This expensive, time-intensive capital solution would be extremely risky in the emerging market. In a last effort to increase production before committing to the new capital, the company called in Stroud to help.
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.
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 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.
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.
A large open-pit mining operation needed to reduce costs, but a competitive benchmarking study had shown they were already the best among their peers in overall performance. Rather than being satisfied with this, the mine team knew their current performance was still not enough to meet their organization's expectations. They called in Stroud to help them go beyond the benchmark.
An upstream oil & gas facility was struggling to reach its design production capacity. After years of grappling with technical problems and maintenance issues, some in the management team felt that the plant was “lucky” to be operating where it was. Plans for a series of capital projects to increase capacity had become the main focus. However, with multi year timelines required to execute these projects, the company stood to defer nearly a billion dollars in revenue and was running out of options.
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?”
A rapidly expanding food processing company implemented an enterprise resource planning system that left the leadership effectively blind to key metrics and processes such as inventory levels, production planning, scheduling, raw material needs, waste levels, and line performance.
In order to improve yield within a manufacturing facility, one must first create the belief that there is more opportunity to realize. In this case study we show two different ways we created this belief in organizations that needed to realize significant opportunity.
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.
An oil sands mine operator was looking for its next game-changing improvement following a series of debottlenecking and optimization investments. Company leadership believed opportunity must exist in their current asset, but were struggling to highlight it given all of the improvement they’d achieved.
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.
A leading chemicals manufacturer had successfully driven their operating cost to best-in-class levels within the stringent quality regulations of their product. Continuing cost pressure left plant leadership uncertain how their facility would further reduce cost beyond industry benchmark levels while maintaining quality. The team partnered with Stroud to find and deliver bottom-line improvements while improving overall product quality.
One of the world’s largest confectionery companies wanted to radically improve their supply chain performance in parallel with a global restructuring effort. The company faced immediate cost pressure from increased commodity prices, making near-term cost savings a necessity for their reorganization.
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.
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.
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.
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.