Success Stories

Strategic Planning and Lean Culture Program Helps Leonardite Products Expand its Facility and Double Productivity

Leonardite Products

Leonardite Products, LLC, is an independently owned and operated mining and processing company, located in Williston, ND, an area boasting one of the richest Leonardite deposits in the world. Leonardite is the only material mined and processed at their plant. They are dedicated to providing high quality Leonardite in convenient and economical forms. Several Leonardite Products employees are also owners of the company and new investors are being sought.

Leonardite has become an important production asset for a number of industries due to its unique characteristics. Leonardite Products deals predominantly with agriculture, oil field and foundry applications. 

Wanted to Increase Productivity and Improve its Facility

Their processing  equipment, which used to operate 24/6, producing 8 tons/hour, experienced an electrical fire in May of 2005, and had stood idle since that time. In January of 2008, new ownership took over. Being new to processing and mining, President Cherie Harms, contacted Impact Dakota asking for help evaluating their current situation. Before investing and rebuilding, they wanted to test the market and evaluate their operations. Some of their equipment had been retrofitted from other industries and they knew that their current operation needed to improve workflow and become more efficient as their sales are based on productivity.

Strategic Assessments and Plans, Lean Culture

Impact Dakota helped conduct a full review of current operations and future projections for capacity planning. It was clear that facility improvements were needed. In addition, they helped with the planning and objective (timelines) around the rebuilding process of the plant. A company in Louisiana that specializes in processing and the type of equipment they were using was identified. Impact Dakota worked with their consultants to develop a budget and a plan to take to investors. Impact Dakota worked with Leonardite to help manage and maintain objectives and timelines around several components, including rebuilding processing equipment and plant structure.

Productivity Doubles, Material Handling Reduced

After working with Impact Dakota, Leonardite Products increased their tons processed/month from 289 in June of 2008 to 747 in April of 2010. Their productivity has doubled where they were last year at this time; and is projected to double the last two years combined, by the end of this year. In addition, their material handling was reduced considerably. An additional benefit was the mindset within the management. They were open to suggestions, took the ideas and improved upon them in their day-to-day operations and everyone embraced a way of thinking of how to do things more efficiently.

“We are grateful for the assistance we have received from Impact Dakota.  Having a another set of eyes with expertise evaluate our operation has been extremely valuable. The questions raised and training as part of the initial meetings are something we will use as a basis for all our operations, now and in the future.  With the help of Impact Dakota we move ahead with confidence, and increased profitability, as we expand our operation.”

—Cherie Harms, President

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