Boat ManufacturerImproving Efficiency and Productivity for a Private-Equity Holding Organization

sailing yacht

The client, a Private-Equity holding organization, acquired several recreational and fishing boat manufacturing companies to create one company with many different brands.

Client initially retained DB&A to focus on the fiberglass fishing boat operations. The project implementation involved DB&A Staff Associates to be onsite working one-on-one with front-line supervisors and other leaders, Monday through Friday during the 32 weeks.

The TAKT times for each station on the assembly line were undefined and poorly represented the workers needed, shift hours, demand, and amount of boats. Dealer warranty claims cost the client money because of non existing quality control units and inspections.

It was consistently noted in the lamination area that errors were made and had to be continuously fixed due to poor communication and feedback between supervisors and workers. The lamination area performed at 50 percent its potential, costing about $1.2 million to $1.9 million.

Other key issues and barriers were:

  • The assembly area performed at 61 percent of its capacity.
  • Support areas didn’t have a schedule and time was lost with idle workers.
  • Support areas received inconsistent communication about model numbers and boat types so they didn’t know when the parts were needed on lines.
  • Inventory accuracy was lacking and boats had to be pulled back into buildings to install missing parts costing $400,000 to $5,000,000.

Process Changes Leading to Improved Efficiencies: DB&A prepared a weekly Key Event Schedule for the first month to make sure tasks were accomplished in a timely fashion. Area key event schedules were also prepared with the managers to make sure processes aligned. TAKT time was reduced to 52 minutes and wait times to 8 percent.

DB&A taught the client a Managing Operating System: For accountability, to specifically measure goals and work with employees, ensuring accuracy in the manufacturing of boats from support areas all the way to completion. Data development allowed managers and supervisors to establish planning guidelines, follow up, milestones and match resources to workload. There is now a 130 percent increase in active supervision. A new process of lining up boats was implemented to save the Carpeting Department time. A new tool was developed to track part shortages on a daily basis. Managers now have new processes implemented to reduce lost time, save parts from being damaged, and help the next area down the line get boats worked on and passed along.

As a result of our success on the fishing boat side of the business, DB&A was retained to drive improvements on the recreational boat manufacturing side of the business.

Financial Results

Prior to the start of the project, DB&A guaranteed the Client an Annualized Savings Rate of $2,698,800 and a 2.3:1 Rate of Return of Investment. Upon completion of the project implementation, the actual Annualized Savings Rate achieved was $4,738,073 – a 4:1 Rate of Return on Investment. The planned Weekly Savings Rate for project implementation was $51,962. However, by completion of the project, the client was achieving a Weekly Savings Rate of $2,042,000 on average for the final four weeks of the project.

“The more you can keep your workload balanced, the easier it is to plan.”

Supervisor-Mold Storage

“We now see improved overall productivity and good metrics. DB&A helped establish the tools to drive improved overall productivity, and good continuous improvement.”

President