Location: Superior, WI
Headquarters: Paladin, Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA
Years in Business: 12
No. of Employees: 100
Products: Attachments for the demolition, scrap processing and reconstruction industries
NWMOC Projects: Lean 101, Value Stream Mapping, 5S Implementation, Cellular Flow
Genesis Equipment in Superior, Wisconsin, employs 100 people in the design and manufacture of attachments for the demolition, scrap processing and reconstruction industries. They work closely with customers to design and tailor-make attachment products that maximize productivity and performance. Customer service is a high priority, but the company was struggling with throughput. Unacceptable lead times meant they could not give their customers a firm delivery date. Contributing factors included a facility layout that inhibited process flow, and over production in certain areas which caused excess inventory on the shop floor. The company contacted NWMOC with specific goals in mind: Reduce lead time; focus on supplier development; implement lean strategies throughout the entire company.
After an operations assessment, NWMOC project advisors provided an upfront value stream mapping event to identify the company's current state and establish project objectives. Working with company teams, the project applied cellular flow strategies to the layout. A 5S event and implementation of standardized work improved productivity throughout the shop. The teams broke out the work content into sections and divided the work according to task times. It initially took 18 days to get a tool out the door. Now, with 15 hours work per station, a tool comes out the door every 11 days. The changes also reduced cycle time from 300 hours to 176 hours.
The parent corporation was more than pleased with these turnarounds. Genesis is now leading the corporate lean initiative, sharing their experience with multiple manufacturing facilities throughout the country. Jim Campbell, Manufacturing Manager at Genesis, summed up the significance of the effort: Lean specifically points out the inefficiencies in a process. It provides the tools necessary to efficiently handle the fluctuation in customer demand, which are critical to a cyclical business like ours. The results at Genesis speak for themselves. Lead times and cycle times were reduced, profits and cash flow were increased, and Genesis and its parent company are gaining the customer satisfaction levels and increased production capacity necessary to capture a bigger share of the market.