Case Study: Manufacturing

manufacturing light

AT A GLANCE
  • Lead manufacturer and distributor of vision correction lenses
  • 3 facilities that manufacture package and ship product globally to retail, wholesale and private label outlets
  • 3+ Thousand employees
Financial Highlights
  • 1.9 M Project Cost
  • 7.03 M 12 month annualized savings
  • 3.7 return on investment
Project Highlights
  • 14% improvement in assembly line efficiencies
  • 28% reduction changeover (assembly & packaging lines combined)
  • 7% reduction in scrap generation
  • 15% reduction in premium labor hours
  • 9% reduction in unscheduled machine downtime (Assembly & packaging equipment
  • 6% reduction in green house gas emissions
  • 12% improvement in utilities utilization (gas, electric, fuel and oil)
  • Repaired/replaced 142 faulting steam traps and 364 reported steam/water leaks
The Project Highlights
  • 36 week duration
  • Project scope:
     - Manufacturing
     - Assembly
     - Packaging & Shipping
     - Maintenance
     - Boiler & Power Plant
     - Production Scheduling
  • 6 to 1 ratio of Client to AMS Group consultants
Project Highlights
  • 12 Supervisors and Manager workshops
  • On the floor coaching
  • Development of management control tools for operations and energy utilization
  • Implementation of energy modeling and operational reports
  • Implementation of cross functional teams
  • Implementation of setup reduction on manufacturing lines
  • Implementation of changeover programs on assembly and packaging lines
  • Development and implementation of problem solving and action tools
 

OVERVIEW

The client is a leading manufacturer and distributor of personal vision correction products. This project was conducted in the facilities that are responsible for the manufacturing and packaging of products that are shipped to retailers, wholesalers and private label distributors.

manufacturing lightThe client recognized a need to increase productivity within their operation in order to meet forecasted operating budgets that were not being achieved. They were experiencing excessive cost in what they considered to be a new and state of the art facility where they had been unsuccessful over the past several years in correcting unfavorable trends in processing efficiency and overall unit cost.  Existing data prior to The AMS Group engagement revealed that changeover time between product runs were excessive, unscheduled equipment downtime was increasing and production line efficiencies were decreasing  in both the manufacturing and assembly areas. Scrap and product losses were also increasing.

The AMS Group began a 3 week assessment of the manufacturing and assembly operations in 2 of the client's facilities. The assessment consisted of both production and behavioral work studies. These studies were conducted by trained and experienced The AMS Group professionals. By focusing on the current state management systems and production process and the behaviors of the frontline management team that controlled both human and equipment resources, the assessment produced the following findings:

  • Frontline supervisors maintained low levels of employee accountability for production standards
  • Many existing standards for manufacturing and production were no longer valid for current products or equipment
  • Supervisors often gave vague or no assignments to employees
  • Existing problem identification tools were not being used appropriately
  • Equipment was not being operated at specified parameters

Throughout the assessment, the client received regular briefings that enabled them to understand and validate the findings. The assessments concluded with a detailed presentation and summary of all of the findings

After receiving the assessment briefing on the findings and detailed quantifications of the opportunity, the client reviewed and approved the initial project approach. The approach included a guaranteed ROI of 1 to 1 and a projected 3 to 1 return 12 months after the conclusion of the implementation.

The project approach called for a coordinated effort that addressed unsatisfactory behaviors within the frontline management team. In addition to addressing the behaviors, the project called for the development and/or upgrading of current management tools that were being used to run manufacturing and production operations. By addressing the behaviors and management systems, the culture began a change process that would achieve remarkable and sustainable results.

The project implementation methodology called for both, on the floor coaching, as well as, the facilitation of workshops for managers and supervisors on core competencies such as:

  • Identifying and understanding manager and supervisor roles and responsibilities
  • Communication
  • Giving and following-up on work assignments
  • Problem identification and problem solving
  • Giving employee feedback
  • Changeover and setup reduction methodology

Supervisors were taught the importance of, and how to, give good measurable work assignments.  The AMS Group professionals also worked with supervisors on-the-floor to develop new management system tools to quickly allow root cause analysis of critical barriers.

Managers and supervisors were also coached and taught how to address typical employee problems such as poor work performance in a professional manner which was consistent with company policies.

Cross functional work teams consisting of hourly employees and management team members were formed to improve line changeovers resulting in significant reduction in changeover times. Additionally, supervisors began to control the scheduling of overtime due to their increased accountability for reporting production results.

By the conclusion of the project the management team had designed and implemented a management system that increased efficiencies by 14% across all of the manufacturing  and assembly lines. The culture change in the organization was driven by the new behaviors of the management team which positioned the organization to sustain the improved operating results, as well as, provide the flexibility required to make critical adjustments as the business adapted to changing business climates.