Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium Welcomes New Grower Members

Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium Welcomes New Grower Members

oregon-lean-flowFollowing a successful first year, the Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium is inviting greenhouse and nursery growers — and their suppliers — to join its 2017 program and continue to make improvements to the Oregon horticulture industry.

The consortium brings together leaders from multiple companies to learn and apply Lean principles over the course of one year.


“It is very helpful to have trained individuals who are able to see waste quickly and have a bias for action to eliminate it,” says Andres Alamillo, Continuous Improvement Manager for Smith Gardens.

Five companies currently participate in the Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium: Smith Gardens in Aurora, OR, Robinson Nursery, PRT Oregon, Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas, and JLPN Liners.

According to the consortium, improvement gains have exceeded expectations so far and include:

Container Planting Process

• 49% productivity increase
• 100% quality improvement
• 88% reduction in machine downtime

Hanging Baskets Selecting Process

• 206% productivity increase
• 86% setup time reduction
• 79% reduced cost per unit

Transplanting Machine Changeover

• Reduced changeover time, defects, and cost by 67%

Daily Crew Startup

• Cut startup time in half
• Reduced per-unit cost by 56%

“I am continually impressed with the quality of people in this group and their ability to get results,” says Chris Robinson, Nursery Manager at Robinson Nursery. “Every time I think there is no possible way we’ll meet our goals, sure enough, we exceed them.”

Lean is a proven method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers, delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort. An effectively managed Lean consortium not only brings results, but delivers a strong message of long-term commitment to employee development and continuous improvement.

“Being part of the Lean Consortium has allowed us to collaborate with folks in the nursery industry in ways that would not have happened otherwise,” says Alamillo. “We look forward to 2017.”

For more information about how the consortium works, go to Petersco.net/consortium. Companies interested in participating in the Oregon program should contact Elizabeth Peters at 503-250-2235 or [email protected] for information and an application form.