Our client was a custom manufacturer of cranes, transporters and specialty machines for industrial lifting. 100% Canadian owned and operated company with over 40 years of success serving the Canadian market.
Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to determine the operations optimization potential by:
- Pinpointing opportunities for profitability improvement
- Offering an external opinion on the organization’s efficiency and agility
- Training entrepreneurs (i.e., owner and management team) on the Value Creation Index (VCI) and on the Lean process improvement concept of “value”
- Make recommendations on their best next steps in IT selection to support the operation
The main challenges faced on this project included:
- A first-generation family business
- A combination of unique solutions and builds for lifting, and repetitive builds of speciality machines
- Highly-divergent skill levels in the labour force
- Long lead times and customer changes
- Large peaks and valleys in demand, and therefore efforts required
- Attracting and retaining highly-skilled employees
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 costs, delay, and quality. Translated key issues into two fundamental priorities: essential optimization projects and custom optimization projects.
- Identified Options for IT — reviewed the current selections and made recommendations for further investigation of potential solutions
- 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 created multiple project plans with individual activities and duties, timelines and impacts.
Through this approach, Schroeder & Schroeder developed a comprehensive operations optimization plan with multiple projects and goals for the company, including:
- Standardization of operations and methods.
- IT development to support current and growth environments.
- Guidance for supervisors on how to empower their workforce toward operational excellence.
- Performance dashboards, including select performance indicators and objectives, and the introduction of routine quality and performance meetings.
- Definition of custom optimization projects such as an inventory management system, and layout optimization, designed to improve customer satisfaction, profitability, and operational agility.
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.