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Microbiologics develops lean training

Microbiologics develops Lean mindset thanks to customized training

Lean training is making a difference at Microbiologics where the production method has been implemented throughout the company to make improvements and remove redundancies.

Microbiologics and St. Cloud State earned a $225,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in October 2018 under the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to develop and deliver the training.

Microbiologics trained lean facilitators who have partnered with teams to complete Lean projects in each department beginning in August 2020. The company has completed five lean projects resulting in almost $5,000 savings per year.

Since that time, Microbiologics has trained all of its employees on lean manufacturing, so they would have the tools needed to make small changes that have a big impact, said Heather Alama, Microbiologics production manager.

Lean manufacturing is a production method that focuses on eliminating waste in the production process whether through excess motion or inefficient transportation. In one project, Microbiologics was able to cut down on the time a team spent walking between workstations and freezers by rearranging the lab to move equipment closer to the station. The new arrangement saves $650 a year due to increased efficiency of the lab.

 “The trainings and support received have not only helped us to save money and make improvements, but it has also helped the employees in the company to develop a lean mindset that will continue to help Microbiologics make improvements into the future,” Alama said. “SCSU has been amazing at providing the ongoing help and support needed to continue to move forward with our grant even through the challenging times with the pandemic.”  

Microbiologics is a leading provider of ready-to-use, quality-controlled microorganisms for quality control testing in multiple industries. The company is a worldwide distributor of its strains, and demand is increasing. The company is a leading employer in Central Minnesota.

St. Cloud State partners with local industry to strengthen their workforce by delivering customized training to help them maintain their competitive edge in their industries and meet future demands.

The grant was part of $2.8 million in workforce development grants awarded by DEED in October 2018 to train almost 5,000 workers under the Job Skills Partnership.

In the past 10 years, St. Cloud State Center for Continuing Studies has been awarded more than $2.8 million and provided professional development training for more than 4,000 individuals at 11 different companies. The Center for Continuing Studies offers customized training for businesses on many topics including technical and soft skills to help businesses ramp up their employees’ skills to lead to improved quality and efficiency.