Plant Flow Project Yields Time Savings and Improves Dealer Relationships
Minnkota Windows, a family-owned business located in West Fargo, North Dakota, manufactures and distributes custom-sized vinyl windows and doors for residential as well as light commercial applications.
They pride themselves on manufacturing high performance, and affordable quality products ranging from casements to patio doors and every style in between. By offering the best warranty in the industry and two week delivery, they are among the best vinyl window companies in the upper Midwest.
Minnkota Windows asked Impact/Dakota to help with a plant flow issue. Specifically, they needed help developing and managing a "parts" process. "Parts" orders are orders that may include inventory items or individual components of a window. These orders do not normally have a bill of material associated with them and do not normally run through our manufacturing system. Consequently, these orders do not generate typical paperwork. Their struggle has been identifying these items on the floor and keeping them moving through the system to end up on a truck. Their Dealers were suffering because Shipping regularly missed these types of orders, even though they may have been complete.
Minnkota Windows had previously worked with Mark Volesky, Impact Dakota's Senior Business Manager, on a project and he was already very tuned into their business. This flow problem and desired outcome were explained and Mark went to work identifying the key people on the floor along with potential obstacles.
A meeting was set up that included key Production Associates, Production Managers/Supervisors, key Administrative employees, and General Manager, Brad Bushaw.
Mark guided them through a flow charting process that detailed their situation. The process was open and casual and generated lots of thought and ideas (as designed). By the end of the process the solution had presented itself and they moved into implementation planning and assigning tasks.
Within 2 days they had a new process up and running.
The cost-savings piece of this solution is clear. A very easily measurable 30-45 min/day of time savings for our Production Manager alone. Although harder to measure, we estimate an additional 30-45 min/day savings for our Shipping Department.
The immeasurable, and I would argue, most significant, long-term benefit of the solution is in our relationships with our dealers. By addressing this issue we were able to reaffirm our commitment to our Dealers success and well being.
“We have worked with Mark Volesky, Senior Business Manager for Impact Dakota on a couple different projects. In all instances I have found Mark and the Impact Dakota group to provide valuable direction and insight into the situations at hand. The experience and perspective that Mark brings to the the table has proven out to be exceptionally beneficial.”
—Brad Bushaw, General Manager