Increase Throughput

Metal / Plastics Manufacturer


Sheet metal and plastic molding manufacturing

  • Needed throughput increase
  • Quality suffering
  • Customers threatening to leave

A sheet metal and plastic injection molding manufacturer was missing customer delivery dates and could not keep up with demand. Elongated lead times and defects were testing customer loyalty. They needed stabilization fast or would lose their customer base. Lines were consistently waiting on material and the wide range of builds completed (100 to 225 per week) was not cutting it. Morale suffered with the stress and this was coupled with dissatisfied customers. The second shift focused on cleaning / counting parts and was not able to build sub-assemblies.

The company engaged The ProAction Group to determine the current state of supply availability and drive the internal schedule and external sourcing plan to ensure consistent material flow.

Actions Taken

  • Developed processes
  • Visual aids for material flow
  • “Available to Build” modeling

The ProAction Group worked with the client to develop processes, standard work and tools to manage material flow. Process improvements allowed the second shift to re-focus their efforts on production (rather than sorting / cleaning) and to complete inspections in-line as part of each operation. Visuals around the assembly lines were utilized so employees could see when lines were “open to build” and material was delivered on-time.

Schedule attainment was focused on a weekly basis and then by shift and by day. The use of an “Available to Build” model allowed the client to manage fabricated and sub assembly parts more efficiently.

Implementation Impact

  • 300%+ increase in throughput
  • Builds increased from 100 to 360 per week
  • Defects decreased over 50%
  • On-time delivery issues were addressed
  • Inspection 5 days to 2.5 days

In less than 2 months, we increased throughput by over 300% and eliminated the backlog, correcting on time delivery and slashing quality defects by 50%.

As part of addressing throughput, the process improvements also led to the following:

  • Reduced the time require to inspect finished good from 5 days to 2.5 days
  • Second shift’s main job was cleaning and counting parts but the process improvements and rearrangement of the assembly lines freed up time so they could now also build sub-assemblies
  • Morale on the shop floor increased

About The ProAction Group

The ProAction Group helps private equity firms increase investment returns by providing variable operating resources. Pre-acquisition, we quantify risks and opportunities, helping clients refine valuations, avoid bad deals, and prepare post-deal value creation plans. For portfolio companies, we work with management to identify and implement high-impact revenue growth and profit improvement initiatives. We focus on four sectors: consumer products, manufacturing, distribution, and business services. We have experts in marketing, sales, manufacturing, supply chain, and human capital development. We were founded in 1995 and are headquartered in Chicago.

For Further Information

Timothy Van Mieghem 312.371.8323

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