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CIFT and LEWCO Inc.: Building Excellence Together for Today and Tomorrow through LEAN Principles


In north-central Ohio is located LEWCO Inc., a world-class industrial equipment manufacturer with roots dating back to 1917. They are leading manufacturers of both conveyors and industrial ovens. Their commitment to quality products, timely delivery, and competitive pricing had forged their success. 

Like all manufacturers, LEWCO faced challenges. They were facing bottlenecks in their manufacturing processes causing unforeseen production delays. They understood they needed clear KPIs for their floor metrics and this absence compounded the hurdles they were facing Recognizing the need for change, LEWCO sought a partner, and that’s where CIFT stepped in.

Understanding the need for collaboration and unique solutions, we tackled the challenge head-on. The first step became apparent—process mapping. Visualizing the workflow and identifying inefficiencies was key to moving forward. The power of Lean principles became evident as bottlenecks lessened, repetitive tasks became streamlined, and delays were mitigated. At the same time, cleanliness and organization received an overhaul, enhancing the operational flow.

However, our team’s engagement went beyond just process mapping; it extended to evaluating LEWCO’s ERP system. We worked on staff training for lean problem-solving exercises, empowering the LEWCO workforce to be a proactive solution workforce. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) began to be written and implemented ensuring sustained operational excellence.

The outcomes were measurable, with metrics illustrating the success of this partnership. 

$16,900,000 in retained sales

$250,000 savings in products/processes

$55,000 in cost savings

$55,000 in Workforce practices

$15,000 savings in investments

300 jobs created/ retained

But this success story isn’t just about numbers; it’s about the power of Lean principles being unlocked through a collaborative effort. Together, the CIFT team and LEWCO Inc. created unique, lean solutions that not only addressed challenges in the present but laid the groundwork for sustained growth and excellence.

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