ChemArt

ChemArt Sustains Success with Polaris

Company Profile

ChemArt’s designers develop custom products for decoration and industry, and ChemArt takes pride in the fact that those products are made in America. Notably, ChemArt holds the status of the sole producer of the White House Ornament.  Chemart was founded in 1976 by Richard Beaupre. In its early years, ChemArt made jewelry findings, then applied the technology to create industrial parts and eventually tailored the process to decorative ornaments and bookmarks, building its business customer by customer over the next 30 years.

Situation

Based on its past continuous improvement achievements, ChemArt prepared to attain an even higher level of quality and service through the implementation of Lean manufacturing processes to create an environment that will be both successful, and sustainable, in the twenty-first century.  ChemArt’s President, David Marquis, contacted Polaris MEP for assistance with training and implementation of a Lean initiative.  Opportunities for process improvement and cost reduction in both manufacturing and the front office were identified and work with Polaris MEP began soon after.

“The Lean training and implementation has allowed for a fundamental change in the way we approach problem solving. Decisions are now based on teamwork, gaining consensus and buy-in from the managers and employees. As a result the company is more flexible and adaptable. The Lean initiative has allowed non- management employees to develop and utilize problem solving and management skills that they would not have been called upon to use before. It has inspired our employees to push themselves out of their comfort zones and take leadership roles within our company”.

-Kurt Hague, President

Solution

Upon completion of an enterprise assessment, Polaris worked with ChemArt to help it secure a training grant, funded by the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board.   Polaris MEP began training over 80 employees in Lean 101, Value Stream Mapping, and 5S.  Polaris MEP worked with the company to select a steering committee to begin implementing Lean principles into the day to day operations.

Results

  • Remodeling of the company’s chemistry lab
  • Annual savings of $55,000 through staff and lab usage realignment
  • Savings in over $13,000 worth of recycled copper
  • Quicker turnaround time in production for customers, a total savings of $15,000 per year
  • Lean initiative allowed for employee growth, with the hiring of a Compliance Administrative Assistant and Business Development officer.