Intermediate level

Reaching far beyond the traditional role of the manufacturer

Wednesday, Oct. 21 Location Code
7:00am-1:00pm Departure area 1, 2nd floor WT/01

Sustaining results and creating material flow for high volume mixed model production

See the use of material pull systems utilizing both electronic and physical kanban cards; learn about performance boards (“glass walls”) in departments to facilitate daily continuous improvement (CI); visual management in some areas indicating ahead or behind.


You will see a mix of both electronic and physical kanban signals throughout Batesville's plant. Hear about its Plan For Every Part (PFEP) and the layered audits which ensure the system is functioning as intended. Learn why these results have been sustained: customer order fill rate improved from 95% in 2012 to 98.5% in 2015; straight time production capability improved by 13.6% since 2012; hours per unit (productivity) – improved by 8.3% since 2012; National Safety Council recognition for Significant Improvement and Operational Excellence awards. Discover how lean sigma CI practices have contributed to r/evolutionary improvements in quality and productivity - components fabrication, product assembly, testing, warehousing, distribution, order processing, proposal preparation, marketing promotion delivery, custom product engineering, product development, service development and service delivery. Hear about specific applications and practical implementation methods for lean, six sigma and CI. Learn about results achieved - especially metrics that illustrate how upstream process improvements resulted in downstream business performance benefits.

For more than 100 years, Batesville has been a leader in the funeral industry. Its revolutionary products and programs have helped customers enhance their relationships with the families they serve. Every day, Batesville's commitment to quality, innovation and craftsmanship pushes it to do its jobs even better ... because every family deserves a Batesville. Batesville is a past winner of IndustryWeek Bests Plants and AME Manufacturing Excellence Award. Batesville was recently recognized by Funeral Service Insider as #1 in product quality, service and innovation.
Tour Host

John Harmeyer, Jr. is director of Batesville Operations. Over his 20+ year career with Batesville, Harmeyer has worked in a variety of roles including finance, lean, IT including an ERP implementation, product development and operations. His lean experience dates back to the mid 90s, when Batesville utilized Shingijitsu to run kaizen events, to today where daily continuous improvement is part of the Batesville culture. This well-rounded experience allows him to look at all aspects of the operation and to drive improvement.

Note: Attendees will not be permitted to take photographs on this tour.

Restrictions / Requirements

To participate in a tour, all attendees must adhere to and respect the tour hosts' restrictions and requirements.
Non-adherence may exclude you from a tour.

  • No cell phones
  • No competitors
  • No recording devices
  • Other: See tour description
  • Leather like closed-toe shoes (No high heels)
  • Long or short-sleeved shirt/blouse
  • Long pants (no shorts, skirts, dresses)
  • Safety glasses