This section offers illustrative stories on the positive impact of applying Lean Thinking, Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma to various operations, both service and manufacturing based.
Following the spirit of Tornado-Like-Improvement-Processes, Manufacturing Consulting Services Inc. (MaCS) guide their clients to apply the lean tools and methodologies until they clients are able to apply them on their own.
The following case studies showcase some of what MaCS has been able to achieve in recent years.
Cultured Marble Countertop Manufacturer
- Client had allocated all 120,000 ft.² of a new building to be constructed as a manufacturing plant expansion. Manufacturing Consulting Services Inc. laid out the entire manufacturing facility in just 60,000 ft.².
- Segregated the traffic of the semi trucks which brought the raw material from the traffic of customer-site-installation pickup trucks as well as smoothly the flow of traffic through the lot by changing the planned shape of the building and its location on the lot.
Diamond Drill Bit Manufacturing Company
- Increased staff productivity by 300%.
- 500% increase in plant throughput.
- Door–to-door time decreased by 90% from 10 days to 1 day with similar drops in work-in-process inventory.
- Tripled finished good inventory turns.
- 40%.Reduction in floor space requirements.
- 65% decrease in distance product has to travel from start of production to completion.
- Dropped stock out rate for regularly stocked items from 6% to 0%. Replenishment was so fast, they could have 20 on the shelf in the morning, sell 28 that morning and deliver them that afternoon… with no required managerial expediting.
- 80% drop in number of paper handlers.
- Single Page Results Summary: Lean Thinking Results at a Salt Lake City Diamond Drill Bit Manufacturer
Dock to Marketing Case in a Cleaning Equipment Manufacturing Company
- 500% increase in profits.
- Rectified strategic marketing omissions that required “cheat sheets” in production, that were invisible to Product Design, in order to ship anything in a timely manner.
- Reduced 3000 active bills of materials to 25 product-line-ordering, option trees resulting in much better communication from Sales to Operations, resulting in more reliable deliveries, less costly production, better design and execution quality, and more flexible production. (The 500% increase in profits is a natural follow-on from these process improvement tools.)
- Single Page $ Summary: Salt Lake City Cleaning Equipment Company Lean Thinking Results
Receiving to Payment Case in a Cleaning Equipment Manufacturing Company
- 90% reduction in information-system throughput time: reduced interval between item receipt and invoice payment from 60 to 90 days down to 6 days on average.
- Absorbed a 20% attrition in staff.
- Essentially, we “fired” our client from 10 to 15 hours of hassle-ridden-clerical overhead from his week… all of his weeks… forever! Now, he could actually do strategic development with this time instead of chasing down two-to-three-month-old invoices which he previously viewed as “just part of the job.”!
- Following the project, our client received 2 to 3 invoices per day that were 5 to 7 days old… instead of a 5 inch-high pile of 60 to 90 day old invoices per week! This results in a very different sort of phone call to a vendor: you get to talk to Customer Service instead of having to talk to Collections!
- Serendipitously (we did not plan it, it just naturally occurred), we eliminated the need for the freight-damage claims department!
- We enabled smooth supply of inbound materials to production where this condition had not existed before.
- We did about 12 improvement projects over the course of 2 1/2 months in this business. This is what “Tornado-like-iterations” look like.
- Cut average order throughput time from 12 days to 6 days.
- Cut work-in- process inventory by more than 50%,
- Improved its delivered quality.
- Significantly decreased customer service problems associated with late or incomplete delivery.
- Largely eliminated work-in-progress damage and rework.
- Eliminated re-setups “for that one more item.”
- Cut the work in process inventory expense by more than 75% because the bulk of the material was not released until three days before delivery versus 12 days.
Intellectual Property Processing
- Instead of being 30% of our client’s time, the intellectual property processing load dropped to about 5% of his time! Although his purview, as legal adviser to this process, did not change, we essentially “fired” him from 15 to 20 hours a week of unnecessary, clerical aspects of this process. (Hooray! ☺)
- Intellectual Property processing time decreased from between 2 years to less than two months.
- Operations would get the heads up 9 to 10 months ahead that something new was coming versus 1 1/2 to 2 months ahead. This provided for a much smoother transfer to production.
- By the end of the seven month project, not only had all of the outstanding intellectual property projects been completed, but due to the combination of speed and hassle reduction for everyone involved, company researchers began “popping new ideas out of the woodwork” that they had just not mentioned because of the hassle involved. Instead of developing four or five patentable ideas per year, this firm had to “sort” the best and most profitable ideas from the myriad of “trade secret” patentable ideas: a VERY different strategic (and profitability/survivability) development position!
Salt Lake City Pool Cover Manufacturer
- Production time for a cover dropped from 1.5 days to 45 minutes.
- 42% drop in required man-hours per cover from 3.5 to 2.
- 25% reduction in required floor space.
- Single Page Results Summary: Lean Thinking Results at a Salt Lake City Pool Cover Manufacturer