Improving Visibility and Predictability to Decrease Cycle Times

The Challenge:

In its quest to expand production and develop new products, New Flyer requested Carpedia’s assistance to expand its capabilities in terms of its management operating systems, shorten the overall manufacturing cycle time thereby reducing work in process inventory and increase the effective utilization of its labor and infrastructure assets. Specifically the analysis identified an opportunity across the three production facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Crookston and St Cloud, Minnesota.

  • The project focused on ensuring that parts were delivered to the line on time in order for buses to be built in station at improved standard build times and delivered on time. A management system had to be developed that monitored the key performance indicators across the three plants.
  • The project was completed over a thirteen month period and included work in sales, engineering, product data management (PDM), purchasing, inventory management, and production at all three facilities.

The Results:

  • Annualized financial results are generating a return of over six times the cost of the initiative.
  • Decreased WIP by 62% over the course of the project as a result of the installation of process changes.
  • Established time fence management controls and accountabilities in the front end departments which increased productivity in the Engineering area by 62% and advanced the completion timeframe of the preproduction planning process from 0 to 12 weeks prior to production line entry.
  • Developed scheduling tools that increased the efficiency of constraint machines within the production support areas. These improvements led to productivity improvements of 10-40% across all support areas.
  • Developed a Material Management System (MMS) which stimulated proactive reduction of shortages to the line, increasing the average build in station by 5-10% while increasing the consistency by 20-40% across all three facilities.
  • Developed a management system that provides managers and supervisors clear visibility in schedule attainment and productivity. Attainment and productivity targets are set for every area and linked to the profit drivers, enabling supervisors to monitor production performance at the mid point and end of every shift. Variances to plan are eliminated by creating specific recovery plans with the front line management during daily results review meetings. Accountability for results is driven from the President down to the operations managers, production managers and ultimately to the floor supervisors.
  • Developed comprehensive process compression analyses for the entire production line process that identified an additional $14M of opportunity. These savings will be realized as crewing is adjusted and volumes move to forecast levels.

The Client Experience:

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the excellent work done by the New Flyer Carpedia team. They began to immediately add value by immersing themselves in our organization. This enabled them to quickly understand a very complex multi site situation and the issues that the organization faced in all aspects of our business from sales to engineering and supply chain management right through to execution on the production floor. “

Executive Vice President, New Flyer Industries

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