Case Studies

Our client Case Studies highlight our achievements better than we could tell you ourselves! Click on each tab to read our Success Stories at length.

MRO Case Study

Client Challenge:

A jet aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility located in southeast Florida had developed a reputation of delivering poor quality and not meeting customer delivery dates. Consequently, the volume of business dropped, and margins had eroded. The MRO facility retained a smaller segment their conversion business, but the maintenance and repair side of the business was effectively eradicated.

A two-week Assessment was performed in May of 2017 with the following findings;

  • The “Operational Management System” had significant GAPS that greatly impacted the organizations ability to control schedule, costs and quality.
    • Over fifty percent (50%) of work content was performed on un-manageable “Task Cards”, in excess of 80 hours.
    • No Planning / Scheduling process existed.
    • No understanding of Capacity requirements or availability.
    • Estimated Hours (budget) constantly being revised eroding margin.
    • No QUALITY performance metrics.

 

  • The “Organizational Structure” was not aligned for accountability. Roles and Responsibilities were unclear and front-line supervision was entrusted to functional leads.
  • Culture – firefighting was the norm due to ineffective planning, personnel was not engaged, people would come and go as they pleased, no accountability, job of convenience than being dedicated.

Solutions:

An Improvement “Road map” consisting three (3) workstreams was developed to address the issues confronting the organization. Organizational Development (including the Culture), Planning & Scheduling and Shop Floor Management (including Quality) covering a 26-week period.

The Organizational Workstream revised the organizational structure with clearly defined Roles, Responsibilities & Accountabilities. Developed with each level of the organization a “Cadence” aligning their behaviors with their accountabilities, then coached and mentored the transition. In addition, the organization was aligned on specific Corporate Goals with specific Strategies for accomplishment.

The Planning & Scheduling workstream facilitated the revision of “Task Cards” into manageable work steps of less than 40 hours, created “Standard Task Cards” to eliminate redundant activities, and segregated the tasks by craft and section of the aircraft to enable effective scheduling. Planners were aligned with the Project Managers to maintain the project schedule, reviewing it weekly with the Director of Operations, revising it and then generating “Daily Shift Schedules”.

Shop Floor Management Workstream addressed floor short interval management through solid work assignments and follow-up. Applied 6S to the shop floor to eliminate the hours of wasted labor collecting materials and tooling at the start of each shift. Developed and installed First Pass Quality Metrics. Implemented a partnership culture between Quality Inspectors and Operations. Deployed Shop Floor Metrics (SQDCP). Coached and Mentored Operations Management & Supervision in alignment with their respective Cadences.

Sustainable Results and Benefits:

Representative bottom line accomplishments include:

  • Culture – front-line personnel are accountable, dedicated, educated, take ownership, prepared, and are coaches rather than victims.
  • An organizational structure with clearly defined roles and accountabilities
  • Daily / Weekly cadences for front line and departmental management.
  • Enhanced planning and scheduling process to ensure accurate bid estimates, manageable tasks, sequential work scheduling, and effective shop floor management.
  • Transitioned the shop floor from a reactive to proactive environment.
  • Improved labor performance by 34.5%
  • Reduced overtime by 27%
  • First Pass Quality of 97.5% +
  • Annualized savings of $4,750,000.00

OEM Client Challenges (2016):

A leading high-tech design, development, sales and manufacturing OEM Company in the Aviation Seats Industry was lacking the fundamental principles and practices of today’s modern business strategies. This was due to the acquisition follow-on effort that lacked core activities to assimilate and establish new robust initiatives. Consequently, the business struggled to address increased volume demands causing both operational and economic distresses.

Solutions:

The IPCES Team was hired (Interim CEO and full complement of functional Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)) to establish a solid and sustainable foundation for the Company in every department.

Each ICPES SME performed a “Due-diligence Gap Analysis” to determine the appropriate approaches and priorities that determined immediate, intermediate, and long term actions based on Corporate objectives. A detailed “Road Map” was then agreed upon with all Company Leaders to receive “Buy-in” and “Accountability” by all. Additionally, a portion of the “Road Map’ contained the most important aspect that will allow the Company to sustain the changes that will be made for the long-term – “Culture Change Initiatives”.

Upon completion of the agreed upon Road Map initiatives, a robust detailed schedule – accountable Gant chart, for each department was established that covered a 12 month period of performance. This Gant drove the business operational and economic recovery. It changed the way of doing business in an effective and efficient manner. Immediate changes were made for all the “low hanging fruit” items while establishing shorter term activities.

Sustainable Results and Benefits:

Representative bottom line accomplishments include but are not limited to the following:

  • Established “Foundational Principles and Processes” for entire Company in every department
  • Right-sized workforce by 50%
  • Initiated a “Core Culture Change” for sustainability
  • Quality:
    • Reduced “Defects per Unit (DPU)” 75% on key programs.
    • Successfully passed Annual and Adhoc AS/ISO/Customer audits with all “minor findings” and only one “major finding” which was remedied immediately
  • Implemented Continuous Improvement throughout the Company utilizing Kaizen, Lean Enterprise, and Business Process
    • Reduced delivery overdues of one OEM Aircraft manufacturer to “ZERO” and another OEM Aircraft manufacturer to “5%”.
    • 124% Improvement on time delivery in FY16 from 36.8% to 82.5%
    • Established Aftermarket Group
      • Reduced past due backlog 85%
      • Met 90% of all Customer Earn Back requirements
      • Established “work order aging” and “adherence to MPS – Master Planning Schedule” metrics which supported the reduction of past due backlog
    • Revamped an ineffective ERP/MRPII system to establish a system that can track, monitor, and measure flow of work on shop floor and have tie-in to supplier base.
      • Reduced Overdue Work orders by 70%, substantially reduced number of late work orders by 65%, metrics established to determine kit readiness, part shortages and reporting, on-time work order opening/closing.
    • Supply Chain, Procurement, Materials
      • Implementation of Best Practice Warehouse Management principles and Cycle Counting improved inventory accuracy to 98% from 30%.
      • Past Due parts reduced from 54% to 12%
    • Environmental Health and Safety Department training program was established, audit programs with Root Cause Corrective Action (RCCA) instituted, and monthly awards for solid metrics
      • TRIR and LTIR reduced 48% on average
      • 55% reduction on Workman’s Comp dollars
      • 30% reduction on waste disposal
    • Industrialized new design practices and principles to streamline program kickoff to delivery cutting cost and schedule time – DTC and DFM. Updated design simulation tools, rapid prototyping process, and standardization.
      • Engineering Change Notice drawings from 62% to 81% released on-time in only 3 months
      • Certification documents from 52% to 100% released on time in only 3 months
    • Mentored and Coached all levels
    • Stabilized financials while correcting past finance issues to clean-up the P&L and balance sheet.
Client Challenges:

The client had a breakdown of communication and coordination between Operations and Maintenance that resulted in misaligned priorities and lack of equipment reliability.

Solutions:

A team of 4-6 Consultants was engaged from for a year and a half to facilitate the alignment, customization, and implementation.  Key project activities were as follows:

  • Quick Wins were implemented during the first weeks to provide initial visibility and supportive data for positive change. Specific examples of Quick Wins were the implementation of the Daily Assignment Sheet (DAS), break-in work reduction, and barrier teams deployed to provide substantial and immediate productivity gains.
  • Development of Steering and Design Teams; led by Client Operations Superintendent (for the Work Selection & Prioritization Sub-Team) and Client Maintenance Superintendent (for the Planning, Scheduling, and Execution Sub-Team) with the support of Consultants.
  • Planner, Scheduler and FLS training sessions provided functional skills and behavioral management coaching to improve Planning, Scheduling, and Execution of work
  • A Sustainability Coach from each of Operations and Maintenance were dedicated and coached on leading the Design Team and Implementation efforts
  • Key Performance Measures (KPIs) were developed and implemented for each element of the Work Process. Superintendents and First-Line Supervisors were coached on interpretation and associated management action
  • Project savings baseline was developed and tracked on a weekly basis for the Steering Team and Refinery Leadership review

Sustainable Results & Benefits:

  • Trained and coached 31 Business Team Leaders and Design Team Members around roles and responsibilities, application of Work Process coaching tools and principles for SLSs, FLSs, Planners and Schedulers
  • Trained and coached 110 FLS, 30 Planners/Schedulers, and 14 SLS
  • “Earlier Starts” resulted in an increase of 1.5 hours per day of available time for 168 Crafts and 45 Contractors for YTD savings of $1.75 million
  • Redeployment of Execution FLS’s resulted in an increase of 0.75 hours per day of available time for 16 Supervisors for YTD savings of $70,000
  • Rescheduling Maintenance “line-up” meeting with Operations to 6:00 a.m. resulted in an increase of 0.5 hours per day of available time for 16 Supervisors and 168 Crafts for YTD savings of $397,000
  • Operations and Maintenance Work Process alignment has resulted in more effective meetings saving 0.5 hours per day of available time for 60 Supervisors for YTD savings of $173,000
  • “Earlier Starts” due to Process Permits by Assistants and Night Orders resulted in an increase of 1.5 hours per day of available time for 168 Crafts and 45 Contractors for YTD savings of $1.75 million
  • The new position of Material Coordinator was established to off-load 40% of the time Planners spent procuring parts and materials to Material Coordinator positions.
  • Timely follow up and meeting elimination resulted in an increase of 2 hours per day of available time for 30 Planners for YTD savings of $223,000
  • Improved planned and stepped work orders from 5% to 40%.
  • Reduced Backlog by 9% from 19113 WO (Aug ’06) to 17444 WO (Dec ’06)
  • Phase 2 continued development of “In-House” champions for Planning, Scheduling, Execution/KPIs, Barrier Teams, Sustainability Coaching/Audit, and Sustaining Maintenance Efficiencies
  • Key Performance Indicators were implemented and with the following Phase I results being observed (through December 2006):
    • Daily Assigned Attainment: 60% (August 2006) => 80%
    • Break-in Work: 50% (August 2006) => 6%
    • Barrier Hours: 66 hrs./wk. (November 2006) =>18 hrs/wk
  • Phase II KPIs to be established in January 2007 includes:
    • Weekly Schedule Attainment
    • Weekly Schedule Break-in Work
    • Planner KPI’s
  • Documented Maintenance Efficiencies of $4.4 million ($430,000 per week)
Client Challenges:

A 50 year-old high-tech design, development, and manufacturing Company with a global customer base in a multitude of industries including government work, was well behind the latest principles and practices of today’s modern business strategies. Consequently, as global competition started to become a reality, both sales and profits shrank well below expectations to the point where the Company became unprofitable.

Solutions:

The foundation of a “new” organization needed to be established which was able to be sustainable for future growth. A start from scratch philosophy was deployed and a full 360vu approach established evaluating every aspect of the Company. The focus was on a Company’s big picture – implementing solutions that address every aspect of the company’s operations and yield immediate as well as long-term sustainable benefits so that efficiencies can be effectively implemented and sustained.

Some representative initiatives taken included: organizational gap assessment was performed, development of mission/vision/core culture statement, policy deployment initiated, strategic and operational business plans were established, hoshin kanri matrix developed, metrics were established for key functions, organization was restructured, training (and cross-training) was performed at all levels, continuous improvement was established, Lean Enterprise drove the culture change, customer retention program established, Six Sigma was deployed for point solutions, Kaizen events were performed frequently, program management tools established, process management and controls initiated, key personnel were recruited, and business growth initiatives generated.

Sustainable Results and Benefits:

Representative bottom line accomplishments include:

  • •Brought a “Culture Change” to a multi-million dollar failing Company by restructuring all aspects.
  • First year financial performance: Sales increased by 25%, Profit increased 164% realizing a positive profit, 59% increase in Gross Margins, Cash Flow increased by 500%, and Inventory Turns increased by 40%.
  • •Developed unique communication plan to properly portray to each associate those changes necessary to make the Company successful and the role they played in that change.
  • Implemented Continuous Improvement throughout the Company utilizing Kaizen, Lean Enterprise, and Business Process methods to increase overall turntimes by 40%, on time delivery by 30%, reduction of overdues by 35%, and reduction of shop floor space by 45%. In support of this initiative, instituted bar coded routers.
  • Increased Quality first pass yields in both final test and inspection process to 97% from 74%.
  • Revamped ERP/MRPII system via Business Process Mapping. Instituted cycle counting and increased inventory accuracy to 96% from 66%.
  • Developed an Environmental Health and Safety Department in which a training program was established training to all employees on a monthly basis and audits performed on a regular basis. Had only 1 recordable in 17 months.
  • Initiated new design practices and principles to streamline program kickoff to delivery cutting cost and schedule time. Updated design simulation tools, rapid prototyping process, and standardization of circuit design.
  • •Initiated ISO 9001:2000 process certification for the Company performing a gap analysis and developing an action plan for registration.

Client Challenges:

Early stage FAR 21/23 Aviation Company required the establishment of solid business fundamentals and process practices based on FAR regulations. The business and production of Aircraft was impeded due to the inability to properly understand the necessary approaches and objectives related to a regulated environment.

Solutions:

Assess the business structure of the company and implement those goals and objectives that will be the foundation of the company that will allow for profitable growth. A bottoms-up top-down approach was necessary to establish those business practices that will be sustainable for years to come.

Understand those quality constraints necessary to change to be compliant to FAR 21/23 regulations. Partner with FAA to understand those areas requiring regulator changes. This includes the robust engineering effort required to be implemented.

Sustainable Results and Benefits:

Representative bottom line accomplishments include:

  • Received Airworthied (AW) certificate for first aircraft by the FAA in only 6 months
  • Received Production Certificate (PC) in only 10 months (only 38 issues by FAA in 20 yrs)
  • Shipped first 12 aircraft in first 12 months; 25 aircraft in production line in first 12 months
  • Developed a new “Culture” for the employees which gave them ownership for change
  • Established robust quality system under the FAA regulation
  • Established solid supplier base with LTAs
  • Redefine the production floor processes and approaches
  • Developed launch customers in a multitude of markets
  • Opened facilities in Kansas working with state government

Client Challenges:

A major OEM manufacturer of engineered mechanical precision components for the mining, petroleum, forestry, utilities and construction markets was unable to meet customer delivery commitments, increase their quality, and control inventory. They were on the verge of losing more than half of their business if they did not turnaround.

Solutions:

The firm was in survival mode, with failure imminent. The charter was to restructure and turnaround the organization based on challenging obstacles which included a business system that was non-existent, significant overdue, numerous key employees who had left or in the process of leaving, and an angry customer base due to poor delivery performance and the inability to increase monthly sales.

To return to profitability, each and every business system needed to be evaluated and restructured. Time was of the essence due to the lack of customer patience. It required the elimination of waste in every business process to accelerate efficiencies. Personal visits to customers were imperative.

Sustainable Results and Benefits:

Representative bottom line accomplishments include:

  • Was able to save key customers who were shopping for alternative products
  • Increased Gross Margins from 10.6% to 24%
  • Increased Op Income from 5.9% to 12.1%
  • 43% increase in Orders
  • Established multiple Lean Enterprise Systems through Kaizen events
  • Implemented new ERP System – Syteline 7 MAPICS
  • Net increase in sales of 92% in two years
  • Increased working capital turns by 32%
  • Integrated a process that would align manufacturing with materials and sales forecasts
  • Eliminated non-value processes in every business process
  • Accelerate manufacturing and business efficiencies