“With expert instruction from the folks at Polaris MEP and our focus centered on our mission and values, Neocorp has begun its continuous improvement journey. The Neocorp team has already seen benefits to our bottom line and our workforce. The highest costs associated with Lean are only those of ego and old habits.”
Chet Sutphen , President
Neocorp reviewed its situation with members of Polaris MEP (formerly RIMES). An assessment was conducted yielding a score card that showed areas we could improve in. Taking advantage of the nominal costs associated with Lean training programs and the potential value of applying those tools to our operation made the decision easy. We began with Lean 101 which gave us some concepts, definitions and fostered a focused team continuous improvement effort. That training was followed by Value Stream Mapping. Once our group became comfortable with Value Stream Mapping, we applied the tool to a popular Neocorp item, starting at production receipt of order all the way through to shipping. We determined that we did not need to produce and hold as much product as we did in work in process and sub-assembly.
The ripple effect of this realization on inventory, cash flow and set-ups was clearly and immediately evident. Applicability of these same analysis tools are, and will continue to be, applied to other products and process to determine where time, effort and energy is being squandered. We have now begun 5S training for both shifts of our manufacturing employees. While we are still in our 5S infancy, we have already received value extensions upon our value stream mappingtraining. Our recent Lean initiative has provided Neocorp with an enhanced formal platform of view points and measurements from which we have positively impacted our efficiencies, value propositions and corporate values. The additional benefits of team building and functional area integration were realized after just two days.
Thus far we have reduced our inventory costs by 10% and space required by over 15%. We have “freed up” production personnel time thereby increasing capacity cumulatively by approximately 4 hours per week. We have not encroached upon our value propositions to our customers nor corporate values. We fully expect to continue 5S implementation and to apply value stream mapping to additional areas within Neocorp as we proceed forward.