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“We communicated expectations to our vendors, providing them with targets that would allow us to meet our customers’ delivery and quality expectations,” he says. “That evolved into synchronizing the disparate elements of the value stream and conveying to our vendors the expectations of the end user, in real time.”

Even with that level of buy-in, internal buy-in can be the most challenging component of any business-process evolution.

“It is difficult for people to embrace change,” says Adams. “But fortunately we had a close-knit group of managers and employees willing and capable of embracing our vision. Without a complete commitment from all of the stakeholders, the process would not have worked. We are very lean and have very technologically competent people here. Overall, we recognized that the only way to insure the success of our business was to perfect our performance. With so many variable elements of volatility in the value stream, synchronization seemed to be the only answer. With the system in place we can concentrate on leveraging value instead of performing mundane, day-to-day tasks.”

To date, the system has reduced part costs, assured on-time supply, optimized material yields and enhanced quality performance, according to Adams, while waste, in the form of non-value-added activities, has been eliminated.

“At the end of the day we are a metal fabricator and produce a tangible product,” concludes Adams. “But we focus our attention on interpreting and deploying the information necessary to do our job right. Industry as a whole is beginning to understand the fundamental nature of electronic collaboration and the impact it has on agility and performance. We feel fortunate to have gotten there a little sooner than most, but our industry is beginning to recognize that there is a better way to conduct our business, and there does seem to be increased awareness. More and more companies are recognizing the big-data movement.” MF

Industry-Related Terms: Turret, Powder Coating, Stainless Steel, LASER, Plate, CNC, Form, Forming
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Laser Precision

Technologies: Bending, CNC Punching, Cutting


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