Success Stories

Labor Costs Decrease by 6% and Customer Satisfaction Increases for Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing through Strategic and Business Planning

Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing

Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing (KMM) is a family-owned high-tech contract manufacturer. This 300-plus employee company is committed to excellence in all realms of business operations with a commitment to community, country, and family. A cornerstone principle of KMM is responsiveness to customer. This responsiveness has opened many doors for KMM on world-class platforms in support of our military and commercial aerospace.

Their mission is "Serving communities through building economies; bettering our world by building a quality product." 

Labor Costs, Training Employees to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Impact Dakota has worked successfully with Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing throughout the past six years on various Lean Enterprise projects. Beginning in August of 2008 and continuing today, KMM has identified training as the number one challenge to enhance company success in meeting internal and external customer needs. KMM is a supplier to large aerospace OEMs such as Boeing.

KMM’s customers, AS9100 third party auditors, and a high attrition rate caused by the North Dakota energy industry have provided the company an opportunity to continue development of a Lean Quality Management System Culture with a focus on developing internal leaders who teach, coach, facilitate, and successfully engage co-workers throughout the company. 

Kaizen Leadership, Lean Culture

Engagement of employees and customers lead KMM to focus initially on Kaizen Leadership and has now expanded to Lean Leadership. A course was developed with curriculum concentrating on value stream mapping, balancing work, standard work, visual controls, point of use, feeder lines, developing performance metrics, facilitating Kaizen (selecting the team, establishing a problem statement, creating success criteria, identifying and mitigating risks, analyzing root cause, collecting baseline data, developing and implementing counter measures, analyzing the results, and standard the success), innovation, leadership, teaching and learning, problem solving , Hoshin Kanri, and respect for people. The purpose of the class is to build Lean leaders to engage all KMM co-workers to collectively develop and sustain a KMM Lean Quality Management System culture.

Class activities apply Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy to promote knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

 Labor Costs Decrease 6%, Customer Satisfaction Increases

In December of 2012, I became the KMM Lean Coordinator. Impact Dakota was contacted and a Cut and Code Kaizen Leadership training was provided by Mark Volesky. The training has proven to be a valuable experience. KKM has been able to sustain visual controls and real time inventory controls as a result of the Cut and Code Kaizen. These and other improvements have improved our internal metrics which has enhanced internal and external customer satisfaction. Also, Mark’s teaching also provided our team with a clearer understanding of kaizen facilitation that has been utilized for many other events.

Because of this training and our ongoing Lean Enterprise efforts, our labor costs were down 6% in 2013 in a very tight and demanding North Dakota labor market. 

"Impact Dakota has partnered with KMM on several occasions to help us mature in our lean journey. Their expertise has always been helpful in improving our company’s performance."

— Bryan Hanstad, Lean Coordinator

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