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Colonial Mills Slashes Delivery Times

Braided-texture area rug manufacturer cmi (Colonial Mills, Inc.) has reduced its order-to-delivery time from seven days to five days, a result of working with non-profit tech services affiliate Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services (RIMES).

By introducing "Lean Manufacturing" systems from RIMES, said cmi president and ceo Donald Scarlata, "we reduced our order-to-ship time from 28 days to seven days by 2001 and we have managed to cut that even further, to five days while still achieving a fill rate of 100%."

Actually, cmi now averages a 3.6-day turnaround from order to shipment. And Scarlata said that within the past five years, returns are down from 2% to 0.34%.

Lean Manufacturing is a process first developed more than 30 years ago by Toyota in its automobile plants.

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