The first of our new ongoing Plant Tour Focus Groups kicked off this week with a tour of Crate Designs in Chesley. Read on to learn about the great learning opportunity this forum provides!
The winter driving gave everyone a break Feb 6 with sunny skies as 18 BWA manufacturing members traveled the region to participate in our Plant tour focus group hosted by Crate Designs.
The format of these meetings is for the host to provide an overview of their business model, followed by presenting a challenge to the group to provide feedback. In addition, members are asked to provide feedback on something they liked and also a suggestion for improvement.
Since all manufacturing members are at various points in the LEAN journey continuum, the challenge theme for the group centered on their need to rely on certain levels of Work In Process and inventory. Lean principles were reviewed in addition to the 7 deadly wastes, as we embarked on the tour. Our debrief discussion ensued and touched on many themes, not limited to the following:
- Plant visuals and daily targets
- Understand true cost at various points of the process
- MRP Vs. Kanban
- Carrying cost of WIP
- Restrictions of old buildings
- Production design opportunities
- Manufactured components with multiple uses
- ERP strategies for implementation
- Educating and “training” the customer on properties of the product
- Flexible cross-trained workforce
- FIFO opportunities
- Lighting opportunities and strategies
Due to the size of the group, our debrief was conducted in the comfort of Crate’s showroom below! Don’t miss our next Plant Tour Focus Group April 3, hosted by Bogdon & Gross in Walkerton!