Client: International Beverage Maker, Venezuela

The Summary

Faced with new competitors in their marketplace, this South American affiliate of an international beverage manufacturer hired HMC to help them improve their output and efficiency. The HMC team was able to significantly improve this clients tracking systems, increase their production efficiency across all lines; reduce manpower, and reduce material waste. Due to these sustainable improvements this company is now competing successfully in the market place and has increased profits.


"We have not just seen an improvement in performance but a complete change in culture and attitudes. We now want to replicate this in all of our beverage plants. HMC has helped us pave the way!"

— VP of Operations, International Beverage Maker

The Challenge
New competitive pressures in the marketplace took this beverage manufacturer by surprise. They realized that they had to quickly improve their manufacturing output, reduce waste, and increase efficiency across several production lines and plant locations if they wanted to stay in business long-term. They also realized that they needed outside help to achieve these goals. They hired
HMC because of their leading-edge expertise and their proven track record in achieving sustained, significant production improvements.

The Approach
The HMC team used its trademarked Holistic Manufacturing™ methodology to perform a thorough and comprehensive diagnostic of the manufacturing operation. The goal was to benchmark operational results and to identify production bottlenecks, causes of variability, and key areas of opportunity to increase output and efficiency. This diagnostic was extensive and included collecting large amounts of data, interviewing company personnel from the shop floor to top management, and reviewing software programs, production schedules, operational procedures, and company training policies and practices.

The diagnostic analysis indicated declining productivity, poor management controls, high levels of waste, and excessive manpower. It also identified that the company was very inflexible and was unable to adapt to change easily or effectively. Furthermore, there was an absence of standards and procedures, poor maintenance of equipment, numerous machine problems, and a general lack of training. There was also an air of pessimism over the company regarding their inability to turn things around.

As a result of their diagnostic work, the HMC team members were able to identify several key areas for improvement that would yield the greatest immediate return for the business. These areas for improvement included:

The Organizational Structure — this area required a change in focus from managing the shift to managing the lines and an improvement in teamwork and communications. These changes would be essential to achieving lasting improvement.

The Operational Structure — this area needed to incorporate more performance measurements, better documentation, and standardized procedures. This would ensure that disruptions would be handled quickly and effectively and variability would be kept to a minimum.
The Training Methods — this area needed to be updated and augmented to enable more mastery among machine operators and to improve reaction time to problems and disruptions.
The Tracking Systems — this area required new systems to provide more data to the shop floor in order to give operators more immediate feedback and enable better decision-making.

The Results
The tangible results to date have been astounding. Production efficiency is up 27% on one line, 18% on another, and an incredible 59% on a third line! Actual output has increased to the point where the new average is higher than the best single day output the company had ever experienced in the past. Manpower has been reduced an average of 38% across all lines and material waste has been reduced by almost $300,000 per year. Another key area that the team addressed was the reliability of central service systems, such as the syrup room and plant services. HMC developed and implemented tracking systems for these services that allowed people to track performance and maintenance data. As a result, operators and managers can now track any deterioration in compressor or chiller performance and detect declining trends before there is a failure.

There have been numerous indirect benefits as well, including improved delivery times, better workforce morale, greater production flexibility, and higher-skilled employees. All of these have enabled the company to become more competitive in their marketplace and more responsive to changing market conditions and preferences.


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