In Springfield, Teske Manufacturing offers trailers for almost any application.
Whether you're hauling ATVs or mulch, corn or cars, chances are that Teske Manufacturing has the right trailer for the job. Or the right trailers, according to Tom Teske, company president.
"Our motto is that everyone should have at least two trailers, because one is never enough," Teske says with a laugh.
Teske Manufacturing's product lineup includes more than a dozen trailer models, each tailored for a specific purpose, from hauling a pair of snowmobiles to providing a drop-off location for recycling aluminum cans. If a customer can't find the right fit, Teske Manufacturing
also can build to custom specifications.
The 20-employee company stayed afloat during the recession thanks to an increase in homeowners taking on home improvement projects themselves, instead of paying someone else to do projects.
"People become a bit more self-sufficient in doing their own projects [during recessionary times], and
oftentimes that requires a trailer," Teske says.
To maximize its bottom line, Teske Manufacturing recently completed both Lean 101 and Value Stream Mapping training with Enterprise Minnesota. Teske says the training has helped employees to take ownership in identifying wasted time and energy within the manufacturing process
and in developing ideas to eliminate it.
On one of its production lines, for example, trailer components required for the initial assembly process were being manufactured after other components. Employees were able to reposition two workstations to manufacture the parts in the order needed for assembly, giving the
company a much cleaner production line from start to finish.
To reduce time lost in looking for tools, Teske Manufacturing also completed a 5S project in its fabrication area, to set and maintain a standard for organization. With his hopes set to grow the business, Teske says the company's next focus will be on its marketing strategy.
Overall, Teske believes the biggest benefit to date from the company's lean efforts has been cultural.
"Employees were shown this concept [of lean] that wasn't exactly common, at least in our area, and are [now] embracing it and ... actually improving the flow of the work in our shop," Teske says. "They're working smarter, not harder."