Gordon’s Window Decor – Making Their Future Bright By Embracing 5s As Standard Work

A Vermont-grown business, Gordon’s Window Decor (GWD) began operations in 1986 and has grown steadily, currently employing 26 full time workers. Based in Williston, Vermont, this woman-owned family business designs, manufactures and installs shades and comprehensive window treatments for businesses, schools, and homeowners worldwide. They are the only manufacturer of shades located in Vermont.

Citing a need to establish better locations in their facility for large items such as shelves, saws and raw materials as well as realizing the additional need to clean up and organize specific target areas, including tool storage and installation trucks, GWD contacted VMEC for their assistance. The company was familiar with the 5S method and requested training for their manufacturing staff to make this process the standard in their work environment.

The fundamental strengths of the 5S visual system are creating a workplace that is clean, safe and organized, and accelerating product and service flow. The on-site company project coordinated for GWD consisted of one (1), half day of 5S training, followed by an afternoon-long pilot project plan and implementation. It was rounded out with four (4) half days of coaching and assistance in actual shop floor implementation.

Both of these components involved project plan to-do lists which generated follow up activities to be accomplished. With their new knowledge and the hands-on process, GWD experienced improvements in quality and workplace control that led to reduced wastes and reduced costs. Employees gained the knowledge and tools to immediately take back to their work area of the business. They experienced the impact of implementation and understand the methodology to incorporate this into their day-to-day work experiences. The customized training provided each team member with the fundamental skills to support implementation of 5S workplace organization.

According to Brian Werneke, GWD Vice President, Continuous Improvement and Operations, “Not only did we survive the pandemic, we just secured approximately $60,000 of capital investment in the factory that will be taking place over the next 3 – 6 months. There is no question in my mind that had we not engaged VMEC when we did, the story of the last two years might be a very different one.”

  • $300,000 in retained sales
  • $100,000 in cost savings
  • $10,000 invested in new products and processes
  • $5,000 invested in plant and equipment

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