"Improving manufacturing and distribution operations since 1958
More than 800 projects completed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia"

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Case Studies

Business: Appliance Manufacturer

Nature of Work or Scope and Results

Executive management at this well-known manufacturer recognized they were experiencing production cost related problems that were adversely affecting their product pricing schedules. As a result, the company was continuing to lose market share. Management brought in a well-known, very large consulting firm to assess the company's shop floor problems. The consulting firm performed a preliminary 2-week shop floor and office study and submitted a proposal to develop a correction plan. They had proposed a 6 figure professional fee for the development of the plan. The Sims Group (SCG) was asked to visit the operation and prepare a proposal (without the knowledge of the other consulting firm's work or knowledge of their proposal). The Sims Group offered to do basically the same work, and subsequently did so successfully, for less than 10% of the fee the other firm had quoted.

Based on SCG's initial success, a number of cost reduction and industrial engineering projects were performed for this client. These included a fabrication delay/stoppage study, a relayout and rebalancing of their assembly lines, and an indirect labor and materials handling study. SCG also was commissioned to perform studies of other companies that were potential acquisitions for the parent company. These studies were performed on plants in Tennessee and New York.

All of the SCG studies focused on productivity improvements, the minimization of work-in-process inventory, the reduction of indirect labor associated with materials handling and the improvement of materials handling methods.

The conclusions in most of the studies revealed that several of the key operations used in the respective plants were the cause for excessive delays and inefficiencies. Also, factors contributing to the excessive amounts of materials handling, work-in-process inventory, and inefficient operator movements were found through facility analysis and labor studies. Recommendations included line balance modifications, materials handling improvements, and process improvement, etc.

A significant labor savings was achieved by re-balancing the production assembly lines. The project resulted in an increase in products produced, a decrease in direct and indirect labor, and an increase in the overall product quality level.

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