Manufacturers Services

Continuous Improvement

Reduce your costs, increase your quality, become more agile and competitive. Improve your bottom-line and make yourself ready for top-line gains.

We can help you with improvements that can be implemented in any part of your company, no matter you size or industry. We’ve described below some of the key areas where we can help. Check with a FloridaMakes Business Advisor to determine what is the right approach for your company.

Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, & Toyota Kata

Definition of Lean

“A systematic approach, to identifying and eliminating waste, (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement, by flowing product, at the pull of the customer, in pursuit of perfection.” (Source: MEP National Network)

Five Principles of Lean

  1. Define Value and identify the Value Stream
  2. Eliminate or minimize Waste
  3. Create continuous Flow
  4. Let customer demand Pull the product/service
  5. Sustain Continuous Improvement

Why Focus on Waste?

Waste is a symptom of process problems. Identifying waste helps to find the problems that need to be resolved. Addressing the root causes of those problems eliminates or reduces waste and improves the process, resulting in reduced cost, shorter lead times, and increased capacity.

Six Sigma

  • A proven, effective approach to business management that focuses everyone on ensuring the attainment of business objectives following the DMAIC process - Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.
  • A business philosophy focusing on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement
  • Achieved by systematically improving and controlling strategically important systems, processes, and products
  • It is a statistical measure of variation and a methodology for improving key processes using a toolbox of quality and management tools for problem solving and an organized process for structured analysis of data

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a unified approach for best enterprise-wide improvement results. Lean alone may not bring processes under statistical control while Six Sigma alone may not dramatically improve process speed and cycle time. A Lean Six Sigma approach expands the problem-solving toolbox.

Toyota Kata

The default way people think about problems often involves jumping to conclusions and immediately seeking to solve problems, because the brain does not like uncertainty. The unconscious part of our brain takes bits of surface information, quickly extrapolates to fill in blanks, and gives us a false sense of confidence in our conclusion. And then we start making costly mistakes.

Toyota Kata helps develop creative, scientific-thinking skills. Employees can use these skills to keep improving, adapting, and generating competitive advantage in a strategically aligned way.

Toyota Kata does not teach problem solving, but rather, a mindset that can make people more effective at problem solving through practicing “Starter Kata.” Starter Kata are small routines or protocols that get practiced deliberately, especially at the beginning, to help people acquire a new skill. Starter Kata increase the speed of learning and are especially helpful when companies want to develop a shared way of thinking and working in a group of people, because everyone starts with practicing the same basics.

FloridaMakes has helped many 0companiesintroduce and use Lean techniques. To sustain results, the added practice of Toyota Kata routines and patterns, can better equip manufacturers to navigate ambiguity and reach challenging goals.

Cost Analysis

While we might not think of accounting as an art form, understanding the nuances of manufacturing costs yields better decision making and is ultimately fundamental in the management of your manufacturing business.

There are several acceptable methods of establishing the cost to manufacture goods and while the approach and appropriate depth of each process may differ from one company to another, all center on three basic elements of cost: direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead. While that sounds reasonably simple, the application of unsuitable costing or cost recognition processes and respective reporting can be intimidating and arduous.

Costing systems and related processes vary between manufacturers of all sizes, however, should be matched to the type and size of a manufacturer, applied accounting standards (GAAP or similar), and finally, the level and velocity of management information necessary to effectively manage the business.

Timely costing a specific product or service (process) is fundamental to effective and efficient operations. Managing lifecycle costs and pricing models for your manufactured products and/or services is a requirement to maximize profitability.

Let FloridaMakes assist you in properly selecting, implementing, and managing your cost recognition and reporting system.

Environmental Health & Safety

Manufacturing safety is important to prevent or lessen the risk of workplace injury, illness and death. Improving your workplace safety and health can significantly impact your bottom line, employee retention and productivity.

Unsafe and unhealthful workplace practices impact businesses in many different areas including workers’ compensation claims and premiums, loss or downtime of employees, loss of inventory and equipment, and safety violation fines. Some of these costs may include:

  • Production downtime
  • Overtime to make up for that downtime
  • Damage to products, materials and equipment
  • Lost time to conduct incident investigations
  • Significant OSHA fines
  • Legal costs
  • Increased workers’ comp premiums

Is your company ready to take your Environmental Health and Safety strategy to the next level to reduce financial risks, improve efficiency and ensure that your workforce is safe and healthy? FloridaMakes can help establish or strengthen your programs.

Vendor Managed Inventory

Vendor Managed Inventory, also known as VMI, is a method of inventory management in which suppliers (vendors) take care of their products within a manufacturer’s (customer’s) facility inventory. This proven approach can streamline inventory management and order fulfillment processes and decreases costs. It improves collaboration between suppliers and customer partners by aligning business objectives and optimizing operations. Some of the benefits of VMI are improved order accuracy, faster inventory turns, higher in stock percentages, and less touch time for inventory order pulling/operations. Contact your FloridaMakes Business Advisor to set up your VMI Tooling or hardware process.

Tooling U-SME

Manufacturing in the State of Florida is rapidly growing. With this comes growing pains. The need to educate and train the workforce about process improvement is critical for manufacturers. FloridaMakes’ and Tooling U-SME have partnered to offer an online, self-paced solution for training to assist the manufacturing community with their training needs. Topics such as Lean Manufacturing, Process Flow, and 5S are only a few of the hundreds of courses that you can choose from. Contact your local FloridaMakes Business Advisor to assist you with tailoring a program that meets your company’s and employees’ needs, and to set up your learning experience with Tooling U-SME.

Connect with your FloridaMakes Business Advisor

Learn how FloridaMakes works with Florida manufacturers - and how we can help unlock growth opportunities and cost savings for your business.

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Client Testimonials

What our clients have to say

The FloridaMakes network has serviced hundreds of manufacturers across the state since 2016. Learn about the impact our services have on companies' long-term business growth and productivity.

View More Client Stories

Renee Soares-Vozel

Ameritape, Inc.,
Vice President

We never imagined that we could get so much training in one year and see the results so quickly! We are so thankful to FloridaMakes for helping us with the grant process and connecting us with qualified trainers. The Business Advisor made the process so easy, and she was there every step along the way. The training propelled us forward to be better leaders and work better together as a team. We look forward to more growth and we are now better prepared for it!


Brenda Prenitzer

NanoSpective, Inc.,
Co-founder and President

I'll sometimes work an entire weekend without sleep. Even if I'm completely exhausted, I'll make time for the Roundtable. It's about making time to work on your business and not in it. I always feel refreshed and come away with new knowledge. I can honestly say there hasn't been a single meeting where I felt disinterested or bored of what was being discussed. We all have different businesses, but our struggles and concerns are all very similar. It's remarkable.


Adam Sulimirski

Cruise Car, Inc,

I really appreciate the GrowFL CEO Roundtables available through FloridaMakes. One quickly realizes that we share the same stresses. We may talk about how to deal with a certain employee, logistics issues, market challenges, pay incentives, or how a certain book made an impact. I go in with a notebook and even if a problem being discussed is not currently a concern of mine, I take note knowing that as I grow, the I might face the same issue eventually. It's a great place to let your guard down and share your victories and challenges. People get emotional and really open up.