Britten Studios

Success with The Center

BRITTEN STUDIOS: A Lean Manufacturing Champion Success

Utilizing the training services at The Center allowed us to build a team of Lean Champions. Without that training this battleship would be turning around a lot slower.
-- Dan Rinehart, CI/QA Specialist-Continuous Improvement

Britten Studios ( was founded in 1985 by Paul Britten. In 1984, Paul and a couple friends entered a banner contest to win World Series tickets. They won the contest, and the rest is history. Since going full-time in 1987, Britten Banners has created banners for racing, sport venues, locker rooms, advertisements and much more. The company has grown into multiple markets making their new name, Britten Studios, fitting. Britten Studios currently has more than 300 employees and is located in Traverse City, MI.


When David Stapleton, Vice President of Operations for Britten Bannerrs Inc., chose to attend a Lean Manufacturing Champion class with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s Traverse City Office, he quickly realized that Britten was in serious need of help. The company was enduring problems with over production, repeating transactions and cutting it close to due dates. Britten had no idea that these were even problems, and just thought that’s how it would always be. Wasted time was accumulating. Britten knew it was time to adjust their work spaces with lean initiatives in order to grow as a company and brand.


Image for Britten Studios

Britten Studios immediately started to take what they had learned from the Lean Champion classes to the work place. A huge change, resulting in immediate improvements, was in their visual management. The company has implemented graphs, instructions and data analyses all around their facilities to help each worker understand their goal. Britten also restructured many of their staging areas (i.e. where they layout, cut and print all of their products). These changes have allowed for a drastic reduction in time wasted and total overtime hours.


  • Reduced defects by 80% from last year
  • Reduction of 78% in overtime hours
  • Changed mindset from “that’s the only way to do it” to “can always be improved”
  • Increased production flow to gain more jobs and finish faster