Continuous improvement is an ongoing exercise for successful manufactures today. Read on to learn how West Bros Furniture is engaging BWA to share best practices and benefit from member expertise!
BWA Plant Tour Focus Groups are designed to get members to gain insight into their own production challenges through observing best practices and challenges of fellow member companies. Hosts of these events benefit from the knowledge and perspective of companies outside their own “box”. Fresh eyes on your processes see things in new ways to help you adopt new ideas and strategies to attack ongoing challenges.
On Feb 20, 2014, BWA member West Bros Furniture hosted our regular Plant Tour Focus Group event that delivered just that in spades for 20 participating members.
Throughput and “flow” of value-added steps in manufacturing without interruption can decrease lead times for customers and increase your inventory turns, thus increasing your overall revenues and profitability. When you have multiple products, with multiple skews and variables, maintaining good throughput becomes a challenge.
West Bros tapped into the group’s collective brainstorming and feedback following a tour during a facilitate debrief that touched on many themes of opportunities to address. These become food for thought for the participants in their own companies. West Bros, in turn, shared their best practices in their break-out and finishing areas and also their customer focussed strategies in product variation and customization. West Bros truly has a beautiful product, and this sentiment is shared by all who have seen their various lines of furniture.
Examples of some (but not all) of the themes discussed in the session included:
- Standardized Work
- ERP applications
- Set-up reduction
- Component manufacturing
- Advantages/disadvantages of outsourcing
- Reducing waiting between processes
- Assembly cells
- Production scheduling
- Humidification, among many others…