Leaning A Process for Speed and Error Reduction

Leaning A Process for Speed and Error Reduction

Client:
A furniture plant uses over 1,000 fabrics on its products. The current process for ensuring the right fabric goes on the right unit for the right customer is failing over 2% of the time resulting in significant rework and customer complaints. Additionally, the process is so cumbersome that sometimes the needed information does not get from the customer to the factory floor in time to produce the product, resulting in delays, cost and additional work in process.

Goal:
Reduce fabric errors by 80% or more and do it across all plants in the division. Simultaneously, speed the process to completely eliminate delays caused by lack of information.

Results:
A division-wide team, led by an eMRI consultant, benchmarked the plants and then targeted one facility to develop a standardized process. Primarily using lean tools such as value stream mapping and mistake proofing, the team was able to reduce the number of process steps by over 50% and the cycle time was reduced by 40%. Several of the steps eliminated were primary sources of fabric errors. Several manual steps were automated as well to reduce errors and improve cycle time. Error rates dropped by over 90%.

Savings:
$700,000 per year.