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NY MEP Success Story: CITEC makes impact at Grand Slam Safety

NY MEP Success Story: Grand Slam Safety

With the help of: New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP)

person catching baseball

About

Grand Slam Safety (GSS) of Croghan, New York, makes sports fencing and netting to keep players and fans safe. They have solutions for just about any sport and a variety of indoor or outdoor venues. Grand Slam Safety serves college and high school athletic departments, architects, sports facility development companies and parks and recreation departments across the U.S. The company currently employs 17 people.

The Challenge

Grand Slam wanted a measurable standard to prove that their products did improve safety and to build a culture around safety standards at every sports facility. The company believes an ASTM standard around these products will position them to become industry leaders. ASTM International is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

The current facility has the capacity for a fourfold increase in volume. However, company leadership identified a bottleneck in the quoting system that stalls their ability to grow. For help they turned to CITEC, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network.

Working with CITEC was a great experience for Grand Slam Safety. Their access to grants really helped move this project across the line. Great improvements have been made in several key areas of the facility, and we have identified our next areas of focus. The continuous improvement mindset has caught on with the team and we look forward to our next focused areas.

— Robert Lyndaker, President

MEP’s Role

Grand Slam Safety worked through the MEP to have their products evaluated through the labs at the University of Tennessee. Several tests were performed to replicate a potential safety incident and Grand Slams Specto products outperformed all of the competition. Creation of an ASTM standard has met some resistance but the team has used the data to market the products to new and potential customers.

Next CITEC and the Grand Slam team worked through a value stream map of the quotation process. The team identified two product families: baseball/softball fencing systems and indoor containment systems. The major impact on the lead-time is waiting for the exchange of communication/information between GSS and the client, so the team developed specific countermeasures: expand on the intake questions; ensure questions link to contract template and design files to reduce in-house processing time; train the sales team to have more knowledge of the quoting process; and move toward more seamlessness between quoting and design.

The Grand Slam Safety team has continued to use what they learned from working with their MEP. Once the company learned to use the value stream map process a similar process was used to evaluate the company’s invoicing system. They have made many improvements on their shop floor in the welding, sewing, curtain and storage departments. Grand Slam has identified 3 areas of focus for this year and requested assistance from the MEP.

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