Success Through Trainng
Success within a struggling economy
Tremco realizes major gains during struggling economy
Waterloo - Amidst one of our nation’s most turbulent economies, and within a highly competitive industry lies an organization that made an extremely profitable decision when the Canadian economy started faltering in the fall of 2008. While many businesses were looking for ways to stay afloat by obtaining government bailout packages, massive layoffs and downsizing, others were looking to expand and take full advantage of future down time. Tremco was one of the organizations that undertook the latter option.
Tremco, a trusted supplier since 1928, has seen many recessions over the decades. And instead of following the inclination of calling out for a bailout package they decided to get through this recession by achieving; production improvements, eliminating waste and ultimately pulling through with gains. As a leader in weatherproofing solutions, Tremco decided to continue their training initiative that had begun in late 2007.
According to Jim Winn, Vice President of Quality and Business Excellence for Tremco, “This decision had a Return on Investment (ROI) of over $4 returned on each $1 invested”. Winn credits the incredible ROI to the Lean and Change Management training.
Having brought in a highly qualified Lean Specialist from WATMEC - one of Canada’s most experienced training firms over 100 employees completed training in an interactive classroom environment on the intricate principles of Lean Manufacturing. The training was delivered onsite and followed accelerated learning principles allowing for not only high learner success but also quick transfer back to the workplace. Examples of what the Facilitator covered include; Customer focus, Leadership, Lean organization, Lean production and Morale.
Following this investment in their employees Tremco took the opportunity to track the outcome of this learning initiative - the progress has been remarkable. According to Winn, “85% of employees are now engaged and actively involved in the Lean Management process”. This is huge when you consider the impact that implementing these principles has on an organization. According to management, “employees are beginning to see the way they work as part of the solution.” This is an aspect within implementing Lean that many organizations overlook in turn never realizing their full potential.
The final outcome?
This initiative added 9 jobs
Production increased from 450 to 977 cases of sealant per day
Reduction of work in process resulted in a cash flow impact of $300,000!
Changeover scrap reduction over $75,000
So how did Tremco do it?
With their bottom line in mind, upper management developed a whole new operations manual incorporating and supporting process changes which included regular improvement meetings and visuals of Lean Manufacturing actually working within their organization. A short 7 months later - according to our Tremco Operators, “Lean has made their jobs easier because they consistently have the tools they need and don’t waste any time running around looking for tools”. Team leaders are also impressed because of how smoothly operations are running in conjunction with a large decrease in scrap material and headaches. One supervisor stated how, “Lean has helped clarify priorities and communication between team leaders, supervisors and managers” therefore allowing for an increase in business consistency, quality and productivity.
Tremco has successfully increased their global competitiveness with emerging producers in both India and China; they accelerated their performance improvement and now drive for excellence. They instilled an attitude that challenges each worker, “to have everybody improve every process every day”. They took a seemingly downward situation and turned it into a season of improving process, output efficiency and effectiveness.
Jim Winn concludes that the training initiative was one of the most positive things we could do to counter this recessionary time.