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Continuous Improvement at Aladdin Temp-Rite

8/1/2013
Continuous Improvement at Aladdin Temp-Rite

Many of us in the world of manufacturing hear the word “Lean” on a daily basis. Almost every Manufacturing or Production journal that you read is full of articles about “Lean.” The “Lean” effort has truly transformed manufacturing and helped to bolster America’s dominance in manufacturing.

 

We at Aladdin Temp-Rite think of it more as part of our daily routine. We have never really tagged our efforts as Lean Activity but as a continuous improvement model. We look at our processes and designs and we focus on how we can do it better today than we did it yesterday. The effort never stops and there is no end in sight.

 

We think about our customer and consider our efforts and then determine whether that activity is something that the customer would find of value. If the activity does not contribute to the effort to make the finished product then we find a way to eliminate the effort through design or process improvement. This reduces cost which helps Aladdin Temp-Rite to be the right cost provider.  We do this with the use of small focused teams that are cross functional in design and are empowered to make decisions that will benefit our customer and our business. After all, the customer does not want to pay for effort that does not bring value to their operations. They want a product that meets their needs at a price where they find value.

 

This same logic applies to materials. If the material does not improve the durability or functionality of the finished product then we find a way to design out the material or a process that eliminates the need for the material. This has helped us to make our product with fewer parts and more simplified. After all, if there are fewer parts there are fewer opportunities for failure, dependability improves, warranty expenses decrease the customer’s operating costs decrease and we bring more value to the customer. These efforts have helped Aladdin Temp-Rite in the elimination of process scrap or created ways to recycle our process off fall. We have eliminated packaging scrap and haul off fees. We continue to find ways to reduce our waste stream and have experienced a reduction of over 60% in our plant waste. Our ultimate goal is to be a zero waste facility.

 

Aladdin Temp-Rite has taken this same continuous improvement effort to all areas of our operation. We have seen our electrical use decrease by 30% over the last eight years. This helps us to control our costs and bring more value to our customer. This effort benefits our environment and our neighbors in our community are benefitted by our efficiency gains.

 

Aladdin Temp-Rite has adapted automation where it makes sense in our operations. If we can automate a process that will eliminate repetitive work and the opportunities for repetitive injuries to our employees then we do it. Another area that we are always looking to improve is to remove lifting from our operations. If we can insert a robot in this area then we will do it. All of the Aladdin Temp-Rite automation has been accomplished without eliminating a person’s job. Aladdin Temp-Rite always works with retirements and attrition to automate where it makes sense without eliminating an employee’s livelihood.

 

If the effort spent by the Aladdin employee does not contribute to the best quality product or best quality service experience then we find a way to eliminate it or improve upon it so that it supports our continuous improvement model. This has taken Aladdin Temp-Rite to new heights in product quality. Aladdin’s warranty expenses have continuously declined over the last several years. It is our responsibility to provide the customer with a product that meets the desired purpose and is problem free. Aladdin can say that more than 99% of the time our customer will not have a warranty issue with the product that they purchase from Aladdin Temp-Rite.

 

Finally, we want to make sure that the product you want is available when you need it. We have taken the lessons from our continuous improvement activity and applied them to all areas of our business to benefit the customer and Aladdin Temp-Rite. Aladdin has a fulfillment rate of over 98% of promised ship date.

 

Author - Tim Altizer, Aladdin Temp-Rite Vice President, Operations

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Aladdin Temp-Rite - 250 East Main Street - Hendersonville, TN 37075 - 615-537-3600