COVID-19 Update: Alameda & Contra Costa Businesses, Employers, Workers & Job Seekers

Vintage 99 Labeling Manufacturing is a 15-year-old, green-certified, Santa Rosa−based business that makes wine labels, one of the most demanding specialties in commercial printing. Tight timelines in the wine production industry had set a standard where customers expected a print quote in 24 hours and Vintage 99’s response time of a few days began to lose them business. The award-winning printers knew they needed to streamline their order entry process but were not sure where to start.

Enter EASTBAY Works partner Alameda County Workforce Development Board (ACWDB). Through ACWDB’s Business Assistance Program and a partnership with lean manufacturing consulting firm manex, they were able to support Vintage 99’s increase their competitiveness.

manex consultants assessed Vintage 99’s processes and identified opportunities for improvement in their procedures, hand-offs, authorizations and communication that go into producing a quote. They assembled a team of employees that included inside sales, outside sales, layout and printing, graphic design, purchasing and management and applied the Lean Six Sigma manufacturing approach to identify and reduce inefficiencies.

As a part of the process, they mapped the order entry process, eliminated bottlenecks and introduced new process metrics. manex calculated a 37% week-to-week reduction in docket errors, amounting to and a 50% month-to-month reduction in quote turnaround times. By improving its quote time performance by a factor of four, Vintage 99 has significantly improved its strategic marketing position and should be able to capture a much larger slice of this market.

Brian Lloyd, Director of Sales & Marketing at Vintage 99 says,

“We’d held numerous meetings in the past trying to address the same issues we were able to solve with Manex’s help. The difference this time was that Manex showed us how to use the tools of lean manufacturing for ourselves and in doing so, became the catalyst for a culture change within our team that is now willing and able to move forward into solving other issues in our manufacturing process.”

Alameda County Workforce Development Board’s Business Assistance Program is an economic and workforce development strategy to retain and enhance the competitiveness of small manufacturers in the East Bay region.