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Case Study

Process Improvement



Our client manufactures custom metal products and awards for big events and companies. When the world was rocked by the pandemic, many public events and tradeshows were cancelled, leaving their business with a big hit to profits. With the effect of the pandemic, and the increasing cost pressures from foreign competitors, they wanted to find out their best opportunities to improve efficiency via adopting better practices and technologies. The team hired Building Perspective to be a fresh pair of eyes, and conduct a 3 month operational assessment to identify their best process improvement opportunities to reduce costs and streamline their manufacturing processes. 



There were three major process improvement opportunities that were revealed at the end of the process analysis and operations assessment. 

  • A 30% lead time reduction was identified related to inventory management practices and WIP (work-in-progress) management. These could be achieved without the automation and equipment upgrades they had originally imagined would be needed.

  • A 20% staff re-allocation could be achieved through different operations staff scheduling methods. This would prevent them from having to add staff when operations ramped up again. 

  • A $53K savings over 5 years could be achieved by upgrading their ERP. Not only would annual licensing costs go down, but the functionality of their ERP would go up, a truly unpredictable result! This would give additional valuable manufacturing resource planning capabilities they did not have currently. 



The operations study consisted of the following analysis:

Process Mapping: An end-end map was created. As the company's IT systems could not capture any historical metrics, a timing analysis was conducted to identify the true bottleneck processes and manufacturing steps. This revealed the best process improvement opportunities.

➢ Data Analysis:  Key pieces of process data were collected, aggregated, and analyzed to highlight specific improvements, and eliminate others. Our client had a view of their performance that they had never been able to see before. They were also able to definitively measure their machine capacity and determine that no upgrades would be needed, saving them unnecessary costs. 

ERP Review:  The ERP systems, functionality and costs were reviewed. Not only were they paying too much for what their current ERP solution, they were missing core functionality required for the business. 

We wish our client the best, and hope for a speedy turnaround from the pandemic back to full profits, with greater efficiency through implementing these process improvements.

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