DME Milacron

Success with The Center

DME MILACRON: Making Company-Wide Changes with Lean Tools Training

Without this lean training, we would not be this far along in our continuous improvement efforts. Retention has improved as a result of giving employees the power to have their voices heard, which in turn has led to improvements in each department. These improvements were made possible because of our relationship with The Right Place, The Center-West and West Michigan Works. By working together for the good of the community – and the business – we are all winners.
-- Lorraine Marshall, Global Director of Human Resources

Part of the Milacron Group, DME Milacron ( has been manufacturing mold bases and mold base assemblies for more than 75 years. Acquired in 1998, DME Milacron’s plant in Greenville, Mich., has become a global leader in mold technology, employing 72. DME Milacron has many other locations around the world, including in Canada, China, Czech Republic and India.


To improve process flow, customer satisfaction and communication throughout the organization, DME Milacron sought training in a variety of lean tools that would create a more cohesive work environment throughout all levels of the company. To stay competitive, they wanted to be able to accomplish tasks more rapidly using the abilities of their employees. Realizing the benefits lean training can provide to an organization, they knew additional training would be necessary to bring their business to the next level.
Through connections at The Right Place, DME Milacron was introduced to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – West (The Center-West). DME Milacron worked with The Center-West, The Right Place and West Michigan Works! to secure training grants to accomplish these strategic goals.


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DME Milacron team members engaged in multiple training sessions around lean, coordinated through Montcalm Community College and SFM Group. All employees attended fundamental Ground Zero training to understand the importance of having defined work instructions, standardized operating processes and a clean, organized work environment. After this initial training, each group of employees was trained in additional lean tools including 5S, Standard Work and Root Cause Analysis tools such as the 5 Whys and a Cause and Effect Matrix. This enabled employees at all levels of the organization to make process improvements, enhance efficiencies and flow and get their voice heard.


  • New Jobs: 20
  • Retained Jobs: 50
  • New Investments: $630,000
  • On-Time Delivery: Improved from 62% to 98%
  • Efficiency: Improved from 26% (prior to the training) to 75%
  • Culture Change: In addition to monetary gains, the company culture has improved over the last year as well. The turnover rate has reduced from just over 10% to under 1%.