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Our Client is a fabricator of steel components, specializing in designing construction solutions and fabricating customized products. They design and fabricate steel joists, steel decks, specialty decks, welded wide-flange shapes, metal claddings, joist girders, purlins and girts, building envelopes, structural steel components (roof, doors, and windows), and steel prefabricated building systems.


  • Improving throughput by 25-30% and reducing operating costs.
  • Developing and implementing Management Operating Systems across all functional areas, including engineering and planning.
  • Training and on-the-floor performance coaching of Managers and Supervisors to continually improve their processes.
  • Improving productivity across all functional areas.
  • Improving the coordination and communication between management and employees, and between different areas (engineering, planning, production and QA).
  • Providing better and more timely measurement metrics to identify and resolve opportunities.
  • Improving overall quality and reducing rework in production.

Assessment Findings

Steel Fabrication Assessment Findings

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

Assessment Findings

Steel Fabrication Assessment Findings 2

  • Excessive rework in production due to the quality of welds that had porosity due to incorrect welding techniques by the welders.
  • Work documents and procedures on-the-shop-floor not well developed based on end-use customer requirements generating high levels of rejected work by QA.
  • Fitters and welders asking other employees how to do their work and looking for direction.
  • Inadequate flow of information coming from the drafting area resulted in employees working on pieces by experience because they have no drawings to refer to.
  • Job estimates were based on historical data and had opportunity (lost time) built into them, yet they continued to be used for planning as well as pricing purposes.
  • Feedback supplied from production with regard to the actual hours earned on current projects was not structured or linked to planning.
  • Estimates were not always adjusted to reflect any added revisions made through the duration of the project.
  • Kick-off meetings did not take place on a consistent basis causing misunderstandings with regard to requirements definition later in all parts of the process.
  • In general, Supervisors did not communicate or follow-up on any expectations or objectives with regard to how long a task should take or how much volume should be completed within a given period of time.
  • When the Supervisors were on-the-floor, they were “touring” their areas rather than being proactive with their people.

PVA's Response

  • Designed and installed customized Management Operating Systems (MOS) across all areas to identify off-schedule conditions and develop appropriate corrective action plans.
  • Provided training and on-the-job performance coaching with the Supervisors and Managers.
  • Improved communication and follow-up of the daily planning and production processes.
  • Developed and implemented an employee skills program to increase the quality of work in the welding operations.
  • Fine-tuned and standardized the front end processes (sales, engineering, drafting, planning) to improve information flow, accuracy, and timeliness.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Improved planning was realized through optimizing floor capacity and labor requirements based on product specifications.
  • Improvements in hours per ton for all estimated projects.
  • Improvements in the quality and the flow of work between Engineering and Production.
  • Increased the level of proactive supervisory behaviors from 0% to 40% by focusing on regular follow-up tours and communication with all personnel by the Supervisors.
  • Improved the levels of throughput by more than 30% on average across all the areas.
  • Improved the use of measurement and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) at each operational level and integrated them within and across all of the functional areas.

Supervisory Activities

Steel Fabrication Supervisory Activities

0% 0% 50% 10% 40%
40% 10% 25% 0% 25%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Performance Efficiency

Steel Fabrication Efficiency of Hours Charged to Projects

Long Term Work Continuation

  • Client Coordinators were trained and certified during the PVA engagement in each Plant.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System has been developed for the Coordinators.
  • 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.

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PVA representatives have adapted very well to the Tarpon culture and have made strides to improve some of the components of the culture that were not in line with the ultimate goal of improving productivity. The best part of the project is the introduction of a culture of accountability. The tools that PVA helped implement have provided managers with the ability to gain visibility into the efficiency of the operation while at the same time making employees and managers accountable for the targets and goals agreed upon.

Jean-François Gratton, General Manager, Tarpon Energy Services

The PVA team has been a business partner since day one, ensuring the involvement of the Plant Management Team. They have worked to develop a positive working relationship at each of our facilities and varied the approach as needed to adjust to the culture at individual sites. The delivery of improvement tools and the reinforcement of needed behaviors have paid off in dollars and the sustaining behavior needed for “continuous improvement”.

James W. Peacock, VP, Manufacturing & Logistics - WhiteWave Foods Company

When we asked PVA, over 10 years ago, to come and help us implement Management Operating Systems that would enable us to enhance our efficiency and profitability, it was one of the best decision we made, and the results were what we’d hope they would be. That is why we have decided in 2010 to contact PVA again, to invite them to look into our processes and our current systems, to see how they could be adapted to our new reality.

Robin Lapointe, VP, Structal Bridges

My first experience with PVA was at the Canam plant in Mexico. After an extensive analysis of the situation, they came up with a challenging project to improve our efficiency by 100%. Our management team was willing to meet this challenge, but did not have the skills to bring the project to success. PVA brought their expertise to teach and train our management group and to put in place a management system to monitor our performance and bring it to a new level of efficiency.