Budnick Converting was faced with a common question – create a new position or reorganize assignments to alleviate the current strain on existing staff. The position in question was for a material handler; an additional staff person needed in the Press Department. But outside of merely evaluating the potential new position, the Budnick team needed to tackle a larger project; evaluate the current process flow, including job roles and the location of equipment and inventory on the shop floor. That’s when the Budnick team called on longtime advocate and technical experts, IMEC.
The IMEC team focused on the organization of three departments for the process review: Press, Rewind, and Lathe and began by utilizing a video recording review to evaluate how much time was being wasted on non-value added activities. By filming multiple jobs and operators, the IMEC technical specialists led the team on a complete review of the footage and through a brainstorming session to identify recommended improvements and goals. Quickly, a list of objectives were prioritized and tackled based on difficulty to complete and importance. “The process has been great,” said Tom Belcher, Press Department Team Lead. “The way IMEC handles both the project and our people is very effective. The video recording is very eye opening and their coaching helped keep everyone focused and moving in the right direction.”
Over the next month, the Budnick team completed additional objectives and revisited priorities with the IMEC team. Hoping to stay focused on the need to evaluate the Material Handling role, the Budnick team narrowed their focus and proceeded with setup reduction in the department to address inventory, clean up the space requirements and the flow of the product. By moving inventory racks and several machines, the big picture flow of the facility quickly became more efficient. Additionally, the team applied the principles of 5S (workplace organization) to improve the access to materials and tools at each work station, thus minimizing the movement of people throughout the day.
The biggest realized benefit of the setup reduction and process flow evaluation was that it allowed Budnick to stay in their current building. While still requiring additional space for production, they were able to move some aspects off site, but only processes not truly affecting their primary production. Since the new layout was completed, Budnick has purchased equipment for their new space, but it did not require an expansion on a large scale; allowing them the time to do an expansion right instead of rushing through the process.
- $650,000 new investment in equipment
- Additional investment savings of nearly $1,500,000
- Created 2 new jobs
- Improved employee morale and work station efficiency
“IMEC helped keep us focused and on track. Through the experience the IMEC personnel has from past roles and through other businesses, our staff has gained a great amount of knowledge.”
– Brad Albrecht, Vice President Finance and Operations