Situation

Our client was a small privately owned escalator handrail manufacturer.  The company is a 100% Canadian owned company with factories and warehouses around the globe.  The company manufactures and distributes new and replacement escalator handrails as well as elevator cabling.

 

Requirements

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”
  • Creating awareness of the importance of continuous improvement

 

Challenges

The main challenges faced on this project included:

  • A growing market for handrails and elevator cables
  • Stagnant revenue for several years
  • A staff with high skill levels in their niche areas but limited or no cross training
  • Manual business process execution across the entire company
  • Poor communications between “siloed” employees

 

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 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).
  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:

  • Market Analysis and alternative market size calculation
  • Review and improvement product and service offering to better reflect customer value proposition
  • Implementation of new business software tools to support operations measurement and communications

 

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.