problem solving

How a Leading Coffee Roaster Simultaneously Added Volume and Reduced Overtime

How a Leading Coffee Roaster Simultaneously Added Volume and Reduced Overtime

Stroud partnered with a leading national roaster, manufacturer, wholesaler, and distributor of high-quality branded and private label coffees. The goal was to quickly reduce Saturday overtime without any added capital investment or automation.

At Risk of Losing Their Largest Customer, A Manufacturer Improves On-Time Delivery by 45% in 6 Weeks

At Risk of Losing Their Largest Customer, A Manufacturer Improves On-Time Delivery by 45% in 6 Weeks

A furniture company had a problem with their on-time delivery for as long as anyone could remember - on average over half of their deliveries arrived late at the customers. The company did not receive adequate data from their transport suppliers to understand if the plant was producing late or transport took too long. However, based on their calculations they believed most of the pieces were leaving the plant on time, so transport was thought to be the problem.

A Mining Operation Re-examines Their Problem Solving Approach and Discovers a Simple Solution

A Mining Operation Re-examines Their Problem Solving Approach and Discovers a Simple Solution

The performance of a large ore processing plant was being hampered by a big problem; apparently with its initial flotation cells. Downstream equipment was frequently fouling up with waste and the performance of the flotation cells, which initially separate the desirable product from waste material, were being blamed. Plugged nozzles at the downstream centrifuges were regularly taking units out of service for cleaning and repair.

Mature Underground Mine Kickstarts Transformation Effort with 20% Improvement in Tons per Blast

Mature Underground Mine Kickstarts Transformation Effort with 20% Improvement in Tons per Blast

A mature underground mining operation needed to substantially reduce its production costs to buffer against falling metal prices. The organization had made the difficult cuts to preserve cash in the immediate term and now sought a means of genuinely improve mining performance, with a substantial, in-year cash flow impact. The challenge was that performance had been flat for many years, creating a sense that the operation was already performing at its full potential. 

Aggressive Footprint Consolidation Made Possible By Step-Change Increase in Throughput

Aggressive Footprint Consolidation Made Possible By Step-Change Increase in Throughput

An $8 billion consumer products company was facing intense price pressure passed down through the supply chain due to increased competition from low cost manufacturers in other countries. Prices were being continually driven down and results had moved into the red. An industry expert’s report stated that “The company cannot continue to be the high quality industry supplier and remain price competitive.” Without significant cost improvements the company faced the potential for drastically reduced profits and market share.

Turning product mix and varying run lengths into a strategic advantage

Turning product mix and varying run lengths into a strategic advantage

A contract aerosol manufacturer, built through acquisitions, was looking to consolidate its manufacturing into a single location. They had accumulated an incredibly diverse product line and, within that, very diverse order patterns and sizes.

The CEO was concerned with two main challenges: “How do we best schedule our production and manage our inventory?” and “What should we work on first to improve?”

ENABLING SALES GROWTH WITH BREAKTHROUGH CAPACITY INCREASE

ENABLING SALES GROWTH WITH BREAKTHROUGH CAPACITY INCREASE

Amidst unprecedented market growth a food processing company was expecting 20% year-on-year revenue increases, and was reaching the limit of their capacity to meet demand. During the previous three years production lines had been pushed to nameplate rates, downtime had been reduced to world-class levels, and production schedules had been optimized to keep up with incoming orders. With years of improvement already realized, many believed that there was little opportunity to improve capacity without a major capital expansion.

REDUCING QUALITY FAILURES BY 90%

REDUCING QUALITY FAILURES BY 90%

A leading beverage producer was weeks away from cancelling their “back-to-school” product launch due to contamination in their signature product. One production line had been shut down because its cartons were consistently contaminated. Leaders felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, now running that line meant missing “back-to-school” demand. On the other, running the line to meet demand risked contamination in a product they market to children.

ACCELERATING A MAJOR GROWTH PROJECT

ACCELERATING A MAJOR GROWTH PROJECT

In any new industrial facility, the time from when the project is first conceived to when it first generates revenue is pivotal to its financial performance. During the construction phase, every day that can be saved means avoiding costly overhead and bringing operating revenue forward in time.

Large maintenance shop reduces engine change out time by over 80%, boosting production and saving capital

Large maintenance shop reduces engine change out time by over 80%, boosting production and saving capital

An open pit mine was growing production, needing more heavy hauling trucks to move payload throughout the mine. Maintenance leaders in the mine were challenged to get more run hours from their existing trucks while incorporating new trucks into their already full maintenance schedule.

EXITING SCOPING STUDY WITH GREAT ECONOMICS AND HIGH CERTAINTY

EXITING SCOPING STUDY WITH GREAT ECONOMICS AND HIGH CERTAINTY

Time was of the essence for a senior miner with a remote operation. After developing over 60 scenario alternatives for extending operations, the most attractive option failed to meet the investment threshold, requiring at least a 35% increase in IRR. With 4 years of initial mine life remaining, the future of the operation was in question despite a significant investment to date, a capable workforce and known developable resources.

New Oil and Gas Facility Recovers Lost Time by Ramping-Up to Full Capacity in Half the Time

New Oil and Gas Facility Recovers Lost Time by Ramping-Up to Full Capacity in Half the Time

Having been completed behind schedule, a new oil and gas facility was under additional pressure to perform. With a planned 18-month period to achieve design production rates, an effort was launched to seek improvements to accelerate this ramp up.

GROWING MANUFACTURER INCREASES OUTPUT

GROWING MANUFACTURER INCREASES OUTPUT

A food and beverage company was excited about projected sales growth for one of their products and knew increased demand would soon outpace their production capabilities. They were planning a multi-million-dollar capital expansion to meet this demand which showed an attractive return. Even with this viable option on the table, leaders were curious whether an alternative existed that could meet their demand needs faster and at lower cost.

CHEMICAL PROCESS OUTPUT INCREASED 80%

CHEMICAL PROCESS OUTPUT INCREASED 80%

Leaders at a bio-refinery were aiming to capitalize on increasing product demand. The trouble was available feed quality was decreasing. Seeing limited opportunity to raise production with lower-quality feedstock, the leadership team was concerned that a rushed, multi-million dollar equipment upgrade may be the only option. They worried that an expensive, time-intensive capital solution would be risky if the emerging market underperformed. They brought in Stroud to help the refinery meet increased demand with their existing asset base while utilizing lower-grade input feed.