Case Study

Factory-built homes uses Lean to reduce wood waste and costs

During the pandemic in 2021, I conducted a blended training course with a factory-built home manufacturer in California. They were seeing rising prices of wood, and were looking to improve their operations. A team of employees completed online Lean training, and I met with the team to review the modules, answer questions, and help them through their improvement project. They wanted to reduce wood waste going to the landfill, and use the scrap pieces in their assembly process. The team implemented 5S, visual controls, spaghetti diagrams and data analysis. They were able to install a new saw that allowed more material to be salvaged, and they organized the scrap wood pieces by size to make it easier to use in the assembly. They also changed the product flow to reduce travel steps.

This resulted in 165 hours saved and $290K USD in savings due to scrap reduction, wood purchasing changes and less waste removal costs from their trash hauler (less material going to the landfill). This is a great example of a Lean and Green improvement (good for business and the environment).

The cost of the training was between $5,000 and $10,000, so it was an excellent return on investment!

Listen to the audio version of this case study (30 mins) at or watch the video below at


Want to learn more about Lean and Six Sigma tools, and apply them to an improvement projects? Check out these low-cost online courses and certification programs



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