A Flow Consulting client was experiencing long lead-times for both ‘make-to-stock’ and ‘make-to-order’ products that exceeded their competitors’ lead-time performance. These issues negatively affected sales performance and growth.
Flow Consulting led the client in forming a cross-functional team that included sales, production, customer service, and planning. The team kicked off a kaizen cycle, preparing with four weeks of exhaustive data collection and analysis. The Vice Presidents of both Sales and Operations provided hands-on sponsorship, providing the team with goals aimed at meeting or exceeding customer expectations and out-performing key competitors.
The cross-functional kaizen team executed a four-day kaizen event and a follow-up day of project planning. The team focused on three specific areas — Order entry / confirmation, Inventory strategy based on demand segmentation, and stream-lined order fulfillment.
The team put in place projects that will result in a reduction of cycle time from current levels ranging from 8 to 19 days today, to just three days in the future on ‘make-to-stock’ products that constitutes 70% of company volume. All of the solutions are set to be put in place within 60 days. Cycle times for ‘make-to-order’ products will be reduced from a range of 15 to 30 days today to no more than 14 days in the future.