SOS has worked with a variety of manufactures from different industries to create and execute innovative solutions that achieve long-term results. Several examples are included below:
Manufacturer of automotive performance enhancing and maintenance products. The blending and packaging operations were plagued by quality events resulting in scrap, rework, missed schedules, low productivity and high cost. Firefighting and conflict led to inefficient use of resources and diminished plant capacity. SOS performed a strategic assessment of the organization’s quality system. While the organization had a dedicated and loyal workforce, vision, strategy, quality expectations and roles were not aligned. Twelve opportunities for improvement were identified, prioritized, and sequenced in three timeframes.. SOS then facilitated the execution of the immediate opportunities using learning cycles of Learn-Plan-Commit-Do-Report-Reflect with a small task team. The work resulted in the organization receiving multiple ISO registrations and facilitated the smooth start-up of a new blending facility.
North American communications provider. The print businesses embarked on an effort to improve cash flows by re-engineering and automating its business planning, financial and customer service operations with the goal to standardize these business processes across different print platforms and customers prior to installation of a new ERP system, Working with a team of business process personnel, SOS developed and documented a a common roadmap and tool kit to understand, streamline, map and standardize each process, train peers on the standard process, and run pilots manually before launch of the new system. Launch of the new ERP system proceeded smoothly with no interruption in daily operations or need for additional resources.
Global food and beverage manufacturer. Experiencing waste, long cycle times, low productivity and high costs throughout its manufacturing operations, the organization chose to implement Six Sigma for breakthrough improvements. SOS co-led the development and delivery of Green Belt training, coaching 75 Green Belts to certification for over $2 million in savings.
North American communications provider. The print businesses sought an approach to embed continuous improvement into daily work practices in a way that created standard work and took advantage of real-time process performance data. Working closely with a corporate task team, SOS helped create a process variability reduction (PVR) methodology that standardized print and binding operations and removed sources of variation within the control of the operational work teams. The methodology created a foundation for Six Sigma breakthrough projects. Over the course of four years the print operations saw 4-10% sustained increase in throughput, an average $57k/year/press and $73k/year/ binding line in labor savings alone; savings in ink and paper, and an additional $5.6million in Six Sigma Black Belt savings were also achieved. Operations teams owned daily process improvement and were more inclined to sustain the improvements over time. Capital expenditures for the improvements were minimal. Conformance to schedule improved with the reduction in variability and as a result customer service was able to commit to new work within a specified time period with more confidence. In addition, operations team members and leadership experienced less stress in their daily lives.
Additional Examples from Our Diverse Work Experience
State-funded research university. State-funded research university. The Grants and Contracts department of a large state-funded research university applied SOS’s Daily Process Improvement (DPI) methodology to their billing processes. Sources of variation in the process were identified, billing processes simplified and standardized, metrics introduced, and personnel trained in the new process. The need to perform manual billing was reduced by 13% and the time to create manual bills was reduced by approximately 25%, allowing the university to recover thousands of awarded funds from federal agencies and research foundations.
“We brought Susan in to evaluate our chemical manufacturing and packaging processes several years ago. Susan identified many areas where we were susceptible to issues due to inaccurate fill weights, poor QC reporting and the need for a robust Corrective and Preventive Action process.
With Susan’s experience and guidance, she helped provide the foundation of a top notch quality management system that resulted in our organization acquiring multiple ISO certifications. She was instrumental in getting our processes under control and educating the team of the strategic importance of “Quality” and what it means in a broader sense.
I would highly recommend Susan as a high caliber analyst and strategist for any company that needs assistance with their management systems.
- Darin Greseth President, BG Products, Inc.