The Journey: Ten Years of LEAN Methodology

Lean Education

Sanderson MacLeod’s Dedication To LEAN: Working Smart

For nearly 10 years, Sanderson Macleod has been an award-winning LEAN manufacturing facility and have been actively involved in the education and sharing of proven LEAN concepts with others. We proudly host nearly 30 executive/university and LEAN team tours and meetings per year and employ Lean Six Sigma Green, Yellow and Black belts.

Our sustained results from LEAN have been and remain only possible through the efforts and dedication of our talented staff and by a commitment by senior management to employ proven LEAN concepts every day…No exceptions.

Here are a few statistics (2017)….


Scrap Rates of Total Parts Produced


On-Time Delivery


Part Count Accuracy +/-


Machine Utilization

And a few other key statistics…

0 Number of employees eliminated due to LEAN initiatives
4 Number of plant layout changes in the past ten years to maximize flow
7 Number of LEAN projects and Kaizens operating simultaneously
164 Number of projects, Kaizens and efficiency studies completed since 2008
97% Participation in weekly employee feedback
680 Ideas generated from employees (85% implementation rate)

Right Parts, Right Time, Right Price

Work with us, and we’ll not only design and produce the finest twisted wire brushes and assemblies, but work with your internal LEAN teams to reduce inventory, redundant handling, KPI’s and integration. Read on for more information about how our continued dedication to LEAN manufacturing can offer a competitive advantage like no other.

More than just working hard….Working Smart

Key LEAN Initiatives…

  • Active auditing of five most critical processes
  • Process and Waste Reduction
  • Reduced Handling
  • Engineer Process Review
  • Value Stream Mapping through the office, production, and quality control to be efficient in all that they do.
  • Plant floor design: It’s modular and moveable, to be in flux for optimizing production as production changes. In the last five years, three redesigns.
  • Line balancing to get maximum output per hour. Our lines are arranged in a way so operators can get to the modules efficiently. Engineers constantly balance capacity with demand ensuring maximum production per manufacturing hour.

LEAN Spotlight: Sanderson McLeod Hosts Salvadoran Students

A joint effort between the Institute for Training and Development, the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, and Sanderson MacLeod, a Palmer-based manufacturer of twisted wire brushes, has created a series of educational events for 20 students from the Salvadoran university Escuela de Comunicación Monica Herrera.

During a week-long visit to Western Mass. by the students and three teachers from the school visited Sanderson MacLeod to be introduced to new and relevant knowledge on marketing, innovation, and other entrepreneurial themes.

Ira Bryck, president of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, said he approached Sanderson MacLeod “because of their dedication to quality improvement in all their processes, and their interest in telling their story as a way to inspire companies and entrepreneurs to continuously develop themselves.”

All of the benefits Sanderson gains through this outlook is integrated into the output it provides its customers.

We ask the question, “Are our customers using our product correctly?” as a way to foster longevity and end-user satisfaction. We will work with their client just as they do their production to create a value-stream mapping specific to the partner.

Customers can expect:

  • Analysis
  • Documentation
  • Waste removal to add back in previously lost money.
  • Sanderson has reduced scrap down to 1% from 10% over a ten-year span. Overproduction is also considered an area of waste, and through its LEAN practices, Sanderson has dropped from 15% over-production to less than 1/2 of 1%, which allows for the company to lower part costs competitively.
  • 99.7% on-time delivery

Sanderson MacLeod has two LEAN consulting experts who are vested in their success as a LEAN manufacturer and meet with the executive team weekly. One of them being Dave Lyman, who has worked with over 100 manufacturers and organizations and considers SML to be an example of one of the best long-term lean sustainment in the 45 years of his career. Another consultant used by Sanderson is Herb Robbins. Herb is a successful communicator, team leader, facilitator, and trainer. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Lead Auditor, and Lean Expert.

This on-going mentoring with consultants has allowed for Sanderson to engage in the principals actively. They conduct regular OHNO circles utilizing resources from other Lean organizations and vendors. To date, Sanderson has accomplished 100 Lean Projects and Kaizens. Lean tours and educational programs are happening at SML on a regular basis. Sanderson seeks to inspire and inform as a way to give back and level-up fellow businesses. Often you’ll see Lean Teams come out of the work with their partner companies who are equally inspired by the benefits of Lean practices. Sometimes they will work together on a project just from outside perspective. All of this keeps the journey lively with solidarity.

Our brush solutions can help you. Ready to learn more?