Hercules Manufacturing Company, a 106-year old manufacturing company in Henderson, Kentucky, is utilizing Lean Manufacturing to gain a competitive advantage for its next century of business. “We are embracing Lean Manufacturing practices that will help our company become more responsive to customers’ needs and schedules while also better managing costs. I am convinced that Lean Manufacturing methods will be a cornerstone of Hercules’ success for the next 100 years,” says Jeffrey A. Caddick, Owner and CEO of Hercules Manufacturing Company.

Unlike mass-produced assembly-line passenger vehicles, Hercules’ truck and van bodies are primarily custom built. “Hercules trucks and vans are used in such diverse applications and have so many combinations of body and equipment variations that we knew we had to become more flexible and cost efficient if we were going to stay competitive in this challenging economy,” explained Caddick.

Hercules worked with Kentucky Manufacturing Assistance Center (KMAC) to help the company implement Lean Manufacturing practices in their Henderson facility. KMAC’s experts helped company personnel apply Lean practices that resulted in the elimination of wasted efforts, movements and downtime.

Caddick stated, “After working with KMAC, we have decreased our operating costs, improved our productivity, and increased our production flexibility. Our current customers are very pleased with the changes we’ve made and, now, we are positioned to expand our business for its next 100 years of success.”

Established in 1902, Hercules Manufacturing Company (www.herculesvanbodies.com) grew to become the largest producer of buggies in the world. As the world changed so did the company. Hercules moved from producing buggies to refrigerated transport and truck bodies. Today, the company is number two in the U.S. in the production of cold plate refrigeration transport bodies.

KMAC (www.kmac.org) is a private, not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to improve the competitiveness of Kentucky manufacturers. KMAC is the Kentucky affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) program.

If you’d like more information about Hercules Manufacturing or to schedule an interview with Jeffrey Caddick, please call 270.826.9501 or email joyshout@evansville.net. If you’d like more information about Kentucky Manufacturing Assistance Center or to schedule an interview with Lynn Witten, President of KMAC, please call 859-252-7801 ext. 1323 or email lwitten@kmac.org.