Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.

Success with The Center

DURO-LAST: Continuous Improvement Strategies Lead to Transformational Excellence

We highly value our long-term relationship with The Center-Northeast because of their ability to provide unbiased, customer-focused guidance that has always positively impacted our company through their thorough knowledge of our values and manufacturing expertise.
-- Jill Lynch, Vice President of HR

Duro-Last Roofing© Inc. (www.Duro-Last.com) opened in 1978 as a manufacturer of pool liners and roofing systems. Since then, Duro-Last has grown to develop custom prefabrication methods and specialized equipment that enables them to complete nearly 100% of difficult roof details and up to 85% of field seams under ideal factory-controlled conditions. Due to their ongoing success, Duro-Last is now known worldwide as the world’s largest manufacturer of custom fabricated roofing systems. Duro-Last employs 280 at their Saginaw, Mich., location.


While performance was strong, leadership knew that if they wanted to be a world-class leader, they would have to adopt world-class best practices to achieve their growth and sustainability goals. Looking to embark on a cultural transformation based on continuous improvement, leadership and platinum-level sustainability certifications, Duro-Last contacted the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-Northeast (The Center-Northeast).


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The Center-Northeast recommended that Duro-Last take a multi-pronged approach by implementing Lean tools, Six Sigma methodology and leadership best practices to lay the foundation for continuous improvement and culture change. The Duro-Last team, along with The Center-Northeast, established a comprehensive training and consulting plan that would fully complement their strategic goals and support reusing their remaining materials where possible. To ensure this was deployed effectively, The Center-Northeast conducted a Value Stream Mapping session on material flow and trained a cohort of supervisors to lead their teams toward sustaining the improvements.

Since this initial engagement, Duro-Last has embraced its continuous improvement journey and refined its daily improvement strategy. The management team conducts daily Gemba walks to review performance goals and, if a gap in performance is identified, corrective actions are immediately deployed for containment. Knowing that complacency is common in the industry, the company continues to invest in the development and training of staff. Like their owner once said, "You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket."


  • New Investment in Products & Processes: $30,000
  • Cost Savings: $10,000
  • Jobs Retained: 7
  • Duro-Last was recognized with the Excellence in Recycling Award by the Michigan Recycling Coalition