Stoll Industries, located in Abbeville, South Carolina, is a private, family-owned company that has been in operation for over 50 years. The facility manufacturers decorative fireplace products and other metal working-based household goods designed at enhancing aesthetics, appeal, and functionality sold to specialty dealers across the U.S. and Canada.
Stoll Industries was looking for strategic input for the direction of the company. Like so many others, COVID-19 had a significant impact on the business in 2020. The sales channel was primarily through a brick-and-mortar dealer base and when the pandemic forced closures in Q2, it resulted in a 45% reduction in orders. By June, many stores had resumed some degree of normal operations and the pent-up demand returned in full force. In general, COVID-19 seemed to have created a demand spike in home improvement and home investment related markets. As people were forced to spend more time at home with less options to travel, enhancements to the residential space became a higher priority. After 28 straight weeks of increases, 2020 finished only 3% down vs. 2019 revenue. Stoll was also able to leverage the PPP loan afforded through the CARES act to help stabilize the company and staff during the downturn.
SCMEP’s Competitiveness Review was performed on Stoll Industries. The company was changing for the better and focused on improving flow and gain manufacturing efficiency and space. New product lines challenged the team on how to define the best improvement strategy and where to focus. For these reasons, SCMEP recommended Value Stream Mapping as one of the solutions in the review. It was a perfect place for the team to learn, understand, and experiment with the benefits of Lean Manufacturing deployment. Value stream maps would help identify what tools needed to be used where, but more importantly, they defined what would be done differently in the future from a flow standpoint. The company was able to gain valuable insights because of the review and aid in their future decision making.
Cost savings – $250,000
New investment (plant equipment) – $100,000
New investment (information systems or software) – $25,000
New investment (workforce practices) – $35,000
New investment (new products/processes) – $50,000
Saved/avoided unnecessary investment – $300,000
“SCMEP has been a wonderful asset to our company. There are more services we can tap into in the future!” – Darris Stoll, CEO