Steel Structures2

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.

Project Overview
PVA's Response
The Results

Project Overview


  • 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

  • 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

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

Performance Efficiency


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