1997 - 1999


Carlisle Container was the only United States manufacturer of shipboard refrigerated containers. The main containers we made were 10 feet high by 40 feet long. We also made one half the size at 10 X 20.

While being on the east coast of the United States was an advantage for us since the majority of our customers were on the eastern seaboard, all of our competitors were based in China. The cost difference between our products and theirs eventually led to our demise.

In December 1998, a couple of weeks before Christmas, our president announced that our division would be closing. In May of 1999, Carlisle Container ceased operations.




Jan 1998 - Feb 1999

After learning the basics of Lean at Simula I was eager to learn more. Lean manufacturing principles just made sense to me and I loved the way they allowed my creative side to come out.  From this standpoint, making the move to Carlisle was a big boost to my career.

Nearly all of Carlisle's leadership team was composed of ex-United Technologies employees.  As a result I was exposed to the larger role of lean manufacturing and how to implement it within a company.

I spent many weeks in Syracuse, NY at the Carrier facility learning about the various aspects of the ACE (achieving competitive excellence) program.

After each training session I developed a plan to implement what I had learned in the facility.  By the time I left Carlisle I was already ACE certified.  This proved to be an asset when I applied at Otis Elevator and was hired by a person I met during my Lean Enterprise Design training.

After completing the training and implementing a number of the practices in-house I was promoted to continuous improvement manager for the company.  In this role I responsible for all continuous improvement activities including implementation of Lean, 5S, TPM, Kanban systems, setup reductions, and standardized work.


Jan 1998 - Feb 1999

After a brief conversation with my boss, I found myself responsible for the maintenance department.  I was responsible for upkeep of the facility, all manufacturing machines and 5 maintenance technicians.

One of the first things I did after taking over the role was to review our processes for getting a machine fixed in a timely manner.  The guys thought I was crazy but we mapped out the steps required to get a machine back up and running form the time an operator told us it was down.

We used this information to cut our "time to running" in half through the use of various lean principles such as point-of-use tool storage, preventative maintenance programs and 5S.

One of our biggest findings for our "time to running" metric was the organization of our MOR crib.  Which is to say it wasn't.  The team and I took an entire weekend to sort through and clean up the MOR crib.  We entered everything into a database and created locations for every item.

Organizing our space made it easier to find the tools and parts we needed quickly in order to get the machines up and running faster.  Additionally we installed maintenance cabinets at the work cells and stocked the most commonly used parts, pieces and tools at the machine location.  This cut down on our transit time back and forth to the crib to get something "we forgot".



Oct 1997 - Feb 1999

As the manufacturing engineer, I noticed first hand issues we were having on the floor. As a result I took the initiative to begin correcting the issues.  This lead me to learning more about Health and Safety in general.

So having shown an interest and willingness to "make  things happen" I was asked to develop the company's health and safety program.

I had no experience in this area but quickly set to work discovering the resources at my disposal.   I leveraged contacts made during my training times in Syracuse and contacted the local OSHA office.

With this help I developed and implemented the company's Health and Safety program.  I worked with local OSHA inspectors via the STAR program to implement the product which included conducting safety audits and training for all employees.


April 1997 - Feb 1999

I hired in at Carlisle as a manufacturing engineer after being recruited by a former co-wroker at Simula.  This is the role where my knowledge of lean and my ability to implement it really took off.  It made sense to me and I was able to grasp the concepts quickly.

I started my role by documenting all processes at every work station.  The goal was to develop standard work.  We had a "fluid" workforce and needed to make sure the work at each station could be understood by both new and experienced employees alike. While documenting the work at each cell I found many opportunities to improve the processes with the help of the employees.

All of these changes results in a 40% increase in production capacity.  We were very inefficient when I started. The main line was an automated line capable of indexing at set intervals.    Unfortunately since the lines were not evenly balanced with work we did not use this function.

After 6 months of work and effort however, we were able to turn on the auto indexing feature and the line ran that way until the day they shut the factory down.


In addition to the Skills noted below I had the opportunity to attend an 80 hour course on Lean Enterprise Design offered by the University of Tennessee.  I was exposed to anything and every lean that was known at the time.  Upon completion I was awarded a certification by the university in Lean Enterprise Design.