Success Story: Huebsch

HUEBSCH

Profile

Location: Eau Claire, WI
No. of Employees: 60 full-time

Products: Rent and lease uniforms, matting, and towel services

NWMOC Projects: Cellular Plant Layout with Flow Seminars

Situation

HUEBSCH was founded over 101 years ago to provide laundry services and has since diversified into renting and leasing customized uniforms and mats along with towels for restroom facilities. Having three different facilities was proving to be a logistical nightmare with the scheduling of semi's and daily runs between buildings along with a problem of working in an old, multi-level facility with no opportunity to modernize. Wanting to bring everything and everybody back into one building to cut expenses and to function off one boiler, HUEBSCH decided to combine their two Eau Claire facilities into one new building. With an idea of modernizing the laundry facility by utilizing manufacturing cells with smaller batches of clothing flowing through to small washing machines, Jim Vaudreuil of HUEBSCH met with representatives of NWMOC for assistance in cellular plant layout and flow training.

Project

NWMOC staff members met with Jim Vaudreuil and other representatives from HUEBSCH and discussed a cellular plant layout utilizing small batches of clothing and wash machines. As the whole laundry industry in the United State is currently going large batch automated, the opportunity to be part of a concept which has never been tried in a commercial laundry facility in America before was a challenge and very appealing to members of the NWMOC staff. After discussing the logistics of how many washing machines, what size they should be, where the mending cell would be located, and how smaller batches of clothing would flow through the plant, NWMOC staff worked out tact times of each of the processes and delivered to HUEBSCH a general blueprint to work from along with a flow chart.  Once the plant was built, NWMOC staff assisted by providing training to HUEBSCH employees to help them understand the concepts and terminology of Flow.  This unique concept of going to smaller batches of clothing with lower capacity wash machines has resulted in improved worker efficiency with fewer errors, improved materials flow, a decrease in operating expenses, and more customer satisfaction.

Results

  • 2 day process reduced by 50%
  • Reduced loading time 1.5 hours per truck per day
  • Increased from 71 to 83 pieces per hour
  • Reduced number of processing steps
  • Increased value added activity

Cellular Plant Layout

Huebsch

HUEBSCH

NWMOC made this whole concept a reality for us. We really didn't know if this was going to work for us or not but NWMOC gave us the confidence to go ahead and make this happen.

~ Mary Steinke, Operations Manager