How Our Suggestion System is Making a Difference
An employee suggestion system helping to achieve improved performance results
Presentation Code: VS4-02
Value Stream: VS4 - Passion
Day & Time: Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011 - 10:30 AM
Length: 1 hour, 10 minutes
The Plymouth Tube Company has put the common suggestion box to a unique use. It has turned it into a system for engaging team members, teaching them how to solve problems and improving plant performance. While the suggestion system was not an instant success, by 2010 the company's team members implemented over 2,000 suggestions and saved the company more than $600,000. Not bad for a suggestion system.
Team members receive chips worth $10.00 for each implemented improvement. But it's not really about the money. It is mostly about improvement, both for the company and the employees. That is the real value of Plymouth Tube Suggestion System - and it is one you will hear about during this presentation.
In this presentation:
- Learn about the Plymouth Tube Company's Suggestion System.
- Hear what makes it different from most company suggestion systems.
- Learn how Plymouth Tube overcame the initial hurdles in implementing its suggestion system.
- Find out about the benefits of the Plymouth Tube Company Suggestion System.
- Hear how you can put this suggestion system to work at your business.
Plymouth Tube Company
Started in 1924, Plymouth Tube Company is a privately-owned (Van Pelt family) company, with 10 small focused manufacturing plants, each having varying capabilities serving different markets. A couple of the most notable applications of Plymouth Tube were in Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and Henry Ford's Model T. Plymouth's philosophy of a decentralized management allows the local management team a level of autonomy that is unique, providing the local management team with a lot of discretion and decision making to chart their own course.
The West Monroe, LA plant began operations in 1975 on a 20-acre site in a new 166,000 sq. ft. building with focus on utility feed-water and heat transfer markets producing stainless steel tubes. West Monroe is non-union and employs approximately 95 people. The West Monroe plant began its Lean journey in 2000 starting with 5S. The plant has adopted a model of Manufacturing Excellence.
At West Monroe people are truly the most important assets; they are the process experts, have the ability to think and are creative. They are cross trained in all jobs, trained in problem solving and kaizen and are engaged in daily improvements that helps to improve West Monroe's performance.
In 2010, Plymouth received the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.
Rick Feller, Corporate Manager of Manufacturing Excellence
Rick Feller is the Manager of Manufacturing Excellence for Plymouth Tube Company. Rick has been in engineering and manufacturing operations management for over 35 years and actively involved in Lean implementations since 1984. Rick has trained hundreds of people in the principles and tools of Lean and has led Lean transformations at several companies.
Rick’s Lean training began with quality circles, and he later received training from Dr. Shigeo Shingo, Shingijitsu Consulting Co., Toyota Motor Manufacturing Company. Rick is considered an expert in SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die), and is certified as a “train the trainer” by the TWI institute, providing training in job instruction, job safety, job relations and problem solving.
Rick has presented at productivity conferences and worked with AME and SME to produce a SMED training video.
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