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Labor Utilization


What are the effects on productive output of downtime? How much labor is spent on repairs and rework? Opgrade will assist you in learning to measure Labor Utilization as well as guide you in making the best decisions based upon the data received.

Transactional Performance


An undervalued segment for many manufacturers for Six Sigma processes, Opgrade has specialists trained to deal with making the back-end office as efficient as the factory floor. “Money is made at the margins” in all sections of a business, so don’t overlook those parts that do not directly “make” money.



One of the foundations of the Lean approach, the Single-Minute Exchange of Die is a systemic method of refining changeovers of dies, machines, and other physical items on the production line. Opgrade SMED experts help to minimize the economic cost of one machine being shut down and removed, while another is installed and added.


Perhaps the best way to describe Lean is to share its ultimate goal: to provide perfect value to the customer without producing any waste. Opgrade helps you master the disciplines needed to become a Lean enterprise, making the crucial jump from Good to Great.

Six Sigma


One of the foundations of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for Operational Excellence. Ograde teaches your team the precise series of steps to start, implement, and optimize your operations via Six Sigma methodologies.


Cellular Design


Cellular design asks you to design workstations that are larger than an individual but smaller than the typical department, ideally working with a range of similar products or needs. Opgrade integrates your processing into a cellular design, resulting in an extremely fast throughput.




“Preparation, Production, and Process” systems result in product and manufacturing designs that require the minimum amount of inputs for time, capital, and material. With Opgrade, by integrating Lean within the product design stage, you eliminate the time wasted taking care of “baked-in” problems.

Flow & Layout


Even those not familiar with Lean have heard (and possibly use) the U-shaped flow configuration for workspaces, but configuring a Lean flow and layout to your floor goes beyond U’s. With the team at Opgrade, we analyze your building(s), designing a continuous flow process that puts internal customers and suppliers next to each other.


Self-Directed Work Teams


Wouldn’t it be great if teams of different talents and interests could come together to achieve a common goal, especially without management oversight? In identifying natural work groups that can form these teams, Opgrade extends your management muscle by structuring work around whole processes, redistributing power to those closest to the customer and the end products.

Skills Optimization and Management


Recruiting and Retaining is the challenge, skills optimization is the answer. In participating in Operational Excellence programs, by placing the right personalities in the right positions, employees are engaged on both a professional and personal level. Let Opgrade help you fine tune the mix, so that your employees achieve the rare mix of feeling valued and being valuable.

Creating Change Agents


One person can’t decide to implement Lean by themselves and expect it to get done by fiat, they need supportive Change Agents, a team hand-picked to initiate Lean programs across the company. Opgrade trains and supports these new Change Agents as they implement Lean processes, giving them the proper attitude, knowledge, and skills to make this initiative work.

Leadership Development


Lean isn’t just for the factory, of course. As value streams and processes are identified, Lean Leaders need to be developed. Trained to think horizontally, across the value stream, as opposed to vertically, up the org chart, Lean Leaders who have gone through our programs learned to take control of the entire value stream.

Kaizen Facilitation


The facilitator is a key element to the Kaizen system: Responsible for encouraging the team to discuss openly, without rancor, the facilitator should assist the team in clarifying issues and help in the generation of a solution by making sure the team members feel free to speak without retaliation and by keeping focus on the solution.

Program Management


Lean can be implemented in a project management context as well. One of the main challenges to implementing Lean in a program environment is the removal of bottlenecks, be they transportation, labor, or production. Through A3 and Kanban systems, Opgrade helps your team identify these barriers to production and removes the bottlenecks.



Demand Analysis


Does consumption happen smoothly or are there spikes in demand? How does this affect your lean processes? Opgrade answers these questions by focusing on the factors that can affect demand, from seasonal issues to societal changes.


Runner Repeater Stranger


What do you do continually (Runner)? What do you do regularly (Repeater), and what do you do on occasion (Stranger)? Optimized inventories are designed to match the needs of your production cycles so that the top 80% of your production inputs are available to your workers with little variation.


Supplier Selection and Development


Lean goes beyond your company into Supplier selection and development. Oddly enough, one of the best ways to leverage Lean into your system is to select suppliers who are Lean, and help those that aren’t develop Lean systems.


Pull Systems


In 1979, Chrysler Corporation had over 400,000 automobiles sitting in vacant lots across the country, generated over the prior 10 years as they pushed production to keep factories working, ignoring demand. Had Chrysler adopted Toyota’s Pull System in the 1970’s they would have produced just enough to meet customer demand, saving over 400,000 automobiles worth of waste. Sound game changing? Let Opgrade show you how to implement a pull system so you don’t have unwanted inventory hanging around, ready to be sold.

Replenishment Protocols


Do you have to make a special effort to get supplies replenished? If so, let Opgrade help you install Lean Replenishment protocols that allow your suppliers to monitor your inventory levels, making deliveries of supplies an automated matter of course and not as a special event.

Forecast Accuracy


Lean Forecasting is a set of tools which allow you to perform quick, accurate forecasts to answer questions about delivery dates, demand, and to project future outcomes. By using sophisticated statistical and data tools, Lean Forecasting can express the need for resources, time, and materials in a way that is quantitatively valid.

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