Increased Production

Project Details

When we arrived in Australia, the plant that we were working with was producing only 25 outboard engines per day with an average of 15 horsepower.

Processes and Solutions

Upon arriving at the site, one of the first things that we did was to focus the management team to collect and analyze data to identify and understand primary issues. Our results found that the major issues included:

  • Paint Quality
  • Parts Availability
  • Operator Productivity
  • Management Focus
  • Accountability

After identifying these issues, we rated all of the employees based upon attitude, aptitude, and absenteeism. We selected the top 16 workers and trained 8 to paint and 8 to test motors.

Then, we sorted the other top employees into priority positions, resulting in 50 lay-offs for workers who didn’t meet these standards. With three different unions within the company, we were able to work with union leadership to identify workers to let go in order to rid the company of those who were the least productive and unwilling to change. Lunch meetings were held with the entire workforce to discuss any issues, which proved to be integral to our success.

To address the employee productivity issues, we instituted a kitting and Kan Ban process. This meant producing kits for engines the day before scheduled production, leaving the kits in the workstation. This helped to clear clutter, which further helped with our efforts to effect meaningful business process management.

Throughout all of this, we were consistently working on management focus and accountability. Quarterly meetings were held offsite to build focus, accountability, and teamwork. Each manager was asked to identify action plans for problems with a Pareto chart that they could then work on themselves instead of passing the blame.

Results

Within one year, the company accomplished many significant goals, including:

  • The ability to now build 100 outboard motors per day with an average of 55 horsepower.
  • Streamlined process management by reducing workforce from 240 employees to 100.

Within two years, we were able to:

  • Create an exact schedule for each day.
  • Integrate senior union management into quarterly off site meetings
  • Increased profitability 5-fold, which would have been even higher if tariffs had not been significantly reduced by the Australian government.

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