by Karl D. Forth
firstname.lastname@example.org LEAN MANUFACTURING
Lean boosts production for
cabinet door company
Lean method: Production up 30 to 35 percent with fewer people.
Sometimes lean improvement is hard to see, unless you know here to look. “It doesn’t look like there is
much going on in the shop,” said Elvin
Martin, president of Mullet Door. “But
we’re actually doing more work.”
Mullet makes cabinet doors in a shop
in Abbeville, South Carolina. The com-
pany primarily serves cabinetmakers that
choose to outsource their doors. Most
doors are solid wood, but some MDF is
also used if required.
Mullet Door was started in 1985, and
Martin has owned the company since
2001. Over time, the company’s cabinet
door business became busier and busier,
and he considered CNC machines to
increase the amount of production.
“We were running terribly far behind,” Martin said.
Martin attended a seminar on lean at
SCM Group in Duluth, Georgia, and saw
Jim Lewis and Brad Cairns of the Center
for Lean Learning.
Lewis and Cairns visited the Abbeville
operation in April 2016 for three days,
primarily to observe, although Cairns
made some immediate recommendations. He started right at the beginning
of the process, where lumber is received.
Previously, this area was full of stacks of
Cairns saw a “tons of parts and carts”
in the shop.
Mullet reduced its lumber inventory
sharply by making smaller orders and
working with its lumber suppliers, order-
ing only what was needed for a specific
job in the shop.
The company primarily serves cabinetmakers that choose to outsource their doors. Most doors are solid wood, but some MDF is also used.
Who: Mullet Door
Where: Abbeville, South Carolina
Product: Solid wood cabinet doors
At a glance