M R Products, Inc.

Success with The Center

M R PRODUCTS: Changing the Chain of Success

We have greatly reduced the time to pack and ship a carton, and we are still not done. We are now looking into software to help manage our inventory, especially planning production and ordering supplies.
-- Maree Mulvoy, Owner

M R Products Inc. (www.mrchain.com) is a family-owned business in Copemish, MI. Established in 1960 by Michael T. Russo, M R Products started off as an auto supplier, but eventually became a manufacturer of proprietary products. M R Products, Inc. is now the only U.S. manufacturer of plastic chain. A large part of M R Product’s success is because it is an innovative company that develops new products for crowd control and safety. These products are used by diverse industries, including manufacturing, construction, oil, gas, retail and military bases. Since 2006, M R Products has been led by Mr. Russo’s daughter, Maree Mulvoy. M R Products is a certified women-owned business with 52 employees.


M R Products’ owner, Maree Mulvoy, began to realize two big problems could affect the business and growth of her company. One of the problems was the need to lower costs in order to compete with Asian manufacturers. The other issue was growth management. They needed a more efficient shipping process and a better system for projecting re-order points for supplies. Maree was hopeful that by participating in The Center’s Lean Champion Certification, M R Products would be able to address these issues and continue to grow.


Image for M R Products, Inc.

Since beginning their lean journey, M R Products has moved the Shipping Department and re-organized the warehouses. The first steps taken were planning and data collection. The Lean Manufacturing Champions constructed a model of the workspace at M R Products’ and re-arranged supplies and inventory so the products and supplies that were sold the most, were also the same materials located in the new shipping area. New printers and computers were purchased, and shipping employees were trained to process their own orders. After making these improvements, M R Products, Inc. gained 225 hours of efficiency. In addition, M R Products also used lean tools to complete a 5S project to clean and re-organize their storage area.


  • Saved 8.5 weeks’ worth of labor (1,095 labor hours)
  • Amazon order improved 50 seconds a box, gaining 70 hours of efficiency
  • 2 hours/day less time on the forklift
  • 1 hour/day saved looking for items to fill orders, resulting in increased productivity and cost savings