"Working with South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions has been a positive experience. As an MTS advisory board member I’ve seen and heard of the improvements made to other manufacturing businesses, but had never been part of the process. Change within a tightly held organization, especially an old family-owned organization can be a challenge in itself. Keith’s leadership approach shined while working with our staff to uncover capabilities that existed within our existing facility. By driving the efficiency within our manufacturing process we were able to avoid a costly facility expansion, and see the efficiencies unfold right before our eyes. In turn, we were able to effectively use resources that would have been tied up into a facility expansion, to invest, and grow, other portions of our business. Over the course of the projects Keith has become familiar with our business and continually identifies programs that would be advantageous to Dakota Pump Inc."
- Jim Sebert, President
Dakota Pump Inc. (DPI) manufactures packaged pump stations for both water and wastewater applications as well an automated systems department. Based in Mitchell, SD, DPI employs approximately 14 people.
Dakota Pump was concerned that they had outgrown their facility and started the process to review what requirements and options they needed to pursue. The CEO and MTS Advisory Board member reached out to South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions (MTS), a NIST MEP affiliate, for assistance.
The first step was to do a strategic analysis using an Enterprise-wide value stream mapping (VSM) process. The Dakota Pump team consisted of a cross functional team including the CEO, COO and other key staff. The VSM identified multiple project initiatives. The actions identified were workplace organization (5S) activities, plant layout was changed to improve product flow, space utilization and revamping the scheduling methodology. The project determined that the space was adequate for the future needs of the company. A new project team was created to look at the company’s quotes, bids, proposals and engineering development processes. An analysis of this system was done and rapid cycles of improvement were triggered to transform the process to be more effective. Dakota Pump’s employees and MTS staff embarked on creating the systems needed. By breaking the projects down into smaller increments Dakota Pump was able to make the changes needed to revamp their systems. Using quick cycles spaced about 3 weeks apart the teams were able to make significant changes and still manage their heavy workloads.