Improving Production and Purchasing Planning to Drive Operational Efficiency

The Challenge:

JBT saw the need to reduce labor and material costs in the manufacturing facility in Madera. Specifically, JBT had a need to decrease their reliance on overtime and temporary work hours in order to fulfill customer orders on time. Issues were identified in front end areas – information gathering, planning and scheduling – as well as execution on the production floor. Improper planning up front between Engineering and Sales teams negatively impacted the speed of getting orders to production.  In production, excessive machine downtime and little visibility of scheduling and productivity measures limited capacity and increased labor costs.  A project was initiated to improve planning and scheduling of orders and generate significant improvement to production uptime.

The Results:

The project achieved savings goals, providing JBT with a 2.5:1 return on investment.  Production utilization and efficiency both increased over 12%. Overtime and temporary labor costs both decreased over 50%.  Numerous changes were installed in the front end between Engineering and Sales to improve information flow, leading to better planning and scheduling early in the process. The benefits of improved planning and scheduling flowed through to production where improvements were made to better execute and increase machine uptime.

Key Front End changes (Engineering / Purchasing):

  • Redesigned the order quoting and project information gathering process, leading to more timely, accurate information and  increased Engineering productivity.
  • Developed scheduling and project management tools to improve workload management and visibility.
  • Implemented a strategic sourcing process which led to material spend reductions.
  • Significantly decreased the time buyers spent analyzing purchasing quantities and minimized outside-the-system purchasing.

Key changes in Production:

  • Installed tools to enhance scheduling of jobs and improve visibility of capacity/constraints on the production floor.
  • Installed daily work schedules by work center and daily ‘gemba’ walks of production floor to review results / variances.
  • Broke down project standards by task and integrated into system.
  • Reduced machine downtime by pre-staging upcoming projects during machine run sequences, leading to reduced set-up times.
  • Created priority lists with additional tasks for operators to work on during periods of downtime.
  • Reduced downtime during breaks, lunches and shift changes.

The Client Experience:

“Your team has provided tools and training to help us better understand and more actively manage our business.  We greatly appreciated the flexibility your team displayed in customizing your approach to the nuances of our business.  The team assimilated well into our business and developed a great rapport with people in management and on the floor. We greatly appreciate all the hard work your team put into this engagement and firmly believe that it has made us a better business.  You have helped us lay a good foundation for continuous improvement and growth.  We expect to continue building on that foundation into the future as we further embrace the concepts you taught us and expand our efforts.”

GM North America Canning Systems, JBT FoodTech 

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