Challenge: Reducing losses
A large producer of food products was experiencing huge losses and the problem was continually getting worse. The executive board was talking about either closing or selling the plant. The plant was well over 100 years old, and many of its processes and equipment had a lot of miles on them. The management team that was in place continually announced that the numbers would only rise if many of the old machines was replaced.
Solution: Plant-wide investigation and training
After a two week fact finding mission was concluded, a number of issues were presented. The issues were broken down into areas and those areas were problem solved separately.
- Data gave us numbers of the most important problems needing resolution. We ran a handful of quick “learn and do” types of training so workers understood how to find the cause of a problem, make a decision for its correction and make a small plan for its implementation.
- We also ran an analysis of each piece of equipment deciding if it needed major repair, or replaced.
- Finally, we ran a management performance analysis with all of the plant management to understand what issues they were dealing with. From this analysis, manager evaluations and performance expectations and consequences were placed for all management.
Results: Award winning return to profitability
Within 3 months, the pendulum swung the other way, and within 6 months the plant was in the black for the first time in years. The plants quality and runtime were outstanding and the amount of food re-inspection was on its way down. As the project finished, one of the largest restaurant chains in the world presented this plant an award declaring that all of the other plants of this type should follow the example of this plant with both production and quality.