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Rapid Action Team Results

Tackling High Maintenance Costs with Rapid Action

Lean Six Sigma
A regional paper mill saw their maintenance costs spiraling out of control. By using Rapid Action and engaging maintenance and union leaders, they added an apprentice program and reduced maintenance costs in 60-days.


With no clear process for staffing skilled maintenance positions, Plant Managers had no way of planning or accurately budgeting for labor expenses. They knew they needed to work with union leaders but wanted to develop a better plan for all parties involved.

Team Engagement Strategy

A team of frontline, union and non-union employees was engaged to come up with a new maintenance staffing process. Management equipped them with Rapid Action, a step-by-step process for solving problems through teams, and gave them 60-days to tackle the issue.

Rapid Action Project Charter

How can we determine the optimum maintenance staffing levels for the Central WI mills in order to minimize total maintenance costs, provide the required support to operations and develop a plan for current and future maintenance staffing that is endorsed by union leadership?

Sample Solutions Implemented

  1. Surveyed maintenance and operations managers and craftsmen for their views and potential ideas.
  2. Developed an apprenticeship program to help smooth the transition to less overtime from full union workers.
  3. Evaluated contractor duties and costs and developed a tracking mechanism to reduce contractor spending.
  4. Developed a review process to make sure gains are sustained.

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Rapid Action's powerful toolkit has helped hundreds of organizations achieve measurable results in less than 60 days while getting their team members engaged in long-term improvements. Download a Rapid Action Project Planner and see where you could be in 60 days!
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