LEAN Finisher Creates Gold Plated Cultural Change

We signed up with Polaris MEP to bring about cultural change but the benefits we got were far different. The successes we achieved are a testament to the power of the tool (Lean) and the people who engaged in the process.

Michael Akkaoui, President and CEO

Solution

The company sought a vehicle for making real change and introduced John Gilheeney from Polaris MEP to catalyze the implementation of continuous improvement methods of Lean, including Value Stream Mapping and Flow Analysis. The methodology uses teamwork development to improve cooperation an employee relationships. The model was driven from the top down and has created lasting cultural change.

Polaris MEP’s Lean implementation resulted in streamlined product flow and minimized travel on the shop floor. Tanury was better able to meet schedules as orders moved through each and every department in the facility. Value Stream Mapping exercises resulted in moving chemical processes to more advantageous locations. Ten problem solving teams met weekly to innovate specific areas such as gold conservation, waste reduction, and process chemistry improvements. The Polaris MEP and employee teams brainstormed a system to monitor gold baths in real time. Production schedules are now broadcast throughout the plant to monitor progress and improve communication. Internal and external return rate was reduced to 0.125%. With tangible impacts and long lasting culture improvements, lean implementation is one area Tanury, a leading jewelry-grade finisher, never considers finished.

Impacts

  • Increased sales by 35%

  • Hired 25 new employees and trained workforce

  • Increased throughput by 25-30%

  • Returns decreased to 0.125%

  • Reduced material losses