Steel-Production Facility Increases Efficiency and Reduces Costs

Steel-Metal2

Atchison Steel Casting and Machining was going through challenging times following the bankruptcy of its parent company. When AmeriCast Technologies came on board as the new owner, Atchison President and AmeriCast CEO felt the time was right to bring in DeWolff, Boberg & Associates (DB&A) to help increase efficiencies, strengthen Atchison’s balance sheet, and enhance its competitive position.

When DB&A started the analysis process with Atchison, the Client wanted to upgrade the company’s legacy management system to deliver real-time information.  DB&A’s Analysis Team found the following additional opportunities for increasing production:

  • Improving poor workflow processes
  • Reducing downtime
  • Improving scheduling processes
  • Improving on-time deliveries
  • Implementing overtime controls
  • Improving internal communication systems

The consulting engagement was impacted by a few outside factors. During the first few weeks of the engagement, the market surged. This caused a spike in production volume and the need for 100 more workers on the floor. At the same time, Atchison was working with a different outside firm to enhance an incentive program. DB&A’s Project Team was also working against a resistance to change from some of the supervisors who had been with the company for more than 20 years. In spite of all these factors, the Project Team provided supervisors with expert coaching and implemented the following management tools:

  • Daily shift huddle meetings
  • Performance scorecards
  • Action plans to address production barriers
  • Customized workshops to enhance leadership skills

In addition to substantial savings, Atchison experienced significant results in production and efficiency.

  • 45% Reduction in inventory
  • 38% Improvement in production performance

AmeriCast, Atchison’s parent company, was so impressed by the results of the consulting engagement they contacted DB&A to complete an analysis and project at a different location with their Canadian subsidiary.

Financial Results
  • 2.3:1 Return on Investment
  • $2.2 MM Annualized Savings Rate

“The beauty of what DB&A does is that they work on the floor with the people. They went out there and did the observations themselves, then they taught our supervisors to do those same observations. It was quite an eye-opener for the supervisors to see that, yes, there are ways to get 25 percent more without people really working any harder— just being a lot more efficient.” ~ President, Atchison Steel Casting and Machining

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