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E3: Economy, Energy and Environment

E3 Success Story - Rising Above the Rest: H&L Advantage

Company Basics

  • Headquarters:
    Grandville, Michigan
  • Employs: 60

Assessment Details

  • Year: 2004
  • Team: Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and The Right Place, West Michigan's Manufacturing Extension Partnership center

With the help of a Green Suppliers Network lean and green review, H&L Advantage has begun to transform the way they do business. H&L Advantage is a small injection molding manufacturer located in Grandville, Michigan. With 60 employees and 40 years in the business, H&L Advantage knows what it takes to compete.

When they were nominated to participate in Green Suppliers Network by their largest customer, they viewed participation as an opportunity to rise above the rest. Through the Green Suppliers Network review process, H&L Advantage worked on site with Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and The Right Place, West Michigan's Manufacturing Extension Partnership center. These experts in lean and green manufacturing techniques helped H&L Advantage identify over a dozen improvement opportunities in August 2004. H&L Advantage also credits the Green Suppliers Network with helping them to:

  • Integrate lean techniques into their operations. After two or more previously unsuccessful attempts to adopt lean principles with their resources alone, H&L Advantage felt that the Green Suppliers Network's onsite training approach made it easy for them to learn, apply, and implement these lean techniques within their facility.
  • Access state pollution prevention resources. As a small business, H&L Advantage had little, if any, knowledge about the available information, resources, and assistance programs available to them from the EPA and the Michigan DEQ. Since working with them through the Green Suppliers Network, H&L Advantage plans to benefit from a number of state programs, including a DEQ intern program that will support implementation of opportunities discovered during the review.

These opportunities, when fully implemented, could save the company 10 to 15 percent in operating costs. H&L Advantage has committed to implementing most of the lean and green opportunities over the next year. After realizing the potential savings from implementing these opportunities, H&L Advantage plans to help with cost controls, and possible cost reductions, for their customers.

"The Lean and Green principles have become our way of doing business for everything we do at H&L, and it's now in our DNA. I would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to become involved in the Green Suppliers Network to take that opportunity. It is extremely valuable."

— Steve Beurkens, Sales Marketing Manager, H&L Advantage