Stafford Media Solutions

Success with The Center

STAFFORD MEDIA: Lean Printing In West Michigan

The introduction of lean practices in our workplace via the MMTC has made a positive impact in how we operate. Our team now thinks differently about how projects are handled, plus you can sense a positive vibe in our work force.
-- Rob Stafford, President-Stafford Media Solutions

For nearly 100 years family-owned Stafford Media ( has had a rich history of printing and publishing in Greenville, Michigan. Today, the company employs 84 full-time and 26 part-time employees publishing over 100 titles on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly cycle. Stafford offers a full suite of printing solutions, from printing and publishing, to binding, mailing and production.


Stafford Media operates in the highly-competitive printing and publishing industry, where technology advances at lightning speeds and margins are tight. In order to compete, printing companies have to be extremely efficient throughout the production process.

To remain competitive in the market, siblings Rob and Julie Stafford needed to improve team dynamics and build a more efficient workflow process. By streamlining and eliminating waste in production, the company could improve profitability and drive growth. To tackle the challenge, the Staffords contacted the lean training and coaching experts at MMTC-West.


Image for Stafford Media Solutions

To establish a culture of lean thinking and principles that ensured continued lean success for Stafford Media, MMTC-West developed a three-phase implementation project.

Phase 1: Lean Executive Leadership Training
This approach laid a solid foundational understanding of lean thinking and culture starting with executive leadership to define company processes for decision-making, prioritizing goals, developing action plans, reducing risks and setting examples for the rest of the organization.

Phase 2: Understanding Lean Principles
Building on Phase 1 processes, those same principles were taught to the Stafford Media Solutions Team via hands-on manufacturing simulations where the proposed lean improvements could be immediately tested and verified.

Phase 3: Implementing Lean Principles
Building on the knowledge from phase 2, MMTC and Stafford Media worked together to analyze a specific area of the production process using value stream mapping. This direct application of lean principles (learning by doing or knowledge transfer), strengthened the foundation on which Stafford Media will sustain its lean strategy and identify additional improvement opportunities.


  • Production Efficiency Increased by 20%
  • Days Receivable Decreased by 23%
  • Cost Savings of $48,000
  • 43% Reduction in Press Errors
  • 15% Reduction in Customer Complaints Related to Press Errors
  • Additional 42% Reduction in Other Customer Complaints
  • Established a Lean Culture