Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing, Inc.

Success with The Center

AVALON & TAHOE: Navigating Lean Principles Improves Product Flow and Capacity

The Center has been a critical partner in our transformation towards being a leaner organization as we continue to grow. They have trained our staff in lean and led them in kaizen projects to improve their skills. The result has been a dramatic increase in productivity, quality and employee engagement.
-- Jim Wolf, Owner-Avalon & Tahoe

Avalon and Tahoe (www.avalonpontoons.com) is the 5th largest pontoon manufacturer in the world. Founded in 1974, Avalon and Tahoe has grown to 250 employees and has maintained its customer-focused, quality center model to building pontoon boats. Avalon builds the pontoons, frame, and furniture all in its 120,000 square foot facility in Alma, MI. Avalon has won the NMMA CSI Award for nine consecutive years from 2008-2016 for outstanding customer service and has one of the lowest incidences of warranty claim in the industry.


Avalon's rapid sales growth led owner, Jim Wolf, and his executive team to identify the need to improve plant capacity to fulfill the rapidly growing customer orders. Jim reached out to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) to provide an assessment of the operations to identify the best path forward to achieve greater efficiency and improve production flow.


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The Avalon and Tahoe team worked with The Center to create a training plan that aligned Avalon and Tahoe's strategic goals. The training consisted of training management, supervisors and line leaders in lean principles, kanban, value stream mapping, kaizen, plant layout, team development, and other lean concepts. The Center’s team worked directly with Avalon and Tahoe’s leadership to improve product flow, which resulted in a significant decrease in lead time and increase in capacity.


  • Increased Capacity by 77%
  • 50 Jobs Added
  • 100 Jobs Retained
  • Decreased Lead Time by 40%
  • Increased Sales by 25%