D.S. Cole Growers Is Growing With Lean Flow And Sustainable Certification

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Doug Cole

Doug Cole, owner and president of D.S. Cole Growers, was the first U.S. grower to receive MPS certification.

D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, N.H., has gone through three projects using Lean Flow.

“This past fall we focused on our procedures for order fulfillment, from the time an order comes in until the order is received by a customer,” says company owner and president Doug Cole. ”With young plants there are so many things that can happen along the way. It sounds like it would be more related to paperwork, but it has a lot to do with people’s decisions in the greenhouse, such as whether a cutting is good or not. If the cutting is not good, what is an employee supposed to do?”

Both Lean Flow and MPS certification raise the company to a level of being more professional, Cole says. Margins have become tighter and tighter so companies can’t afford to be sloppy anymore, and every one of these processes helps to keep employees thinking that way.

D.S. Cole Growers has worked with FlowVision LLC (FlowVision.com) and Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Nist.gov/mep) on its Lean Flow projects.

“We received a grant from the state for the last couple of projects we did with our state MEP,” Cole says. “The grant that we received for the program covered 50 percent of the cost. It was a significant amount.”

“There is grant money available if you are adding more value to each employee who is involved,” Cole says. ”MEP wants to be shown that the people who participate in the training are learning processes that make them more valuable employees, whether that is for my company or another company they may go to and be able to say they learned this.”

For more information, contact Doug Cole at 603-783-9561 or visit DSColeGrowers.com.

David Kuack (dkuack@gmail.com) is a freelance technical writer in Fort Worth, Texas.
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