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Our Client produces more than 7,000 different products for commercial and residential application in the heating, air conditioning, ventilation and building products industry. It has more than 530 employees working in 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space spread in facilities across North America.


  • In order to stay competitive in the North American market, our Client’s main objective was to increase their current productivity levels and to bring down the current labor cost structures, while maintaining their product quality and customer service specifications.
  • Reviewing and correcting standard operating procedures (SOP’s) and routings.
  • Increasing accountability at the supervisory level.
  • Increasing equipment uptime.
  • Getting employees to be more involved and engaged in the process and continuous improvements.

Assessment Findings

Manufacturing Metal Assessment Findings

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

  • Lines and cells were not appropriately balanced between the work activity levels at the different stations and the production volume requirements.
  • There were excessive machine breakdowns due to ineffective maintenance of the equipment.
  • The standards being used had inefficiencies built into them.
  • In Maintenance, work assignment were ineffective due to no time estimates on the work orders.
  • Parts were scrapped in the assembly area because they were not cut to the proper length in the press area.
  • Employees in assembly constantly wandered around their area looking for parts.
  • Even with the levels of non-productive time observed, cell efficiency indicators were still reporting 100%+ based on the standards, supporting the fact that the standards used for planning and scheduling were “loose”.
  • Ineffective work methods resulted in lengthy discussions among cell members.
  • There were no objectives set at any time in our observations by the Supervisors with their employees with regard to the work volumes to be processes and the quality parameters expected.
  • When the Supervisors were on-the-floor they spent the majority of their time watching and waiting for employees to ask them questions.
  • 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 work process mapping techniques for the identification and resolution of operational problems.
  • Trained and coached a Client Task Force to review and enhance all standard operating procedures (SOP’s).
  • Developed and installed the right balance of crewing levels as per production level loads.
  • Enhanced the current Management Operating Systems (MOS) focusing on forecasting, planning, following-up on execution, and reporting.
  • Provided comprehensive in-class training followed by daily individualized one-on-one, on-the-floor performance coaching with all of the Supervisors.
  • Improved the effectiveness of communication and the timeliness of the services provided by the planning and support areas to the production departments.
  • Improved management behaviors by driving proactive management styles across the entire organization.
  • Developed and implemented a timely problem resolution structure which focused on the methodical resolution of identified operational obstacles.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Increased the levels of proactive supervisory behaviors from 4% to 45% by focusing on regular tours and communication with all personnel by the Supervisors.
  • Over 400 improvement opportunities identified through an enhanced problem identification and resolution program.
  • Increased levels of productivity, quality, customer service and delivery performance.
  • Developed and installed communication boards at every work station to increase awareness and ownership by the employees.
  • Improved inter-departmental communication in the form of a Weekly Planning Meeting.
  • Production areas range of productivity improvement of 23% to 32% from historical levels.
  • Maintenance PM hours increased by 18%.
  • Maintenance emergency hours reduced by 24%.

Increase in Supervisory Activities

Manufacturing Metal Supervisory Activities

4% 0% 56% 0% 40%
45% 5% 25% 0% 25%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Increase in Production Value Per Employee Over Time

Manufacturing Metal Average Production Value Per Employee

Increase in Production Value Per Employee

Manufacturing Metal Employee Production Value

Project Savings

Manufacturing Metal Project 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 and implemented with 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.

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After seeing our operational costs increasing year after year, we decided to enlist the help of consultants to address productivity concerns in the plant. We chose PVA because their approach seemed very grassroots to us, and we were right! Their involvement from start to finish and their connections with our front line supervisors and employees ensured the success of the project. We were able to get our operational costs under control rapidly, and with the implementation of a new Management Operating System, we now have the means to make certain that we remain operationally lean.