Successes in Workforce and Operations

Little Lady Foods


For years, Little Lady Foods has been investing in the growing its operations, building sales from its humble beginnings in the 1980s to the more than $200 million in sales today. The company has spent years dedicated to developing quality, custom products for its customers, but needed to develop a robust on-site skills and training program for its supervisors. The LLF team was employing several operations supervisors who have grown within the organization, as well as transplanted a few from outside the company. Hoping to take LLF to the next level of operational excellence and profitability, the leadership team turned to IMEC, a NIST MEP affiliate, for training.

IMEC Solution

To develop a supervisor training program to bring the LLF team into the next generation of productivity and efficiency, IMEC’s technical specialists used the Training Within Industry (TWI) methodology. LLF and IMEC pulled together the team of supervisors to experience the Job Instruction module, explaining the basic needs for being an effective leader. This included Knowledge of Work and Knowledge of Responsibilities.

The LLF team took to the format and concepts quickly and were on their way to sustained success. With additional coaching and proactive mentoring from the IMEC specialists, the LLF supervisors were able to absorb the Job Instruction methodology and built positive employee relations through the teams increased cooperation and motivation. Additionally, active participation from the leadership team helped commit the trainees to the practice and ensure success of the hands-on approach.

Although the team has already experienced immediate, impressive results, Leadership intends to continue with the proactive coaching and continuous improvement modules to confirm the sustainability of the workforce initiative.


  • Cost savings of more than $400,000
  • Operating cost reduction expected of $100,000
  • Workforce skills investment of $100,000
Little Lady Foods Illinois

Little Lady Foods

200 Employees

Elk Grove Village and Gurnee, Illinois

“As an organization, we probably haven’t had to focus on leadership development as much as we’d like. So as we look towards the future, we’re looking to A) improve the frontline leadership, especially with the developmental support of IMEC, and also be able to ingrain that capability into our continuous improvement efforts.”


– Ray Deeter, Director of Continuous Improvement

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