Dielectric Manufacturing uses Value Stream Mapping to reduce lead times

Photo of The late Ray Esser, founder of Dielectric Manufacturing
The late Ray Esser, founder of Dielectric Manufacturing

Company Profile:

Founded in 1966, Dielectric Manufacturing fabricates plastic and metal parts for a wide variety of uses and industries.  The company manufactures out of three facilities, the headquarters located in metro Milwaukee, the Centerline plant in Waupaca, WI and a plant in Lake Mills, IA.   The vision for Dielectric Manufacturing was started in the founders basement in 1960’s, and has since grown into a successful family owned and operated business, which is currently being operated by the second and third generations of the family.


A strategic initiative for Dielectric was to improve overall lead time. The Dielectric executive team knew that reducing customer lead time would be driving factor in growing top line revenue. The organization needed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their new product introduction process.  Excessive handoffs and inefficient communications were resulting in lengthy lead times to process new product orders through their system. Furthermore, missing information was resulting processing delays and issues on the production floor.


Photo of Chris, Mike and Michael Esser of Dielectric Manufacturing
Chris, Mike and Michael Esser of Dielectric Manufacturing

WMEP led an administrative Value Stream Mapping (VSM) project with a cross functional team. Dielectric identified and implemented changes to the Value Stream; including streamlining the overall process by reducing the amount of handoffs between different functions, moving the collection of information to the beginning of the process and automating process steps where possible. Dielectric also worked with their sales staff to create standard tools and templates which were focused on improving the accuracy and completeness of information being assembled early in the process.


  • Reduced process time by 37%
  • Decreased process lead time by 71%
  • 26% improvement in complete and accurate information flow
  • Decreased the number of process handoffs by 33%

By implementing standard templates early in the process, the flow of complete and accurate information throughout the process was improved, resulting in less process delays.

Photo of Dielectric worker

“By changing the information and process flow of our quoting process through VSM we were able to reduce the amount of time to deliver the quote to our customer and reduce the amount of time we received a purchase order from that quote.” 

Michael Esser Jr., CFO