The Blueprint for Success at eKitchens: U-Cell Layout Design and Production Flow

Client eKitchens

Location Western Australia

office shot of eKitchens
eKitchens have created an easy to use online platform for designing and ordering new kitchen fixtures.


Based in Western Australia eKitchens specialise in providing custom-made kitchen cabinets, benchtops, and other kitchen-related products. They offer an online platform where customers can design and order their own personalised kitchen cabinets and other components.

eKitchens allows customers to choose from a wide range of materials, finishes, colours, and styles to create their ideal kitchen setup. Their website features an intuitive online design tool that enables users to customise and visualize their kitchen layout according to their preferences. The company emphasises the convenience and affordability of their products, as they aim to provide high-quality kitchen solutions at competitive prices. By offering a user-friendly online platform.

The Challenge

CNC Machine at eKitchens
eKitchens have been able to reduce lead times from weeks to days.

eKitchens had been experiencing significant growth and had tremendous potential for further expansion. The company had devised strategic plans to achieve their targets. However, these growth plans were being impeded by a mounting backlog of orders, causing lead times to rise from 3-5 days to 4-6 weeks. The prolonged waiting period had an impact on eKitchens’ hard-earned reputation for delivering exceptional customer service.

In order to, address these obstacles, eKitchens embarked on a proactive journey of expansion, which involved the establishment of a cutting-edge factory facility. This cutting-edge facility facilitated the relocation and leasing of their current building, enabling them to optimise their operations. Recognising the need for operational improvements, eKitchens appointed an operations manager who played a pivotal role in enhancing the overall layout and workflow of the company.

To further streamline their operations, eKitchens collaborated with TXM to establish a Lean production flow and Lean Facility Layout. With a commitment to maximising efficiency, eKitchens planned to implement Lean methodologies within their existing facility before transitioning to the new site. This strategic decision was guided by a growth roadmap developed in conjunction with the Entrepreneur’s Programme, which recommended the adoption of a Lean production system.

The Solutions

Flat Pack Kitchen Cabinets
eKitchens send finished cabinets and bench tops directly to their customers.

Greg Kuszewski, a Senior Consultant at TXM, was assigned the responsibility of collaborating with a cross-functional team at eKitchens. Their objective was to pinpoint the challenges and bottlenecks present in the company’s process, starting from order receipt to customer delivery.

During the discovery workshop the value stream mapping session identified several areas for improvement including the need for a new U-Cell layout design, the removal of non-value add waste including unnecessary movement, transportation, and double handling of WIP.

The eKitchens cross functional team with the help of Greg Keszewski applied the TXM Facility Layout Development Process (FLDP) to create a redesigned layout to address the issues found in the current state value stream mapping session. The new U-Cell layout was designed from the finalised future state value stream map.

5S workplace organisation played a major part in removing clutter and freeing up space. The addition of visual controls throughout the facility in tandem with the U-Cell layout aimed to improve process flow, introduce visual management, improved efficiency, quality, and productivity. Greg applied the TXM Lean Daily Leadership Process (LDLP) to coach and develop the eKitchens front-line leaders to improve productivity and quality across the shopfloor.

The Results

Partnering with TXM the eKitchens team created a brand-new U-Cell Facility Layout and production flow that addressed many of the issues identified in the current state map in the initial discovery phase delivering exceptional results including:

  • 50% reduction in work in progress
  • 75% reduction in phone calls requesting ETA’s of orders.
  • Production times reduced from 4 -5 weeks to 7 – 10 working days.
  • Standardised processes in Assembly and Dispatch Departments
  • Identified and promoted several team members.


Timothy McLean

Author: Timothy McLean

Timothy McLean is the Managing Director of TXM Lean Solutions and is an author of Lean books.