LEAN in Manufacturing and Business


LEAN in Manufacturing and Business




LEAN in Manufacturing and Business IS essential to maximizing productivity. When combined, reducing the amount of wasted time and resources, your rate of return increases. While it’s easy to understand where efficiencies can be increased in the manufacturing process, we don’t always realize there are many other places within our businesses that can benefit from LEAN.

“Lean for Production and Services”, an article from LEAN Enterprise Institute’s website further explains; 

“A popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing. Not true. Lean applies in every business and every process. It is not a tactic or a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for an entire organization.” 



If you are a business owner, a manager within a business, even support staff, you can look for ways to streamline your processes and to save money.File_Cabinet.gif

 For example:

Office staff may chose to move to electronic filing of documents for safe storage. Saving documents electronically reduces the amount paper used and office space requirements, which can also reduce operating costs! How is that so??? When less space is needed for filing cabinets and shelving for boxes, you require less space for your office needs. If your office is smaller, operating costs, such as rent or heating and cooling expense will also be reduced.

Additionally, electronic filing allows you to search for documents without leaving your desk or having to go into the office. The time saved searching for files is therefore reduced, which saves staff time and costs!



As a manager, establishing LEAN thinking and processes is a great way to show upper management, and your employees, that you care about the company. Knowing that you are taking steps to think smart and manage costs, employees may be more apt to care about the same ideas. Helping employees manage their workload and time can also be an effective way to boost productivity and reduce errors. The following list from Intelligent Management’s article, Resource Optimization, provides a few recommendations;


“An efficient use of resources to carry out a project requires us to:

  • Have a shared vision of the global goal to be achieved (remove unnecessary protection from individual tasks)
  • Eliminate multitasking (increased effectiveness in the tasks)
  • Identify the constraint (the critical chain) and protect it with a buffer of time (thus protecting the project from variation)
  • Carefully manage the operational phases of the project (capitalize on time gained)
  • Carry out a statistical analysis of the project buffer consumption using Statistical Process Control (SPC) (more effective project management)”




Becoming LEAN starts today. LEAN is not all about implementing a new process; it’s about starting a new way of thinking, which leads to creating new processes.  “The word transformation or lean transformation is often used to characterize a company moving from an old way of thinking to lean thinking. It requires a complete transformation on how a company conducts business. This takes a long-term perspective and perseverance.” (From the LEAN Enterprise Institute’s website)



Don’t wait until tomorrow, make today the day to transform; It’s time to become LEAN.


For more information on LEAN in manufacturing, view our blog, “Lean Manufacturing Tools – A Quick Summary”.


Find out how our efficient handling of Project and Government processes can help you build, or purchase a building, for your business!


Mankato Production Facility Up & Running: Mankato, MN

Mankato Production Facility Up & Running for Imperial Plastics in Mankato, MN

Imperial Plastics Mankato by APPRO Development Project Completion 03112014052The Mankato production facility is up & running for Imperial Plastics in Mankato, Minnesota. We celebrated the groundbreaking last August, 2013 and it great to see the machines installed and the company working to transition from their Kasota manufacturing location to Mankato, MN.

Dan Linehan, with the Mankato Free Press, recently wrote an article, “Plastics factory up and running: Imperial Plastics expanded in Mankato, broke ground Aug. 1″. Linehan summarized the project in more detail and included commentary on the Mankato project by Angela Riley, CFO for Imperial Plastics: “It’s been a great, great deal for us.”

If you are interested in building, developing, or adding on to your existing commercial space – please call the team at APPRO Development, Inc. Whether your project is a Mankato production facility, a retail remodel in the Twin Cities, or land development in North Dakota, our team can assist you in finding the perfect property solution to meet your unique needs in MN and ND. Contact us today to get your project started!



Warehouse Building Considerations: Midwest Review

Warehouse Building Considerations – What you should know before you buy, build or remodel

Warehouse building considerations have been a topic of discussion of late, as one of the building types APPRO/CERRON is frequently contacted about for real estate and construction projects happens to be warehouse projects. There have been some great deals on warehouses in the last few years, and a potential buyer is often posed with the dilemma of whether it makes the most sense to buy an existing building and spend the money to renovate it to his or her company’s individual needs, or design and build a warehouse custom built to those needs.

To build new, one potentially loses out capitalizing on the devaluation of existing buildings (the availability of which are quickly diminishing on the commercial market). To renovate, however, often means to compromise on some of the features of the building, and/or to invest money into a building whose components might not all last as long as those in a new building.

With APPRO pricing your projects, you can weigh the various pros and cons of either option to come up with a solution that best fits your needs before proceeding to hire us to assist you along whichever solution (buy, remodel, add or build) you choose.

Some of the other considerations that we’ve seen owners look at include more detailed considerations (or checklist), like the following:

  • What are the clear height dimensions and door size dimensions that will work best for you?
  • Are super-flat floors a requirement for forklift traffic, more typical of higher clear height warehouses?
  • Are steel fibers or a special floor coating required for wear?
  • Will high-speed racking be utilized?
  • What height will the product be stored to, and what will be stored in the warehouse, as this affects sprinkler coverage, and associated cost?
  • How susceptible will the walls be to damage from forklifts, which will affect whether the exterior walls are precast, metal or something else?
  • Will rail access be a consideration?
  • Will a loading dock be needed, as is typical, or just drive-in doors that close at pavement height?
  • If a loading dock is needed, will the design include locks to attach the truck to the dock while loading or unloading?
  • Is it important for the truck to be able to engage its dock and park, and then open truck doors (drive through docks); or is it OK to open truck doors before backing into its dock space?
  • Will there need to be a stop and go light system in place for trucks?
  • Will a canopy be needed above the overhead doors?
  • What kind of grade is acceptable driving in and out of the docks for trucks?
  • Will the warehouse need to be heated and/or cooled? Insulated?

There are more considerations, of course, than those above. But take a look at the list and consider which of these options are important to you when you make that all-important decision to buy or design/build.

Whether you are just starting the process or have been considering your building needs for a while, allow our team to assist you with any questions you may have about the construction (remodeling, additions or new building) process. We are here to help!

South Metro Building Expansion Nears Completion: Lakeville, MN

QA1 Project Expansion Nears Completion of South Metro Building Expansion

South Metro Building Expansion, by APPRO Development, is just a couple weeks away from completion. This commercial project is an addition onto an existing building for QA1. The site of this project is located in the Airlake Industrial Park located in Lakeville, in the heart of Dakota County, Minnesota.

As you can see, much progress has been made:

QA1-Project Nears Completion by APPRO Development









QA1-Project Nears Completion by APPRO Development-2

You may track the continued progress of this project by linking directly to the progress page for QA1. Over the next few weeks, we will be wrapping up landscaping, final lift of asphalt and completion of gutter/downspout.


Also, if you missed it, you may view the initial Groundbreaking festivities at the onset of this project by reading our previous blog post for the QA1 kick-off. You may also visit QA1’s website for additional information about their company.


If you are thinking about expanding or remodeling your current office, warehouse, industrial or retail facility, feel free to Contact Us today. We would love to work with you and your company on a south metro building expansion project, too!