Situation

Our client is a leading manufacturer of customised signs. The company is a 100% Canadian owned and operated company with over 15 years of success serving general contractors, independent property and business owners.

Requirements

Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to determine the operations optimization potential by:

  • Pinpointing opportunities for profitability and production improvements
  • Offering an external opinion on the organization’s efficiency, agility and current state
  • Training entrepreneurs (i.e., owner and management team) on the Value Creation Index (VCI) and on the Lean process improvement concept of “value”
  • Creating awareness of the importance of continuous improvement

Challenges

The main challenges faced on this project included:

  • A family business, with over 50 employees
  • Highly-divergent skill levels in the labour force with many single points of failure
  • Lack of coordination between business and production operations
  • A status quo that served them well for the last 15 years

Actions

After analyzing the project requirements our consultants addressed the challenges presented and performed the following actions to deliver results to the client:

  1. Conducted a Business Practice Analysis – used Lean methods including Process Mapping, Ishikawa Diagramming, 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Identified Potential Gains – conducted a sensitivity analysis to identify potential gains with, and without, growth
  4. Established a Comprehensive Action Plan – defined a project management approach and created multiple project plans with individual activities and duties, timelines and impacts.

Results

Through this approach, Schroeder & Schroeder developed a comprehensive operations optimization plan with multiple projects and goals for the company, including:

  • Identified action to be taken to improve production operations and business operations
  • Identified IT development to support current and growth expectations.
  • Guidance provided to supervisors on how to empower their workforce toward operational excellence.
  • Workplace organization (5S methodology) recommendations made to improve daily organization.
  • Performance dashboards created, including select performance indicators and objectives, and the introduction of routine quality and performance meetings.
  • Defined custom optimization projects such as an sales, customer relationship management, production scheduling and planning, inventory management system, profitability, and operational agility.
  • Provided continuous improvement investment recommendations required in order 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.