Our client had a history and brand in customized office furniture manufacturing, with pan American presence. Sales were gradually moving from an individual customer base to large project based business. The client wanted to improve operations through an optimisation of operational flow and efficiency, performance management, and standardization of management practices to sustain changes.
Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned conduct an analysis and recommend the way forward to meet these client expectations.
The main challenges faced on this project included:
- Limited plant operation space
- Most management team members are family members
- Operations were highly dependent on individual skills
- An overall deficiency in the diversity of manpower skills and related knowledge transfer
After analyzing the project requirements, our consultants addressed the challenges presented and performed the following actions to deliver results to the client:
- Conducted a Business Practice Analysis – used Lean methods including Value Stream Mapping, Ishikawa Diagramming, and 5S Analysis, to identify challenges. A key performance factor audit and waste analysis was conducted to identify opportunities for improvement. Observations were also made during facility visits and connected to Value Creation variables (sales, raw materials and labour).
- Identified Challenges and Priorities – identified key issues related to costs, delays, and quality. Translated key issues into two fundamental priorities: essential optimization projects and custom optimization projects.
- Identified Potential Gains – conducted a sensitivity analysis to identify potential gains with, and without, growth
- Established a Comprehensive Action Plan – defined a project management approach and recommended four projects with timelines and impacts.
Through this approach, Schroeder & Schroeder identified and recommended an operations optimization plan with multiple projects and goals for the company, including:
- Improving inventory turns
- Standardization of operations and methods to enable knowledge transfer within crafts through cross training.
- Guidance for supervisors on how to empower their workforce toward operational excellence.
- Workplace organization (5S methodology) recommendations to improve daily organization.
- Effective use of available data for performance dashboards, including selected performance indicators and objectives, and the introduction of routine quality and performance meetings.
- Optimization projects for plant layout and flow
- Recommendations on continuous improvement investments required for the organization to improve competitiveness.
Upon conclusion of the project, all key success factors had been achieved, and the client was highly satisfied with both the project deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.