Within the first week, an Interim General Manager quickly identified common issues he had seen many times before. The on-site management team was inexperienced; it lacked the know-how and leadership to drive peak performance and to turn things around. There had been a suboptimal manufacturing resource planning (MRP) implementation with minimal training, and the team was overwhelmed by reactive crisis management; there was no time for proactive improvements.
The Interim General Manager immediately established a daily focus on specific bottlenecks affecting quality and delivery. After a review of poor purchasing patterns, he stopped excess purchasing activity through daily review meetings and MRP system reviews. From these meetings, he helped the team identify system errors and correct the MRP forecast, safety stock errors, and redundancies that were driving the purchasing. He launched a thirty-five-day timeline to reduce much of the profit loss through the elimination of an external warehouse that was no longer needed. Sales and operations planning were established with cross-functional collaboration, including forecast reviews and capacity planning.
To minimize the quality issues, the team expanded QA inspection within the plant, new products, and shipping activities. Through this process, the team finally gained the ability to self-identify where some bottlenecks were occurring and to make adjustments to improve.
One of the biggest challenges for the sales team was their number one business driver— sample orders. When these took too long or lacked in quality, driving new business became next to impossible. Cross-functional meetings and daily reviews helped to refocus on this area, as well as to share improvements made in other areas that could be applied to this department. Increased communication and visibility provided everyone with what they needed to be successful.