Consumer Products1

Our Client is a manufacturer of personal lighters as well as other diverse product lines including a variety of pocket knives, key holders, money clips, writing instruments and tape measures.  The Client has produced over 500 million lighters since its founding with distribution around the world.  Except for improvements in the flint wheel and modifications in case finishes, the original design remains virtually unchanged today, resulting in this Client becoming an iconic brand known world wide.

Project Overview
PVA's Response
The Results

Project Overview

Objectives

  • Establish a cost structure representative of their production requirements
  • Matching and balancing the correct level of resources (labor, material, equipment,  and overheads) to the required volumes of work
  • Maintaining a sense of belonging and contribution within their local community
  • Training and on-the-floor performance coaching of the Supervisors and Managers related to their roles and responsibilities that focused on a more proactive management style
  • Implementing Management Operating Systems (MOS) across all areas within their organization

Assessment Findings

  • Problems with die designs or dies being too worn out
  • Problems with the parts, rivets and wicks in assembly
  • Missing parts due to inadequate inventory control systems and compliance to min/max procedures
  • Lack of flexibility of the employees and ineffective skills training programs
  • No clear guidelines set with employees when judging the quality of their production
  • Last minute order changes created downtime issues as purchasing was not able to procure the materials and parts on time
  • Employees could regularly outpace the current standards in all production and support areas
  • Ineffective interaction with the workforce by the Supervisors other than when touring the floor or when workers needed to find them for a problem or to ask a question
  • Ineffective work assignment procedures and employees had no back-up work assignments when they have completed their main tasks
  • Supervisors generally let the level of work activity follow its course, leaving it to the employees to manage the process themselves

PVA's Response

  • Developed and implemented comprehensive Management Operating Systems (MOS) across all functional areas within the organization that focused on communicating effective plans and the timely measurement of actual results (quality, cost, schedule attainment, customer satisfaction and safety) to that plan
  • Established and implemented inventory measures which highlighted core and non-core products into a Tier Structure
  • Fine-tuned SKU analysis based on prioritization of volumes and high-low turnover products
  • Optimized planning and scheduling activities to properly allocate resources in all of the functional areas to the volume of work required to be completed utilizing revised work activity standards
  • Implemented new costing structures matched to realistic sales requirements across the organization

The Results

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Increased levels of proactive supervisory behaviors from 2% to 45% by focusing on regular tours and communication with all personnel by the Supervisors
  • Increased flexibility and skill levels in the workforce
  • Increased levels of productivity across the organization resulting in improved cost structures in the business
  • Decreased production rejects and scrap and increased throughput volumes
  • Employee communication, involvement and morale has also improved, resulting in a manufacturing organization that is able to respond in a proactive and timely manner to changes in business requirements, while maintaining the quality product that this Client is known for

Increase in Supervisory Activities

Increase in Standard Hours / Worked Hours Ratio

Increase in Savings

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed for the Coordinator
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations

Client Testimonials

‘‘If we wouldn’t have engaged PVA we most likely wouldn’t be talking about it today."

 

Manufacturing - Consumer Products

Greg Booth, President and CEO - Zippo

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‘‘If we wouldn’t have engaged PVA we most likely wouldn’t be talking about it today."

 

Manufacturing - Consumer Products

Greg Booth, President and CEO - Zippo

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