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Iowa State University Extension


Manufacturer + workforce + CIRAS = 12,000 units of deer repellent

packaging deer repellent

It’s about quality -- and deer repellent. That’s why RepelIt, a Cedar Rapids producer of animal deterrent products, teamed up with Goodwill Industries in Cedar Rapids to manufacture a new weatherproof deer repellent. After a test market and promising results, RepelIt decided to expand to a national market. But Goodwill needed to change its manufacturing process to meet this demand. Enter ISU Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) to help Goodwill streamline its workflow.

CIRAS assisted Goodwill with lean manufacturing processes, combining best practices with real world accommodations for workers with disabilities. As a result, Goodwill and RepelIt met production goals of 12,000 units of product in a shift, up from 5,400 units. During one quarter, more than 130 people gained valuable workforce experience.

Jess Schamberger of Goodwill said, “With CIRAS’ help we were able to grow our capabilities from an excellent process to a production system. They helped us meet our goals of providing training opportunities for our workforce and exceeding customer expectations!”

Jane Burroughs, director of operations for RepelIt, said, “Goodwill has met our quality standards daily. Together we are building a quality product from beginning to end.” 

This article appeared in July 2007 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter