Systems Control

Success with The Center

SYSTEMS CONTROL: Filling Talent Gaps With Lean Thinking

The experience working with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center was a positive one. We needed customized training to suit our business, and we were able to work with The Center – Northern Initiatives to create the appropriate content. It also was convenient as we brought the instructor to our facility, and they were able to work with our schedules. As a result of the training, we are able to continue our continuous improvement journey and train a large group of our associates while allowing them to grow as individuals.
-- Jon Harry, VP of Organizational Excellence

Systems Control ( designs and manufactures customized, turnkey systems that protect, transmit and distribute energy from source to grid to consumer. Headquartered in Iron Mountain, Mich., with about 750 employees, Systems Control was founded in 1962 as a division of MJ Electric, designing and manufacturing control and relays panels and medium-voltage switchgear. From initial concept to final delivery, Systems Control performs every step of the process in-house, under one roof. Their mission is to provide extraordinary customer service, powered by people.


Like many companies, Systems Control has struggled to find enough employees to meet their rapid growth over the past few years. As a result, they have had to curtail new business growth in certain instances and find ways to do more work with the same amount of people.


Image for Systems Control

One of the core values at Systems Control is continuous improvement. They have been practicing Lean for more than 20 years, so they understand the value of Lean training and the impacts it can provide. With this in mind, Systems Control turned to the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – Northern Initiatives (The Center-Northern Initiatives) for Lean Champion Training to expand this Lean thinking to 16 members of their staff. The Lean Champions then applied what they had learned and improved processes in their respective areas of the business. By applying Lean concepts, the team was able to accomplish more work with the same number of people.


  • New Jobs: 10
  • Retained Jobs: 25
  • Improved Productivity: $40,000