Meeting the challenges of variation and complexity

What best describes your situation?

High Volume


Make to Stock




Mixed Model

High Mix, Low Volume (HMLV)

Make to Order

Assemble to Order

Configure to Order

Final Assembly

Job Shop



Engineer to Order

One-time Build


Lean manufacturing has struggled when there are:

  • Hundreds or even thousands of product variants produced in the same product line
  • Many unique paths through all of the operations
  • Cycle times and changeover times vary greatly by product
  • Processes that must be sequenced to resolve capacity limitations
  • Short product life cycles with continual engineering change
  • Demand patterns with spikes and dips
  • Configured products with unique bills of materials and routings
  • Make-to-order fulfillment with short lead times

MCA Connect’s Strategic Services group supports lean transformation with methodology, tools, and experience gained from working in these challenging environments. Our target market of high mix/low volume manufacturers has forced us to adapt and extend lean principles to support:

  • Takt time in highly branched value streams
  • Every part every interval (EPEI) to accommodate changeovers between products
  • EPEI when every part is not ordered every interval
  • Value stream mapping for HMLV
  • Supermarket sizing based on interval
  • Sequencing and flow
  • Buffer strategies to level demand
  • Shared resources across value streams
  • Management of data integrity for HMLV
  • Fixed interval scheduling
  • Long-term planning vs. short-term scheduling

High Mix Low Volume Lean Increasing Complexity

Businesses today struggle to keep up with rapid change. When market demands call for increasingly specific product functionality, higher quality, and consistent on-time delivery, burdens can mount quickly. And when combined with competitive pressures of time-to-market and cost, as well as the internal pressures to continually improve profitability, it can create the perfect storm. Only businesses that have designed flexible processes, trained and empowered their workforce, and focused on continuous improvement are positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Operational excellence requires every element of your business to align to deliver consistent value to your customers.

From the design of high mix low volume value streams and daily execution of pull and flow, to the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AS – the leading ERP product with full lean manufacturing support – MCA Connect has the tools, techniques, knowledge, and deep experience that our customers need to address the challenges of complex manufacturing.

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