors including Eli Whitney

The new look and new name for the

gave birth to manufacturing in Connecticut.

quarterly CONNSTEP magazine reflect a

New products and production technology

change in CONNSTEP’s mission. Mike Leahy maps out the reasons for this change.

developed in Connecticut spread quickly,


and the state emerged as a powerhouse in innovation and manufacturing.


Moving Forward


After the winter we endured here in the northeast, spring is certainly a warm

CONNSTEP Advantage Magazine is a publication of CONNSTEP, Inc.

welcome and I can’t help but see it as a metaphor for positive change in our economic

Since 1994, the business consultants at CONNSTEP

environment. Through conversations with fellow business leaders, I hear their desire to

have helped Connecticut’s small and midsize businesses

have the fresh air banish the last vestiges of our “winter” fiscal state, bringing with it

compete and grow. Through highly personalized services

optimism and certainty for industry here in Connecticut.

tailored to the specific needs of our client companies,

There’s a saying that a recession is a terrible opportunity to miss, so it only seems fitting

we help develop more effective business leaders, execute company-wide operational excellence and devise creative strategies for business growth and profitability.

that our focus for this issue of Advantage is on future opportunities. While not immune

CONNSTEP is Connecticut’s NIST/MEP affiliate and is

from the effects of the economic downturn, both of the featured companies in this

supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic

issue - Hologic (page 14) and Dymotek (page 18) - are poised for future growth thanks

and Community Development (DECD).

to their strategic implementation of Lean, investments in new technology and successful


shifts in company culture.

Bonnie Del Conte, President & CEO CONNSTEP

And like our clients in the manufacturing, healthcare and government industries,


CONNSTEP is moving forward – continuing with our mission to be your total business improvement resource, delivering real value for your investment through strategic approaches. We have confidence that the value streams for our core products and services are essential components for accelerating top line growth, operational efficiencies and long-term sustainability.

Rebecca Mead, Manager, Marketing & Communications CONNSTEP

Contributing Writers Susie Zimmermann, Channel Z Marketing Mike Leahy, JM Leahy & Associates Kathy Hokunson, Site-Seeker, Inc. Jack Crane, CONNSTEP Michael Perrelli, CONNSTEP

Spring is also an opportune time to introduce our newly redesigned publication, CONNSTEP Advantage.

After an in-depth solicitation from our marketplace, extreme

Contacts To subscribe:

consideration was given to all aspects, including content, design and features. From

To change an address:

this, we have developed a revamped and reenergized magazine that, we believe, reflects

For reprints, PDF’s:

the needs of our readership. This quarterly periodical will showcase client successes,

For back issues:

technical articles and leadership profiles.

For permission to copy: To advertise:

It is our hope that you find substance in our content and it is of value to you as leader in

To pitch a story: To register for an event:

Connecticut business industry. But of course, you have the final say - we’re anxious to know what you think! Please send your feedback to the magazine’s editor, Rebecca Mead at Comments and suggestions on

800.266.6672 CONNSTEP, Inc., all rights reserved. Reproduction encouraged after obtaining permission from CONNSTEP.

our regular features and quarterly articles will be taken into consideration as our magazine continues to evolve.

CONNSTEP Advantage Magazine is printed four times a year by CONNSTEP, Inc., 1090 Elm Street, Suite 202, Rocky Hill, CT 06067. 800.266.6672

May your reading be satisfying,

POSTMASTER Send address changes to:


Bonnie Del Conte is the president & CEO of CONNSTEP. She can be reached at


advantage spring 2011

CONNSTEP, Inc. 1090 Elm Street, Suite 202 Rocky Hill, CT 06067

>>> Contributors







Susie Zimmermann has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing marketing and communications for corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. In her current work with clients from both the commercial and non-profit sectors, she provides strategic consulting on branding, product launches, messaging, positioning, employee communications and comprehensive marketing programs. Prior to launching her own consulting business, Susie managed marketing and communications programs for the Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. as well as for organizations specializing in commercial real estate, urban revitalization and health insurance. Jack Crane has been with CONNSTEP for 14 years, providing manufacturers with guidance and mentoring in business related needs such as strategic planning, marketing, strategy deployment and new product development. He also assists manufacturers with materials problems related to either fabrication or function, and can provide a connection with the UCONN Institute of Materials Science outreach activities. Additionally, Jack helps to match inventors seeking manufacturing assistance. While not working on CONNSTEP engagements, Jack directs the New Haven Science Fair program, a university and industry “hands-on� partnership with the New Haven Public School System.



Spring, 2011

Michael Perrelli is the Marketing Specialist with CONNSTEP where he is responsible for developing the content, markets and promotions of CONNSTEP training, networking and outreach programs. Additionally, Michael works with the Manger of Marketing & Communications on organizational market development, website maintenance and trade show efforts. Before joining CONNSTEP at the end of 2010, Michael worked for the Alcone Marketing Group, a promotional agency based in Darien and for SourceMedical in Wallingford, where he controlled multiple direct marketing and trade show efforts for the leader in ambulatory surgery center management software.

Kathy Hokunson is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Site-Seeker, Inc., an internet marketing firm specializing in search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media and ROI. Site-Seeker, Inc. works with clients to drive qualified visitors to their websites, convert visitors to buyers, measure results achieved and develop improvement plans based on performance. Kathy was one of the earliest adopters of the business uses of social media, spending her career making the bottom line case for internet marketing, including social media adoption.


>>> calendar

Training a Green Collar Champion

Lean Team Leader & Facilitator Training

Combining Lean and Green practices is fast becoming one of the foremost methods to cut costs, increase productivity, implement sustainable practices, retain jobs and engage new customers, all while minimizing the impact on the environment.

The backbone of sustainable Lean transformations is the team-based culture of continuous improvement. Training your workforce on the technical aspects of Lean is an important first step along the Lean transformation journey. In order to sustain the gains, you must also develop key people as team leaders and team facilitators - people who can facilitate, align and focus the processes and dynamics of continuous improvement teams.

The gist: This training certification program will raise worker awareness of the importance of becoming more environmentally focused and provide the skills needed to lead workplace-based sustainable practices. Approach: this intensive three-day combination of classroom and on the shop floor training provides project-based return on investment results for participating manufacturers. This certification program is partially funded through the Connecticut Green Jobs Partnership Grant.

The gist: The Lean Team Leader & Facilitator Training program integrates presentation, discussion, best practices, role play and exercises to develop the skills necessary for team leaders and facilitators to manage the tasks and lead the people through effective kaizen events. It is designed to build the knowledge and confidence that will enable team leaders and facilitators to create a robust environment for innovation. for more information. for more information.


The gist: This thirteen-week course provides

Manufacturing Roundtables

Online Learning

The Connecticut Manufacturing Coalition hosts an industry roundtable to provide opportunities for manufacturers to network and share best practices on topics important to the operations within their organizations.

Regularly scheduled informational webinars led by industry experts on topics such as continuous improvement, leadership, environment and energy, culture and change management, marketing and sales, performance measurement and strategic management.

The dynamic roundtables are a mix of plant tours, open group-directed conversations and guest speakers.



advantage spring 2011

Who attends? Those tasked with implementing and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement within their organization.

Schedule updated weekly; no cost to attend. for webinar descriptions for more

intensive exposure to the principles and practices needed to develop and sustain the Lean Enterprise. You will receive immediate reinforcement of the classroom learning by applying your training to a real-life project within your organization. Together with on-site mentoring and knowledge assessments, this approach dramatically reduces the time frame from training to bottom-line results.

and registration.

>> > Ask the Experts

You have questions, Tom Southworth finds the answers. An expert in enterprise-wide Lean transformation, Tom will answer your questions using

Where do you stand on sustainability?

his knowledge and the knowledge of industry’s top thought leaders.

Q: How does TWI (Training Within Industry) fit in to a Lean strategy? A: Training Within Industry has been called “The Foundation of Lean” by Donald Dinero, recipient of the 2006 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research for his book on TWI. The four-step methods used in the TWI J-programs (Job Instruction, Job Methods, Job Relations) mirror the foursteps of continuous improvement found in the Deming Circle or Shewhart Cycle of plan, do, check, act. Continuous improvement lies at the heart of Lean. A goal of a Lean enterprise is the complete elimination of waste. A goal of TWI is to provide the means to make improvements at every level of any organization in safety, work processes, employee relationships and training. Having a work force that is well trained, engaged in their work and safety conscious is critical to any organization’s success in eliminating waste and transforming itself into a Lean enterprise no matter sector of the economy they may be in. Every organization – hospitals, school cafeterias, government offices, retail shops, manufacturing companies – all have processes that must be followed correctly and must be accomplished safely, and all organizations want to tap into the collective power of their employees’ creativity to make their processes and products even better. TWI, therefore, applies to any organization that wants to improve. The TWI methods have been cited by numerous industry veterans, including Toyota’s Isao Kato, has having been crucial to the development of the Toyota Production System. Hajime Ohba,

then director of the Toyota Supplier Support Center, credits TWI as having established the foundation of Toyota’s “gemba” philosophy of going to the actual place where the work is actually done in order to study the work and make improvements to the methods. This philosophy, honed over decades of practice, was reintroduced to the United States at NUMMI, the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. facility in California. At NUMMI, the TWI practices that had been so phenomenally successful in the 1940’s war economy were used to totally transform the facility and turn it from “worst to first” in one year. This level of success has been duplicated in many manufacturing, service, and health care organizations. The basic precepts of the Toyota Production System, just-in-time and respect for people, are rooted in the teachings of the Training Within Industry methods. Teach people how to do their jobs correctly, safely and conscientiously through proper Job Instruction. Treat everyone as the individuals that they are, supervise fairly and effectively, resolve problems early, and keep employees motivated and productive with proper Job Relations. Provide a means to develop a practical plan to produce greater quantities of higher quality products and services in less time by making the best use of people, equipment and materials through Job Methods. TWI provides the means to build the foundation of Lean and to continue to build upon it as organizations seek to continuously improve.

In a recent report published by the editors of, State of Green Business, author Joel Makower discovered that corporate sustainability initiatives were not a victim of the recession, but to the contrary, “a growing number view environmental thinking - whether in the form of reducing waste, improving efficiency, or eyeing new business opportunities - as key to competitiveness, as well as a means of clawing our way back to economic prosperity.” And we couldn’t agree more. Green is smart business today and for the future. Developing a sustainable or “green” company requires a shift in the organizational mind-set; changes in all employee roles and skill sets. But where do you begin? And if you’ve already begun, how do you measure your efforts? The CONNSTEP Green Scorecard was developed to assess current state green performance in order to formulate a route on the journey for sustainable improvement. A path to higher profits, it is designed to identify ways to increase product and service efficiency, reduce energy demands and negative environmental impacts. The Green Scorecard is an on-line survey with questions in categories including energy and climate, material efficiency, products and services design, supply chain engagement, transportation and logistics, and employee involvement. Respondent’s input is scored and during a consultative discussion, participants are provided with a recommended action plan and an opportunity to formulate a sustainability strategy. For more information on The Green Scorecard, please visit

Tom Southworth is a Lean Consultant with CONNSTEP, providing consulting services to a variety of manufacturing companies with a concentration in Lean Manufacturing, facilitating the design, development and implementation of Lean Methodologies on an enterprise-wide basis. Tom writes a blog at Reach Tom




>>> Managing Millennials Think Millennials* care only about money? Think again! According to the Future of Millennial Careers, a study by the Career Advisory board, presented by DeVry University and conducted by Harris Interactive, money is not the most important factor in determining career success. Here are the factors most important to Millennials as ranked by both the hiring managers and the Millennials themselves. *Millennials are born between 1980 and 1995 and make up the largest percentage of today’s workforce.

48% High Pay

30% Meaningful work

27% High Pay

24% Sense of Accomplishment

12% High Level of Responsibility

11% Meaningful work

11% 10% Challenging Work

Sense of Accomplishment

9% High Level of Self Expression

8% Challenging Work

6% High Level of Self Expression

3% High Level of Responsibility


advantage spring 2011

What is your personal goal for this year and how will it help your company grow? “Over the next year, my focus w will be on developing a Strategic Plan for long term slow but steady g growth, including continued ccost management, market and line expansion, and improved

Connecticut’s Global Reach

organizational management leading to increased sales.” - Jamison Scott, Air Handling Systems

Manufacturing output is vitally important to the state with over $28 billion of the state’s gross product (GSP) coming from the industry.3

“My goal this year is to increase my interactions with peers and

Connecticut ranks as the 18th most manufacturing-intensive state

ccolleagues outside of R.C. Bigelow.

in the United States1 and our manufacturing workers are 20%

I feel that this will present me

more productive than the average U.S. manufacturing worker2.

w with the ability to better myself by increasing my interaction with

So it should come as no surprise that Connecticut manufacturers

others who are successful in the world of business. I

are also right up there when it comes to exporting...

also hope that it will allow me an opportunity to see how others in comparable fields are tackling similar

• •

State manufacturing exports grew to $13.7 billion in 2007,

obstacles and challenges and help spur new ideas

from $8.1 billion in 2003.4

in responding to such challenges. I feel that as I

Connecticut’s top five exports are industrial machinery,

experience new situations and environments, I will bring

fabricated metal, transportation equipment, chemicals and

back potential ideas and solutions to my position at

computer and electronic equipment, representing 92% of

R.C. Bigelow and improve those areas for which I am

the total state exports.5


Connecticut manufacturers have exported to over 200 different countries since 1988.2

- Jim Gildea, R.C. Bigelow

These same manufacturers have sent over $300 million worth of products each to Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea.6 “In the coming year, I want to ccontinue networking and learning tto understand what makes

Compiled by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) from the following sources: 1 U.S. Bureau of the Census 2 Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development 3 US Bureau of Economic Analysis 4 World Institute for Strategic Economic Research 5 National Association of Manufacturers 6 Connecticut Economic Digest

ccompanies successful, so I can implement a business strategy that w will help my company become more successful.” - Paul Hoffman, Orange Research



advantage spring 2011

market, to your clients and to your prospects.

Welcome to the Opportunity Revolution

It was recently reported that 73% of US companies use social media tools for marketing purposes, and by 2012 it is expected to be almost 90%. And with 46% of internet users interacting with social media on a daily basis, how do you capture the opportunities?

Blogging is also an effective way to support your sales and marketing objectives, strengthening your plans for future growth.

Measuring Effectiveness Everything you do online must have a goal of driving traffic to your website. In order to understand what is working, and what is not, you need to have measurement tools in place. As Dr. Deming stated, “In God we trust. All others must bring data.”

by Kathy Hokunson

One of the most reliable measurement tools available is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is As we all start to feel the effects of the

Facebook emulation for professionals, but, with

a free service which is relatively simple to install

economy’s recovery, it is refreshing to shake

real value – networking for success, making

for your webmaster or web hosting company.

off the restraints and restrictions of the recent

valuable connections that can lead to growth,

With a tool like Google Analytics, you will know

business-growth struggle. Instead of looking to

opportunity and yes, even, sales.

the volume of traffic you drive to your site from

simply survive, we are now looking forward to new opportunities and growth.

all platforms; how long visitors stay on your site The success of LinkedIn comes from three key

and how many pages they view.

areas: The choices that lay in front of us are both

A deep dive into Google Analytics can even tell Community. Building a quality professional

you how many visitors go to your contact page

being offered more choices than we have

structure by connecting with people you

and, subsequently, how many visitors actually

ever had to grow our businesses, reach out to

know or have met or would like to meet.

submit your conversion form. This information

Engagement. Participating in

can also reveal what pages visitors like and don’t

conversations with groups where you are

like, what search words you are found for in

most likely to reach your prospects and

Google and more importantly, what words you


are NOT found for.

empowering and slightly terrifying. We are

potential prospects, develop new markets and



compete in the international arena. Historically, our choices to market our companies and reach prospects were limited - industrial


Networking. By building a strong

directories, market-niche magazines, and

community, your access to the

These simple recommendations are just a start.

eventually, a brochure-like website. In the last

connections of others becomes highly

Many of your peers have embraced these

five years, however, this pattern has begun

valuable. Identify companies you would

platforms, as well as your competitors. Now is

to change. The options that now exist have

like to work with, find someone you’re

the time to change your thinking and look at

significant reach, provide tangible results and are

connected with who is linked with

new ways to grow your business and break the

measurable - providing real ROI.

someone who works for that company

barriers that have held you back.

and request an introduction. If they are in With the evolution of Internet marketing and

your community, they will connect you.

social media, our industry faces the opportunity

Lend me your ears, my friends, as the time for action is now. Are you ready to join the

for revolution. The ways in which to reach


further and grow bigger are plentiful.

Blogging is an excellent way to build brand


recognition, authority and thought-leadership Now is the time to embrace this revolution. If

among your clients, prospects and peers.

you’re not sure where to start, consider the

Blogging will drive traffic to your website,

following . . .

improve your ranking in search engines and


showcase your expertise.

Social Media At first, LinkedIn was perceived to be a job-

With the tools the Internet affords us, you

hunting avenue for those who found themselves

can quickly build a blog and start sharing your

non-recession proof. The truth is, it’s just

thoughts and opinions that are relevant to your


What I’ve Learned

>>> Ken MacCormac, President, Capewell Components Co., LLC South Windsor, Connecticut, 76 years old 12

advantage spring 2011


have been managing

how our products are used, see our

I am thinking about retiring, but I still

small manufacturing

customers as partners, and exceed their

have a lot to offer, including years of

companies for over


experience. There are more leisure

45 years, finding it a

activities I enjoy than I have time for.

challenge to turn some

I would like every employee to think

I am a people person and like to help

around and grow others

that their job at Capewell is the best job

others succeed.

to higher profit levels.

they’ve ever had. Given the amount of time we all spend working, it’s

I have some concerns about

I’m fortunate. Shareholders have

important that we enjoy working

the next generation. Many

allowed me to operate Capewell as

with colleagues in a family

young people seem to carry a sense

though it was my own business, acquiring


of entitlement, while my generation

businesses and launching new products.

was motivated and even required to get out and work. You can’t wait

Early in my career (in the ‘60s), I was

around for a ‘great job.’ Take what

responsible for a company’s investments and licensees overseas. That was a great learning experience, an early start in exports and setting up operations around the world. Today with a number of

is available and run with it. No job

Connecticut, “the land of steady habits,” has to reinvent itself.

should be beneath you, especially now. There is no sure path to any career. Each one has twists and turns and that is what makes life interesting.

emerging markets, there are even more opportunities to sell and manufacture overseas.

There is no time for

My father owned three hardware stores.

“steady” and the “habits”

With my two brothers, I was given the

have to go.

responsibility to run one of the stores


(as a teenager) when my parents were away. That’s where I learned about selling, promotion, and running a small business. Selling hard goods

Communication is critical.

there led me into manufacturing.

Idea sharing, open dialogue, and the camaraderie are essential to building

My parents wanted me to be a lawyer,


but business was in my blood and I went for my MBA instead. Decades

Mistakes? Sure, I’ve made my share:

later, I’m still fascinated by the fabric

getting ahead of myself, letting managers

of a business, always thinking of ways

go too far down the wrong road. Overall,

to expand it. Understanding the

though, I have batted over 500 in my

history of a business is essential


to understanding its culture, uniqueness and skills to be

Progressive companies today must be


alert to change and be more flexible and nimble. Years ago, we had more time to

Innovation is the key to survival.

recover from mistakes or take corrective

Companies need managers that think

action. In this prolonged recession, every

outside of the box. Those who think

company should be thinning itself out.

making and selling is enough,

You can’t be lean enough. If ever

relying on legacy products, will

there was a time to streamline

be left behind. We must understand

your company, this is it.


New Dim >> for more examples of Lean Manufacturing transformations, improving the performance, quality and profitability of Connecticut companies, visit


advantage spring 2011

With long lead times and a revolutionary new product waiting for FDA approval, Hologic knew they needed to fully integrate Lean methodologies into the facility’s processes to create positive, lasting change and to develop solutions to their lead time, inventory and product flow troubles.

mensions by Michael Perrelli


fter eight years at

meet the end users of the products they

mammography products, the Danbury

Hologic, Vice President


plant prepared to address their battles

of Manufacturing,

Greg Safarik, considers

with long lead times (averaging 60-90

In 2003, Hologic employees participated

days), inefficient product flow and unmet

the Danbury facility to be a unique

in several training sessions to broaden

inventory requirements.

working environment. Danbury is the

their understanding of Lean processes

only Hologic plant that manufactures

and continuous improvement tools.

Under Michael’s leadership, Greg and his

digital mammography equipment; “Our

However, sustaining continuous change

team were determined to fully integrate

company culture is reflected by the

and expanding on the basic foundations

Lean methodologies into the facility’s

employees’ personal and professional

of Lean proved to be challenging to their

processes to create positive, lasting

commitment to women’s healthcare.

resources. With the focus on meeting the

change and to develop solutions to the

Many of our employees are connected

expanding revenue goals and new product

lead time, inventory and product flow

with the products they develop, whether

introductions over the next few years,

troubles. Michael and Greg knew that for

through a family member, friend or

Lean became less and less of an emphasis,

Lean to be truly effective, continuous

colleague affected by breast cancer. A

but more and more of a necessity.

improvement tools must be built into

dynamic, collective energy results from

the overall company strategy.

their dedication to excellence and the

Despite meeting the projected revenue

personal support of improving women’s

growth, Michael Parrilla, Senior Vice

It was then that Michael met with Bob

healthcare.” Since the Danbury plant is

President of Corporate Manufacturing

Colapietro and Tom Southworth of

frequently visited by customers, doctors,

Operations, still felt that there was

CONNSTEP for assistance in improving the

product technicians, and patients alike,

room for improvement. In 2008, while

current shop floor layout to accommodate

employees are often able to see and

Hologic worked to develop a new line of

the new line of mammography


equipment. The Hologic team knew that

system and organize individual work

to strengthen business growth, they

cells as part of an overarching strategy

needed to apply Lean thinking to their

to eliminate non-value added activities

work practices.

throughout the facility. They utilized Value Stream Mapping, 5S, spaghetti charts, and

As a leading developer and manufacturer of medical imaging systems with corporate headquarters located in Bedford, Massachusetts, Hologic, Inc. has provided innovative solutions for women’s healthcare needs for more than 20 years.

Michael sought funding from the state

point-of-use storage, as well as cellular

to offset the cost of instituting Lean

manufacturing as a model for improved

practices at his location. Upon reviewing

workplace design.

the needs displayed by Hologic – basic Lean training, value stream mapping and

Like most companies, Hologic

the ability to implement these practices to

encountered employee resistance when

improve production capacity – CONNSTEP

it came to altering and sometimes

recommended the Northeast Utilities

reducing work spaces to streamline the

PRIME Program as their needs aligned

manufacturing process. “It’s a tough sell,

perfectly with the program’s methodology.

culturally,” Greg admitted, “when you’re expected to go from four workbenches

The Kaizen team at Hologic

to a single table workspace and from ‘my

represented an ideal mix of participants

area’ to a shared workspace, it is not an

- manufacturing and assembly

easy transition.”

representatives were joined by planning, procurement, materials and engineering members providing

One of the company’s primary manufacturing facilities is located in Danbury, Connecticut and employs a team of 325 people, focused on developing state-of-the-art digital imaging technology for mammography applications.

the valuable input needed

Hologic currently holds approximately 60% of the market share for worldwide digital mammography and is growing through new technology and products.

aimed to drive product

from all interested parties. CONNSTEP’s Lean Consultant, Tom Southworth, worked with the Hologic team to establish best practices to improve product flow and streamline their shop floor layout. They sought to address inefficiencies in how products were built and identify obstacles in the need for lead time and inventory reduction. Ultimately, they cost down to make their products more accessible to healthcare providers.

The Lean training took place as a company wide initiative to educate the Hologic workforce about implementing continuous improvement tools with the Lean knowledge they already possessed. The team organized a kaizen event to create a functional kanban


advantage spring 2011

Hologic Vice President of Manufacturing, Greg Safarik, talks with CONNSTEP’ s Tom S

positive results from their efforts, they realized the benefits and “the desire to participate in kaizen events increased,” Greg added, “the energy was contagious and employee cross motivation was the critical element which improved the company culture and acceptance of our new Lean processes.”

As a result, Hologic’s Danbury plant successfully developed a new

CONNSTEP is a valuable partner to Hologic, providing the expertise and ‘outside eyes’ everyone needs to keep their continuous improvement on track.

Yet, once the team experienced the

We are now well-positioned on a dynamic growth path and look forward to a long-term relationship with CONNSTEP.

manufacturing floor layout, implementing a cellular design in favor of the batch/cell oriented process. Now all of the cells on the production floor can accommodate any of the Hologic product lines allowing for an 11% increase in total units produced, a 50% lead time reduction

Southworth as they watch final inspection.

Greg Safarik

and flexibility in the facility’s mixed model

savings and an expected $80 million

operation which consists of four product

increase in sales while meeting client

lines and 27 SKUs.

demand with a 100% on-time shipment rate.

Upon reaching the future state goal within the desired time frame, Hologic found additional constraints

Lean continues to be a vital component of the company’s strategy moving forward,

that needed to be removed.

“We’ve only scratched the surface,”

During a follow-up NU PRIME

Greg admits, “that’s why they call it

event in October, 2010,

continuous improvement. Employees

Tom Southworth worked

see the improvements everyday which

with Hologic to open-up an

maintains the motivation and keeps

additional 6,000 square

the momentum going.”

feet of floor space to accommodate the new

This spring the Danbury facility plans to

Selenia Dimensions 3-D

continue their formal training with the

imaging product line, which

CONNSTEP Lean and Green program,

received FDA approval in

Training a Green Collar Champion, and

February of 2011.

become more environmentally focused through developing the skills needed

These new initiatives, along

to lead workplace-based sustainable

with the implementation


of Lean beginning in 2003, enabled the Danbury facility

Progress in the Danbury facility has

to increase throughput six-

spearheaded a corporate effort to

fold, while only doubling the

incorporate Lean practices in all

workforce. The company

Hologic facilities domestic as well as

is now adding positions

internationally. “We’re happy to be

in engineering, sales and

the ‘pioneers’ and share our lessons


learned with our colleagues so that we all can develop the best product and

As a result of CONNSTEP’s

provide the best user experience.”

work in facilitating Hologic’s Lean implementation, the


Danbury facility realized an estimated $280,000 in cost


No Looking Back by Michael Perrelli

>>> Dymotek, Ellington, Connecticut Plastic Injection Molding, 52 employees 18

advantage spring 2011


or over 20 years, Dymotek has provided innovative thermoplastic and silicone injection molding solutions to

the commercial building, automotive, medical, plumbing and food and beverage sectors in 21 countries. Within the 30,000 square foot stateof-the-art engineering, molding

Dymotek likes to refer to the economic downturn as ancient history. And with the implementation of Lean methodologies, new technology and a diversified customer base, they’re investing in the future and not looking back.

and distribution facility in Ellington, Connecticut, Dymotek’s 52 employees work three shifts, seven days a week to

preferred partner to their customers, but

With the changing business mix,

keep up with current customer demand.

a valuable extension of their customer’s

the company’s warehouse became

business, “It’s so important to develop

unorganized; storage was random,

Highlighting the company’s commitment

an understanding of our clients’ business

unidentified and haphazard. As

to purchasing and utilizing the latest

so that we can proactively identify and

the team at Dymotek prepared to

technology to provide superior results for

leverage new, emerging and unique

address their battle with warehouse

their customers is their two-shot silicone

technologies, to continuously provide

inefficiencies, they turned to

molding technology. Dymotek is one of


CONNSTEP to design a new

only a handful of companies in the US to

warehouse layout with the intention

utilize two-shot silicone molding, which

In 2008, before most of the industry

of supporting the flow of product

maintains the characteristics of the silicone

experienced the economic downturn,

to and from manufacturing while

rubber and thermoplastic resins when

nearly 50% of Dymotek’s business,

detailing inventory, storage, usage

producing multi-material products.

composed largely of very specialized

and logistics.

automotive component production, was With Dymotek for over 14 years,

transferred away. Without cemented,

But during the initial meeting with

Norm Forest, Executive Vice President

long-term contracts, the business was lost

George Snyder and Bill Kirchherr

and General Manager, has certainly

to off-shore outsourcing or the utilization

of CONNSTEP, and following a

experienced the ups and downs of the

of in-house suppliers. Unfortunately,

discussion on company initiatives,

Connecticut manufacturing industry,

like many others, Dymotek lost additional

goals and issues, Norm and the

“everyone knows what machine

business as the recession took hold.

leadership team put the warehouse

downtime is – but for manufacturers

layout project on hold, “We

to survive and grow, there’s certainly

When reflecting on the downturn,

identified pain points in two of our

no ‘company downtime’ - you’ve got

Norm likes to refer to it as ancient

[Dymotek’s] largest production cells

to always have one eye on the needs

history, “We were very fortunate to

– the Mini Vent and the Lavatory

of your customers and one on new

have a long term strategy in place that

Guard product lines, so with

technology .”

guided us through the darker days.”

CONNSTEP’s guidance, we decided

The pain of 2008 and 2009 was lessened

to embark on Lean training and

Working through everything from losing

in 2010 as Dymotek regained a portion

value stream mapping to improve

business, acquiring new work, the

of the automotive business which had

production capacity.”

implementation of new technology and

been lost and gained considerable new

launching four new production areas,

business, mostly in the devices relating to

However, due to the changing

Norm and the rest of the leadership team

disposable fluid and air valves, and pumps

business mix and economic

have kept Dymotek moving forward in

in the food and beverage dispensing

downturn, Dymotek was not in

their mission of not only becoming a


a cash flow position to fund the


recommended the company take advantage of the opportunities available with the Northeast Utilities PRIME program as Dymotek’s needs aligned with the program’s methodology. The Kaizen team assembled at Dymotek involved all parties – it was an ideal mix of talent as manufacturing and assembly representatives were joined by operators and management members providing

It’s so important to develop an understanding of our clients’ business so that you can proactively identify and leverage new, emerging and unique technologies, to continuously provide value.

the valuable input needed to facilitate

training independently. George Snyder

Norm Forest

successful events. In May of 2009, the Lavatory Guard product cell experienced process times well above takt time, operator travel in excess of three miles per shift, required multiple operators and the product did not flow through the pack out process. Bill Kirchherr worked with the Dymotek team to develop standardized operator processes and implement 5S, Kanban systems and cellular layout. By balancing the flow and a new cell layout, operator travel was reduced by more than two miles and the elimination of three packing steps lead to a 28% increase of opportunity time for the operator. With the changes implemented and sustained, one operator can run the line with 100% uptime. The removal

of labor from production has helped

standardized layout practices were

Dymotek maintain a consistent price point

developed for each part number, work

for the Lavatory Guard product line.

instructions were clearly defined and a

In August of that same year, the Mini

These changes lead to reduced

Vent product line was scheduled for its

operator travel of one mile per shift

own initiative. The Mini Vent line has 34

and a reduction in changeover time to

part number combinations which lead

22 minutes, down from one hour and

to excessive operator travel for boxes

40 minutes.

pre-kit staging process was developed.

and component retrieval, unknown replenishment times and a changeover

Through implementing Lean

time of one hour and 40 minutes. Similar

methodologies on the Lavatory Guard

to the previous project, standardized

and Mini-Vent lines, Dymotek was able

operator processes were developed

to fill the generated capacity. The new

with the implementation of 5S, Kanban

implementations also allowed for ten

systems and cellular layout.

new jobs to be added, 12 jobs retained, $100,000 in cost savings realized and

Upon project completion, specific

$4,000,000 in sales retained.

Similar to most companies that embark on their Lean journey, Norm and Dymotek leadership experienced resistance to change at the beginning of the process, “The initial fear with Lean is that people will be laid off. People connect the word ‘efficiency’ with the lack of need and job security.” However, once everyone experienced positive results and understood the business plan of growth and reinvestment beyond the kaizen events, resistance faded and team members now take an active role in providing suggestions for future kaizen events. The Continuous


advantage spring 2011

Lean buzzword is one thing, but when you have a win across the plant where everyone can see it, it really brings the value to the forefront, everyone notices it and it drives continuous improvement.” The successful Lean initiatives at Dymotek have kept the company’s mission in focus. Savings and efficiencies gained in resources and expenses throughout the production process have allowed the company to re-invest in itself. By purchasing and implementing new technology, and continuously upgrading the skills of staff members, Dymotek stays at the crest of delivering cuttingedge advantages and molding solutions Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney visited Dymotek in April, learning about the innovative engineering and production capabilities being implemented to increase revenue and enter new markets. From left: Congressman Joe Courtney; Gene Tewksbury with the Congressman’s office; Norm Forest, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Dymotek; Bonnie Del Conte, President, CONNSTEP; and Victor Morando, Vice President of Engineering Services, Dymotek.

to a growing customer base. “While our initial benefits from Lean have made a very positive impact for the company, we know that continuous

Improvement Team at Dymotek has

space to the manufacturing floor now

implemented a bi-weekly schedule of Lean

houses the fastest moving products and

team meetings where problems, issues

raw materials, with the slowest moving

and areas of improvement are discussed

products relocated to the rear and upper

for inclusion in the kaizen event schedule.

reaches of the space.

With the success of two kaizen events in

After establishing flow in support of

the books, the warehouse project moved

manufacturing, kanban signals were

to the forefront. The layout design took

developed and entered into Dymotek’s

a logical approach with consideration

ERP system. The system is fully integrated

of Dymotek’s core competencies.

and bi-directional allowing customers to

Dymotek originally feared that they

check on the status of current products,

didn’t have enough warehouse space

quantity on hand and work in process.

to accommodate the changing business

Having a handle on customer needs

mix and were hesitant to invest capital

allows Dymotek to produce to

expenditures for additional shelving and

minimum inventory levels, reducing

space. The first initiative of the plan was

the cost of on-hand inventory.

improvement means continuous…

thanks to the NU Prime Program and CONNSTEP, we’ve received expert facilitation and guidance, allowing us to build a good foundation with Lean practices.” MP

to rearrange the warehouse and establish a logical flow of raw materials and

Lean initiatives are at the heart of the on-

finished goods so that the closest storage

going business strategy at Dymotek. “The

The new [Lean] implementations allowed for ten new jobs to be added, 12 jobs retained, $100,000 in cost savings realized and $4,000,000 in sales retained.


Reviving Whitney >>> opinion 22

advantage spring 2011

>>> The efforts of inventors including Eli Whitney, Charles Goodyear and Samuel Colt, gave birth to manufacturing in Connecticut. New products and production technology developed in Connecticut spread quickly, and the state emerged as a powerhouse in innovation and manufacturing. Unfortunately, today, trends have Connecticut ranked among states with the slowest projected job growth over the next few years. An odd predicament for a state which arguably has a great workforce, access to technology and some of the most innovative minds in the country. So how do we turn this boat around and improve Connecticut’s manufacturing competitiveness in the global economy? Jack Crane believes a better future can be found with collaboration.


ith some help, this grim projection has a potentially bright future in its midst for manufacturing to lead the way in promoting

job growth. Certainly there are many issues to be confronted, such as the state business climate and the influence it has on expansion in the coming years, but there are others. The manufacturing community is paranoid about the adverse impact of the current business environment on the industry. But, as a friend concerned about his personal safety once said to me: I may be paranoid, but that does NOT mean my life is NOT in danger. It is in fact true that government at many levels has undervalued manufacturing’s effect on our economy. Accordingly, the negative consequences of some legislative and executive policies have not been appreciated and government efforts on behalf of manufacturing have too often lacked the perseverance to maintain


the supportive efforts which were initiated.

ongoing activity, there are other things

based on tribal knowledge will be even further

Considering that Thomas Jefferson argued

manufacturers can do to help their own

disadvantaged as the tribal chiefs retire and

strenuously in the 1700s against this country

valuations and move towards profitable

as the overseas companies continue to learn

ever engaging in manufacturing, the track record

growth. The trends noted below are likely

their technology based on understanding the

could be much worse.

to have substantive effects on manufacturing

science and engineering of metal working,

and the suggestions that follow are things

metal machining, composite materials, energy

However, there is an apparent recent desire to be

manufacturers can do to minimize the threats

conversion, etc. (It has been true for some time

more supportive of manufacturing both locally

and take advantage of the opportunities.

that foreign born students dominate enrollment

and nationally; and recent successes in permitting

in engineering and the physical sciences in

and taxing restraints supported by Connecticut

First the Trends

U.S. universities, public and private. What is

legislators, recognizing manufacturing as an

Despite increasing dissatisfaction with

new is that instead of staying in the U.S. after

important job creator, suggests support for

Asian imports, increased re-shoring efforts,

graduation, many foreign born graduates of

restoring employment is possible.

and constraints imposed on importing

U.S. universities are returning to their country of

manufactured goods, Asia will continue to be

origin where they will bring back this technology

Over the past five years there has been a coming

both a thorn in the side of local manufacturers,

to industries in their countries.)

together of manufacturers in Connecticut,

as well as an opportunity for enlightened

recognizing that improving their position in

collaboration, and a market for local products.

the business environment demands collective

Major Aerospace OEMs in the state will continue to seek growth in other states or countries

action. Their successful achievements in gaining

Other international markets will continue to

government support have come largely on the

offer expanded opportunities for Connecticut

strength of concerted action; not by railing

manufacturers, particularly with the soft dollar

Suggested Responses

against the power structure. The collaborative

which will be around for awhile.

Clearly, developing an organization with a

action involves three necessary sequential steps: •

instead of in Connecticut.

Lean culture, with the accent on culture, will Trends evidenced today project that

be extremely important. Companies with Lean

Get quality information from professionals

Connecticut, a state with some of the best

cultures will have an advantage compared to

about what is happening that affects

workforce, technology, and innovation, will

those whose focus is still on the point solution


rank among the lowest for job growth in the

and view Lean more as a cost cutting initiative

Get educated about possible courses of

US over the next several years.

than the broader role of a growth strategy.

Take effective actions through a variety of

Skilled graduates at all levels will be in short

This suggests the importance of developing


supply for manufacturing companies at the

real Lean leaders, not CEOs, who assume that

same time the graying Connecticut workforce

if they order up a Lean event they are a “Lean

will be reduced by retirement.

enterprise.” The latter will fail to see the real

action; and •

This diligence can never be diminished and should become routine: you cannot ignore the squeaky wheel principle.

While realizing that legislative pressure is an

benefits of Lean to continually remove waste and Increasing global access to modern equipment

increase capacity, and will generate policy waste,

will tend to minimize superiorities built wholly

contributing to reduced profits and slow or no

on the strength of equipment advantage.


Companies whose technology is largely

Over the past five years there has been a coming together of manufacturers in Connecticut, recognizing that improving their position in the business environment demands collective action. Their successful achievements have come largely on the strength of concerted action; not by railing against the power structure.


advantage spring 2011

Collaboration with other companies and a


select group of universities is essential to

A company without a vision has no destination; a company with a vision and no strategy, has no guide to get there; and a company with a vision and a strategy with no metrics, will never know where they are. They may in fact get somewhere very fast but it may not be where they want to be.

maintain that leading edge. UCONN has an outreach capability in business, engineering and materials. This outreach needs to be extended geographically, and made more user friendly. The state has shown signs of supporting a major outreach in engineering and materials for industrial partnerships that will be based in Storrs. There needs to be a critical mass for this to be successful; hopefully it will also include regional satellites, and industry will need to be a full partner.


Leadership trained to guide and inspire

marketing capabilities. Support by

Lean cultures will be an important asset to

Department of Commerce and the

A number of companies participated in a

manufacturing companies as they go to the next

Connecticut Department of Economic

survey of the METAL Cluster in 2005 which

higher level. The standard workforce training in

Development (DECD) to improve

identified their needs and requirements

Lean must continue, but there should be greatly

export capability by manufacturers

for success in the future. This was part of

increased activity in developing Lean leadership.

should be better utilized by the

a DECD effort to assist development of

A partnership between manufacturers

manufacturing community, but the

Clusters. Many of the above suggestions

and the government to support Lean

marketing plan needs to be in place.

can be found in the report out of the METAL

leadership training is important for

There is also assistance available for

Cluster in 2005. The information was

continued manufacturing productivity

expanding web based marketing and

and still is valuable. Perhaps it should be

and profitable growth.

use of social media.

explored once again and those aspects still useful should be implemented.

The advantages of increasing capacity cannot be

In order to achieve a Connecticut workforce

fully realized without a vision of the future and a

that is really world class, in addition to Lean

As a final consideration for

marketing strategy to fill that capacity with new

training, there needs to be more effort to

collaboration, the manufacturers

business. Accordingly, developing a marketing

upgrade the core technologies on which the

in this state know a lot about

plan, no matter how crude, that is compatible

business depends. Upgrading training of

continuous improvement. This

with the vision, is key. It should determine which

staff and networking with associations and

knowledge is transferable to other

products, services, customers, and markets work

others who can supply this training should be

business and services sectors.

or don’t work for the company, and should serve

ongoing. A major collaboration with

Both government and healthcare

as the guide for expanded activity.

state supported colleges, community

could benefit by learning from

colleges, and the other public and

manufacturers how to reduce costs

A company without a vision has no destination;

private sectors to upgrade core

and improve operations.

a company with a vision and no strategy, has no

technologies of our manufacturing

guide to reach that destination; and a company

workforce will be required to achieve

with a vision and a strategy with no metrics, will

this world class position.


never know where they are. They may in fact get somewhere very fast but it may not be where

Companies involved in contract manufacturing,

they want to be.

make what they are asked with defined processes specified. However, for those

Collaboration with manufacturing

companies that produce a product, upgrading

associations, private groups, and

the products and processes is an ongoing

with the government offer numerous

requirement. Improvement requires innovation

opportunities to achieve these

and often also includes new technology.


A Change of Course Mike Leahy JM Leahy & Associates The new look and new name for the quarterly CONNSTEP magazine reflect a change in CONNSTEP’s mission to now also provide Connecticut businesses, outside of manufacturing, with continuous improvement and growth strategies enabling them to become more competitive. By broadening its audience in this way, CONNSTEP is better positioned to support the growth of the state’s overall economy. And, as we all know only too well, Connecticut’s economy needs all the help it can get. But before making the change, CONNSTEP did what any good sailor would do before lifting anchor for new waters. They made sure the trip they were plotting was based on sound navigation and a favorable tide.

Mike Leahy has retired twice. First from Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide as an Executive VP, Management Director and then from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) having been a founder and Director

In this case, sound navigation meant contacting readers of The Manufacturer, the longstanding CONNSTEP newsletter, and benefitting from their input. This input was obtained in two steps. Step one consisted of one-on-one phone interviews with 17 member readers for the purpose of obtaining qualitative feedback and insight to help in the design of a questionnaire to be used in the next step. Step two, more quantitative in nature, was an e-mail questionnaire to 357 C-level executives in Connecticut in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing. Both the qualitative and quantitative steps probed for perceptions of The Manufacturer. What was good, what was not so good, what about the format, how about the content, layout, frequency of issues, etc. Fifty-eight c-level executives answered the e-mail survey (a very respectable 16% response rate). A summary of the results that led to the new look and new name you see here: • • • • •

The Manufacturer too limited as a title; name needs to be broader Needs to be more visual More case histories Magazine format preferred by largest percentage of respondents More sales/marketing, state/federal legislation and workforce development coverage

The new name, CONNSTEP Advantage, speaks to a much broader audience and communicates to that audience that there are advantages to be realized by associating with CONNSTEP. It provides a springboard to a dialogue about how CONNSTEP can provide the most important advantage of all…becoming more competitive. Going from a newsletter to a magazine format not only dovetails with respondent’s input, it also serves as a higher quality vehicle for CONNSTEP to leverage its brand and get its message out. So please have a close look at this new magazine and don’t hesitate to let CONNSTEP know what you think!


advantage spring 2011

of Marketing.

He now consults on projects that interest him and do not have an impact on sailing out of Stonington or skiing in Vermont.

Green is smart business today & for the future.

Part of a sustainable continuous improvement strategy, Green Manufacturing helps companies improve their productivity, profitability and competitiveness. Green manufacturers reduce energy costs, eliminate waste to enhance product quality, design products and services in alignment with sustainability goals, work with suppliers and customers to meet green standards, minimize the impact of logistics and transportation systems, and consider sustainability a core part of recruitment, compensation and training. CONNSTEP’s Green Manufacturing experts can help you identify ways to increase product and service efficiency, reduce energy demands and negative environmental impacts. 800.266.6672


CONNSTEP, Inc. 1090 Elm Street, Suite 202 Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Tel 860.529.5120 Fax 860.529.5001

CONNSTEP assists Connecticut manufacturers and other businesses with strategic leadership and operational methodologies to become more competitive, thus supporting the growth of Connecticut’s economy.

CONNSTEP Advantage Spring 2011