Advanced Drainage Systems

Advanced Drainage Systems

Advanced Drainage Systems Implement Lean


Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS) located in Byram, Mississippi, is part of a 42 plant operation servicing both North and Central American, Mexico and Caribbean markets. The company is a leading provider of engineered extruded plastic pipe to construction sectors and retail outlets across a full range of applications, including agriculture, mining, forestry, recreation and civil engineered construction projects. ADS employs 65 people at its facility in Byram, Mississippi.

The Challenge

ADS's regional manufacturing manager, Greg Purtle, contacted the Mississippi Extension Partnership (, a NIST MEP network affiliate, for assistance with Lean manufacturing training and Kaizen implementation as prototype activities for application across product lines and in manufacturing operations region-wide. The primary issue was related to high levels of finished goods inventory, limited capacity and increased costs created by long tooling changeover times (from eight to 16 hours).

MEP Center's Role

The Center at The University of Southern Mississippi provided Lean 101 training for plant management and hourly employees and conducted a Quick Change production floor Kaizen workshop. The Center at University of Southern Mississippi team, led by Project Manager Steve Miller and Ty Posey, played a key role in the education of employees in Lean concepts and, more importantly, the real-time application on the shop floor with one of the ADS changeover teams.


• Realized increased revenue of $7 million.
• Reduced changeover time by 90 percent.

“We are amazed and extremely pleased with the results from this project; we received much more than we expected. In fact, during the holidays the guys on the floor took it upon themselves to continue to apply what they learned and reduced changeover time by another 90 minutes… they are convinced that they can consistently reduce changeovers to fewer than two hours! This means almost $7 million in annualized revenue and cost savings, and is a direct result of this project. According to our regional manager, we will be using services to implement this approach in all of our plants. The Lean approach is going to revolutionize our company!”
Glenn Carrol, Plant Manager