Northstar Manufacturing - Case Study - MCA Connect

NorthStar Manufacturing

The insights, KPIs and action plan you need to improve your P&L and balance sheet.

As a manufacturer, do you find that your problem isn’t strategy, but execution?

You have a vision of what you want your manufacturing company to look like in terms of growth, innovation, operations, and profitability. But you have no clear path or set of initiatives, prioritized to provide the highest value and payback for the least effort of your team, and for better utilization of current equipment.

Without a clear and defined plan for solving your challenges and implementing strategic initiatives, your projects never meet targets. Or, what’s worse, they never get completed, leaving you and your executive team frustrated. More than “on-time” and “on-budget,” any new initiative must meet financial objectives and be measurable along the way.  Without quick wins and short-term paybacks, large change is hard for an organization to effect and, as a result, long-term or large initiatives seldom meet any realized improvements.

You need a roadmap, an execution plan developed with exclusive insider knowledge from forward thinking industry experts with years of practical manufacturing experience, laying out step-by-step initiatives needed to achieve Operational Manufacturing Excellence for your business.

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Measurable Business Transformation for Manufacturers

NorthStar is a business transformation offering that helps you define the roadmap, execution plan and financial justification to deliver manufacturing excellence to your  operations. We help you discover the insights and action plan you need to improve your P&L and balance sheet.

Manufacturing executives tend to have lofty, visionary goals, but not tactical goals, or SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound), or executable best-practice targets.  We help you turn your goals into actions with measurements to hold people accountable for execution, delivery, and continual improvements.

NorthStar provides a clear, executable plan for success. Led by industry experts, we provide forward-thinking ideas with ground-floor solutions. NorthStar clears out project ambiguity and keeps your project teams focused on results.

NorthStar surrounds your project with the governance, strategic alignment and identified measurements needed to define success. Discrete, Lean, Process or mixed-mode, a new greenfield plant, or a complex mature one…if it touches manufacturing, we want to talk about it! What gets measured, gets done. We work with you to define an improvement plan that delivers a strategy you execute today.

Hit Your Financial Numbers. Sooner.

Our NorthStar offering helps you get from X to Y by a specific target date. Name your KPI, process, or improvement idea, and we give you a plan to monitor it—and hit it.

For example . . .

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Reduce global cost of poor quality by 50%


Reduce end-to-end lead time by 20%

Improve realized margin by 150 basis points


Improve equipment and manpower utilization by 5%


Increase your inventory turns by 25%


Improve global on-time-in-full delivery by 98%

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Build Your Manufacturing Optimization Roadmap

With our unique NorthStar consulting service, you get a manufacturing optimization execution strategy, including a PICK Chart with the financial value of each opportunity. Here’s how it works.

PHASE 1: Transformation Assessment for Manufacturers
2 weeks

Kickoff. Our engagement begins with an operational excellence best-practice utilization project, consisting of a kickoff meeting, prework, education and a discussion of your opportunities.

Strategic Alignment Workshop. We conduct a Gemba Walk around your plant floor to gather information. We take you through a proprietary discovery process where we examine your target areas, value streams (or current-state business process), people, and overall performance of your facilities. We put our observations together with your financial data and information about future state. We create a list of opportunities with all supporting people, process, and financial data needed for a go-forward plan.

Analysis and Kaizen. We perform high-level quantitative analysis to prioritize the list of opportunity areas. And that’s where we put together the overall PICK Chart to visually organize the opportunities by complexity verse value. We end with a sequence of rapid improvement Kaizen events that deliver quick wins for your business and help you get to the next level in manufacturing excellence.

Gemba Walk

Gemba is a Japanese term meaning “the actual place.” In lean manufacturing, the idea of gemba is that problems are visible, and that the best ideas for improvement come after walking around the gemba—the factory floor.

A new direction. And a map.

NorthStar gives you a blueprint for a successful implementation that makes measurable improvements to your P&L and balance sheet.


Gemba Walk of the targeted area


Current state and future state Value Stream Maps


Quantitative analysis, with initial ROI projections


1st Rapid Improvement Kaizen Event

Uncover Opportunities for Boosting Your Manufacturing Performance

At the heart of NorthStar is a discovery process that uncovers your opportunities for improvement. We arrange these opportunities in the form of a Kaizen PICK Chart that you then use to prioritize the opportunities. It looks something like this.

Prioritized Kaizen Opportunities


Down the left side will be a list of opportunities in no particular order. These opportunities will link to objectives, such as increase inventory turns, reduce end-to-end lead time reduce cost of poor quality, increase margin and increase on-time/in-full shipments.

On the right side is a quadrant into which you place each opportunity based on its level of anticipated payoff and level of difficulty.

When you go through this exercise with MCA Connect manufacturing experts, you discover a group of opportunities that promise a high payoff and are easy to implement. These are your quick wins. But just as important, you also discover a group of opportunities that promise low paybacks and are hard to implement. These are the projects and initiatives that you should kill without delay.

In our experience, this is what manufacturing executives are looking for. But they have trouble putting it into execution orders to their team. With NorthStar, they now gain the insight and clarity needed to move ahead with the opportunities they know will deliver the greatest return on investment. And they move ahead secure in their decision because every opportunity we recommend is accompanied with KPIs and a roadmap to ensure measurable results—and accountability.

Kaizen Explained

Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning “change for the better.” In the West, we call it “continuous improvement.” Kaizen is a business philosophy regarding the processes that continuously improve operations and involve all employees. Kaizen sees improvement in productivity as a gradual and methodical process.

Ready to get started?

NorthStar is a business-transformation approach that helps you set the scope and frame of your future state to create an actionable, measurable, strategic plan for the core process teams to successfully execute upon.  Let’s discuss defining your roadmap.

Client Success

“We feel extremely comfortable working with MCA Connect. We know that we’ll get honest answers that serve our best interest.”

Claude Harless, Director of Accouting

Energy Transfer

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“I really appreciate that they quickly acknowledge receipt of each issue, even if it’s just to fire off a quick reply that they’re working on it. We’ll often get a resolution within 24-48 hours.”

Codi Nichols, Project Lead


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“Rather than hiring one jack-of-all trades to support our CRM system internally, MCA Connect Managed Services gives us access to a wide variety of skill sets for an equivalent – or even slightly lower – cost.”


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“MCA Connect has been a great resource and technology partner.”

Eric Paladino


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