Sign & Digital Graphics

October '14

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Page 88 of 140

T h e L E A N R u l e s "One piece flow" is one of the LEAN Rules, and Yellotools is a perfect example of how this concept can be successful. "My secret weapon really is a simple concept called "DbS," Althoff says. "All you have to do is listen to your customers' needs and share the fact that a product idea came right from a genuine sign maker somewhere on this planet." DbS stands for designed by a sign maker, and you can find a little logo of that with the name and a picture of the inventor right next to the product in the Yellotools Catalog. "Of course, we've been copied all the time from fanciless pirates, but we will never give up and will continue to show our gratefulness to all those customers who send us dozens of ideas yearly," Althoff says. "Plus, a LEAN Thinking team can bring a product idea to life within hours rather than weeks or months." Peter Roetzel, a professional woodworking expert and Yellotools' lead of production says that everyone at Yellotools is aware of giving the most value possible to every dollar a customer spends. That is the only way of running a successful company these days. "Our competitors might copy our products, such as our popular SPEEDCLIP, but the customers really get it pretty fast that they didn´t purchase a genuine LEAN Yellotools product," Roetzel says. "The right mix between passion, German precision and LEAN Thinking makes a Yellotools product a time- and money- saving solution for professional sign makers." "As we know, installers put their squeegee in their mouth at least once a day," Althoff says. "We´ve decided to make every Yellotools squeegee out of plastics that are certified for the food industry such as Tupperware. Other companies don´t even care about those cancer-causing chemicals in cheap-squeegees. We do care!" Another simple goal of all LEAN Thinkers is to "Grow People." Althoff says that if his staff, his vendors and of course his customers don´t grow because of Yellotools, he can´t grow either. He wants to share that amazing culture with everyone in the industry. Althoff says he is frequently asked, "Are you not scared that your competitors copy the system right now?" "Not at all," he says. "If my competitors would copy the LEAN Thinking culture and bring that to the market, the challenge would be even more interesting. It would drive us even harder to focus 100% on customer needs and our customers would have a better range of products and services to choose from. The entire industry would grow, and that´s what it´s all about. "We are close to installing a huge injection molding machine, which will allow us to make even more products in a shorter time," Althoff says. "Plus, we are investing in a machine that allows us to stamp out our all new Teflon pads for our entire Squeegee range one at a time. We are excited about the future and ready to take every challenge." The concepts of Kaizen and LEAN Thinking are propelling Yellotools to new heights. Perhaps the results of these efforts can help your business as well. For information about Yellotools, Kaizen and LEAN Thinking, contact Michael Althoff at

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