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Our Client is recognized as one the best manufacturing and welding companies in North America employing over 200 employees. They apply their expertise in manufacturing tools requiring precision and efficiency for oilfield parts including gun drilling, trepanning, anodizing, shot peening, as well as all phases of grinding, manual lathes and mills, manganese and zinc phosphate coatings, anodizing, computer numerical control (CNC) milling and turning. They manufacture based on each of their customer’s specific requests in an industry demanding very high standards of quality for their products.

The company’s production inventory consists of various models of tools for directional drilling, flow measurement and flow control. At this point in their growth, they decided to implement a cultural change to help them make the transition into a continuous improvement oriented organization.


  • Improving the overall plant effectiveness and percent schedule attainment.
  • Maintaining and enhancing customer service levels as the business is growing.
  • Increasing throughput to absorb more volume.
  • Training and on-the-floor performance coaching of the Supervisors and Managers related to their roles and responsibilities focused towards a more proactive management style.
  • Ensuring that product quality standards achieve their customer’s quality expectation of zero defects per 10,000 PPM.
  • Bringing a better work/life balance to all employees.

Assessment Findings

Manufacturing Machine Shop Assessment Findings

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

  • Managers and Supervisors rarely effectively engaged the workforce.
  • There was a lack of expectation setting and appropriate follow-up by the Supervisors on the level of work activity by their employees.
  • Supervisors were walking around the area with little or no interaction with their employees (missed opportunities to supervise).
  • Employees often had to look for their Supervisors when they had questions or problems with work, tooling, equipment or materials.
  • Supervisors did not provide back-up assignments for their employees to improve overall levels of productivity.
  • Supervisors believed that their people knew what to do and did not require a great deal of follow-up or communication.

PVA's Response

  • to reduce set up time by 40%.
  • to better organize the tooling and reduce overall tooling costs.
  • to implement a production schedule and achieve an 85% schedule attainment target.
  • to reduce the cycle time of the front-end processes by 50%.

These teams facilitated the implementation of:

  • a methodology to ensure effective and timely information flow to the productive employees in their work environment.
  • a new programming flow process to better manage the timing of the programs.
  • a reduction of the number of quality issues caused by human errors.
  • an in-process inspection methodology to ensure proper quality of work.
  • a standardized shift transition template between operators so that jobs can run continuously without error.
  • a feedback mechanism for all quality issues to ensure employees are accountable and issues are actioned to prevent them from happening again.

PVA also implemented Management Operating Systems (MOS) that focused on:

  • effectively scheduling the utilization of resources to production requirements.
  • a timely follow-up methodology and reporting of the work attainment.
  • the identification and actioning of daily variances to plan.
  • weekly gap analysis meetings to determine the issues with jobs not hitting the quoted hours to ensure that the work being done was profitable and met customer quality criteria.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Increased levels of proactive supervisory behaviors to 40% by focusing on regular tours and communication with all personnel by the Supervisors.
  • Improvements in throughput of more than 20% across the plant’s operations.
  • Improvements in measurement metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) at each operational level to maintain reductions in overtime, and improved scrap and rework costs while maintaining quality standards and the on-time-delivery indicators.

Increase in Supervisory Activities

Machine Shop Supervisory Activities

4% 1% 32% 18% 45%
40% 8% 13% 30% 9%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Increase in Savings by Type

Machine Shop Savings by Type

Increase in Total Savings

Machine Shop Total 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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We grew from a small machine shop that supplied the Alberta oil patch to one of the largest machine shops in North America with customers worldwide. With increase customer demands in service and quality, we found ourselves struggling to meet them on a consistent basis. We continued to manage the same way that we did when we were a quarter of our size. The program involved everyone from our machinists to the CEO. We are better organized, have better communication, have proper operating measurements, and the Management Operating System is now a way of life at Apollo.

Laurie Willis, CEO - Apollo Machine & Welding / Apollo Laser Clad

Allied Machine and Engineering Corporation was very skeptical when it came to consultants. The PVA initial audit and savings guarantee took away our excuse not to move forward. PVA made a seamless transition into our organization and began helping our managers and supervisors right away. People were hungry to get better and open to input that showed them a better way. PVA provided the management tools that fit our company. Now each person knows whether or not they had a good or bad day. Problems are addressed as they happen and proactive problem solving occurs. We are satisfying more customers and are more efficient as a result.