ERNI Electronics, Inc. Case Study


Founded 1947 in Switzerland, ERNI Electronics is a leading global manufacturer and worldwide supplier of a broad line of interconnects for the telecommunications, data communications, computer, industrial, and medical markets. ERNI has manufacturing operations in Europe as well as sales offices in over 40 countries. The company’s products are marketed via a worldwide network of representatives and leading distributors. ERNI’s U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, employs approximately 35 workers in sales, sales support, and value added manufacturing.

The Challenge

When one of ERNI’s customers conducted an audit of the company, they identified room for improvement in the area of organization and visuals. That prompted ERNI to reach out to GENEDGE, the official representative of the MEP National Network™ in Virginia. Based on the audit, company leaders asked GENEDGE to implement 5S workplace organization concepts (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) in their Richmond facility.

MEP’s Role

GENEDGE assigned a Lean Manufacturing Practice Manager to deliver the 5S assistance to ERNI, with the goal of developing the internal resource and system necessary to implement and sustain the organization improvements. The company wanted personnel to be well-versed in 5S concepts so they could implement changes on their own schedule, without relying on outside assistance and the associated costs.

The GENEDGE manager assisted ERNI in selecting target areas for improvement, and provided 5S training for the implementation teams and 5S leader. During the workplace organization events, GENEDGE was there to provide leadership, mentorship, and facilitation assistance. The manager also conducted follow-up visits to the Richmond facility to audit progress and plan the next event.

The investment in visual workplace organization had a positive impact on the company’s sales. ERNI employees embraced the new system, resulting in cost-savings and a stronger, more productive workforce.


$900K in sales impact
$66K in cost-savings
$12.5K investment in workplace organization
Jobs impact of 5