Company Background:
It was 1995 when Rumford Stone started their business out of a 2-car garage in Allenstown, New Hampshire. At the time it was a father and 2 son operation, but it has grown much larger over the years. Today Rumford Stone has 60 employees. Their main operation is housed in a 21,000 square foot facility in Bow, New Hampshire, with a 1,500 square foot showroom in Pembroke, New Hampshire. Rumford Stone specializes in quartz and natural stone countertop fabrication and installation for kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces. Everything they do is customized to meet the needs of their clients.

“We’re a custom job shop. We don’t have the luxury of making 1,000 widgets at a time,” said Vince Trento, President of Rumford Stone. “So, we were having a problem with our sink handling process. We had solid processes in place for making countertops, but the handling and coordination of customer sinks were creating inefficiencies.  We supplied some sinks from inventory, customer’s supplied others, some were left onsite, some were brought back to the shop and others were delivered to our shop via UPS/FedEx. The coordination of the sinks with fabrication and installation had become very complex and had a very high error rate; especially considering it was a low margin component.”

A few years ago, Vince had attended the Principles of Lean Public Workshop put on by NH MEP. He learned a lot about overcoming inefficiencies in the workshop and thought it would be beneficial to the company to bring in a Lean training program.

Vince reached out to NH MEP who assigned a Project Manager to develop an on-site Lean Training and Implementation Program to meet their needs.

The introduction to the Principles of Lean was the foundation and building blocks of the training at Rumford Stone. The beginning of the training was focused on 20 key members of their team with more training for the rest of the employees. Shortly thereafter, a Value Stream Mapping training event targeted a specific product family. That led to a Kaizen training event that focused on targeting and eliminating waste discovered during the Value Stream Mapping process.

The goal of these training sessions was to designate key company employees as mentors in the Lean Deployment methods, while engaging other employees on Lean Manufacturing techniques and methodologies. This helped to increase workforce skills, and fostered an environment based on the Lean Principles.

“NH MEP’s Lean Training and Implementation Program streamlined our process. We were able to create a process that efficiently managed the workflow when adding sinks to our projects,” said Trento. “We were able to eliminate many of the previous workflow errors and waste, and it also helped us create an inventory location in our warehouse.”

The following results for Rumford Stone can be credited to having gone through NH MEP’s Lean Training and Implementation Program:

  • $100,000 in new sales over the last 12 months
  • Retained sales of $100,000 over the last 12 months that otherwise would have been lost
  • Added 2 new job over the last 12 months
  • Retained 2 jobs over the last 12 months
  • Increased investment of $400,000 in plant or equipment over the last 12 months
  • Increased investment of $25,000 in information systems and software over the last 12 months
  • Increased investment of $39,000 in workforce practices or employee skills over the last 12 months

“Rumford Stone has undergone significant improvements thanks to the Lean Training and Implementation Program provided by NH MEP. Before the training, our handling of customer sinks was fraught with inefficiencies and a high error rate, which hindered our operations and profitability. The introduction of Lean Principles, Value Stream Mapping, and Kaizen events allowed us to streamline our processes significantly. These methods not only improved the coordination of customer sink orders but also reduced errors and waste. As a result, we have created a more efficient workflow and an inventory location in our warehouse, greatly enhancing our overall operational efficiency.

The tangible benefits of NH MEP’s Lean Training are evident in our financial and operational metrics. These improvements have not only strengthened our market position but have also fostered a culture of continuous improvement and efficiency among our employees. We are grateful for the invaluable support from NH MEP, which has had a meaningful and very positive impact on our business operations.”

Vince Trento

President, Rumford Stone

About NH MEP

New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH  03301

Phone: 603-226-3200

The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, political affiliation or belief. This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of all educational and training programs and activities. It also encompasses the employment of personnel and contracting for goods and services.

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