Anchor Industries 
Intermediate level

Every function is crucial

Connecting the front office through production in a high mix/high volume environment


Practitioner Presentation
Wednesday, Oct. 11 Location Code
11:00am-12:00pm Hynes Center, Level 3, Room 302 WS/37

Learn four distinct kaizen phases that illustrate how the Anchor Industries cross-functional team used PDCA to keep driving improvements: Understanding customer demand; using kanban to create pull in production; using kanban to create pull in the office; execution through daily meetings and PDCA.


Anchor Industries produces nearly 4,000 custom safety winter pool covers over a 5-month period each year and customers expect exceptional quality in an incredibly short amount of time. Learn how functional teams worked together to reduce lead-time by 67 percent to less than five days while increasing productivity by nearly 20 percent. These results are a product of integrating each function into the value stream. Discover how sales and engineering, as well as traditional production functions, used kanban to create pull throughout the value stream. The pull system created reduced the work in process significantly eliminating the need to expedite orders. Hear about daily meetings and visual controls to execute the system at a higher level each year. See how physical signals were used in place of ERP systems and as a result, the production control department eliminated and redeployed throughout the value stream. Gain insights into the emotional challenge associated with going from a traditional push mentality to a pull system and how the company overcame the issues. Learn how the team plans to further reduce lead time and increase productivity.


Imitated but never duplicated, Anchor Industries party tents, wedding tents, awnings, outdoor shade products, fabric buildings and structures, safety pool covers, fire shelters, military products and other custom fabric and frame products are engineered and manufactured to outlast and outperform others. Its customers include party rental companies, awning and shade installers, architects and contractors, pool builders and retailers, commercial businesses, and the military and government entities who all trust Anchor products to deliver a strong ROI.

Presenters: Mike McKim / Brandon Fleck

Mike McKim began his career at Anchor Industries in the custom sales division specializing in safety pool cover sales in 2008. In 2010, he was recruited into the Anchor Performance System (APS), a department dedicated to the continuous improvement of key value stream initiatives within the company. After leading the APS department for four years, he moved into a dual role as a procurement specialist and an APS representative with an emphasis on office processes. Since 2010, Mike has also executed the role of pool cover value stream leader during the peak season of July through October.

Brandon Fleck has been with Anchor Industries since 2014. He joined the company to enhance its Anchor Performance System (APS) team. He then became the team lead for one of Anchor's three main value stream production flows. Prior to Anchor, Fleck worked as a kaizen team leader for Toyota Boshoku for five years.