case study

Improved profitability in the manufacturing sector

Here is the case study for one of our manufacturing sector clients. You will be able to see the extent of our approach and the work we do with entrepreneurs.

Manufacturing sector: business case study

The client contacted us because of problems they were facing inside their company. Production was chaotic and meeting deadlines for customer order deliveries was painstaking. The production supervisor, struggling with disorganized production management, was weighed down by the tasks and difficulties. Overwhelmed, he could not regain control of the production line. As a result, the company faced a large number of complaints from customers and the sales department.

The IDEA Strategies approach in action: responding to the issues

Called upon to solve certain urgent problems in the company, we focused on two critical goals that had to be obtained: increased productivity and the planning of production.

First goal: increase productivity

Our team, in collaboration with the client, was able to pinpoint a lack of flexibility in operations as one of the production difficulties. This situation led to poor employee management: some people were overwhelmed, like the production supervisor, and not knowing where to turn, were slowing down all operations, while others were only partially occupied.

We therefore introduced a series of corrective measures:

  • Free up time for the supervisor to coordinate the work of his employees (stop saying yes to everyone and answering the phone all the time …)
  • Identify the 2 or 3 critical positions and train employees on hand in these positions;
  • Make a cause and effect diagram (Ishikawa) with the employees to find out what prevented them from performing better;
  • Implement a production monitoring routine to be done 4 times a day. This made it possible to quickly identify what slows the rate of production during operations and to find quick solutions;
  • Establish daily tracking sheets in collaboration with employees.

Second goal: production planning

Our study of the company allowed us to pinpoint an important problem: the total absence of data and indicators. The lack of data on the number of orders in hand, the number of orders made per week and the new orders received causes serious difficulties in the production chain. It essentially becomes impossible to carry out effective planning and establish clear objectives to reach (e.g. what rate of production is required in the next month, should we hire?).

As a result, only urgent orders are made, disrupting the production cycle, stopping orders in progress and leading to a great deal of lost time and delays on other deliveries. Ultimately, all orders become urgent and the company finds itself unable to free itself from this situation.

The IDEA Strategies team established practices in partnership with employees and management to visualize, communicate and manage priorities:

  • Preparation of a simple and effective Excel report on the number of orders in hand, the number of orders made during the week and the number of orders received;
  • Setting the goal of a maximum number of orders in hand;
  • Introduction of a hiring plan or resource shift to increase production and meet the new order-in-hand ratio to maintain optimal productivity;
  • Establishment of a weekly production meeting (45 min) to review the game plan and, when required, dynamic 15-minute meetings, morning and evening, to ensure that contingencies are addressed and to maintain control of the situation.

Data table of orders on hand

With this tool, the foreman and management can view the production situation at a glance. They can therefore be proactive and evaluate the relevance of the actions taken during the weekly meeting about objectives and deadlines.

Manufacturing company coaching: results of our approach

Following the implementation of our measures, our customer experienced a delivery time reduction of more than 75% over a period of 4 months. Moreover, efficient production management now allows urgent special orders to be carried out without crippling operations.

Finally, the tools that we developed for the company and the training of the senior managers to use them made it possible to limit the impacts of problematic situations, such as large orders, employee departures or mechanical breakdowns. The good practices put in place enable them to rapidly visualize the consequences of these circumstances and take measured and concrete actions without losing control.

The IDEA Strategies team, your partner

We make every effort to develop your strengths and maximize your profitability. The work we have done with our client clearly demonstrates the versatility and long-term impact of our approach and services. Contact us right now to find out how we can help your business reach its full potential.