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West Central Manufacturing Closing the Door on Waste!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Client Profile:
West Central Manufacturing, founded in 2004, manufactures steel door frames and hollow steel doors for the commercial construction industry.  West Central operates a 35,000 sq. ft. facility with several craftsman providing Architects significant design options.  With the versatility that hollow metal offers Architects have the freedom to design decorative projects that could include radius walls, round or shaped windows, arched entrances to name a few. Yet the architects still enjoy the strength, security, and longevity and serviceability that hollow metal has always offered. West Central employees build these products in the USA and take great pride in their factory and the out coming product for their customers. The company employs 28 people at its facility is located in Rapid City of the Black Hills in western South Dakota.

Situation:
Commercial construction in South Dakota softened over the past several years during the economic slowdown. West Central had to make a move to survive. CEO James Hoag choose Manufacturing Technology Solutions(MTS) as the group to transform their organization to be able to weather the slowed economies.

Solution:
MTS helped West Central understand the foundational concepts of Lean manufacturing by presenting several Lean 101 overviews for company employees which included live simulation. With the assistance of MTS, West Central implemented several Lean tools as well as made several shop floor arrangements to improve Operations:

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) provided a base Current State Map and led to the identification of
several opportunities to reduce costs including a simplified inventory system, standardization and process focus. The future state was completed and is quickly taking shape as resources work the further implementation of the advanced lean tools.

5S was first (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain) training included all team members and resulted
in 5S being implemented throughout the shop. 

As the operations improved the Engineering team was left not being able to keep up with productions ability to move jobs. A project with MTS was done to VSM the Engineering processes and steps were changed as well as resources realigned to tie engineering with the production operations.  

Standard work was implemented across the production group streamlining and driving quality. The standardization training was also put into place with engineering allowing them to keep pace. This has made material unknown shortages a thing of the past. Visibility has let the shop continue to standardize and find those next opportunities for improvement.  

As a result of MTS's assistance, the company increased overall production, lowered inventory costs, improved communication, and increased employee involvement. 

West Central CEO James Hoag said, "The Lean Management System training MTS provided has helped improve communication and scheduling. The original Lean 101 training has been a cornerstone of our employee involvement and continues to provide a daily approach to continuous Improvement. This improvement in operations has allowed us to focus on engineering improvements to keep the shop loaded with work.

Testimonial:
"MTS has helped develop core manufacturing, scheduling, and engineering approaches that impacted our ability to increase our overall production while level loading schedules. I appreciate the way the MTS instructors have been able to adapt their instruction to our work environment and industry. We are not only realizing the cost benefits but Our Culture is adapting and changing for the positive as we continue on our lean journey."

~James Hoag, CEO

Results:
  • Retained sales of $1,500,000
  • Realized $150,000 in cost savings
  • Retained 10 jobs


Categories: Success Stories