Value Stream Mapping Helps TrueNorth Steel Increase Productivity by 20% and Defects by 20%
TrueNorth Steel, a family-owned business, located in Fargo, ND, began in 1945 when Ole Rommesmo Sr., launched his first company, Fargo Tank & Steel Co. In the decades that followed, the business grew through internal growth and acquisitions, creating a diverse portfolio of steel products and capabilities and extending the company’s reach across North America. Johnston Fargo Culvert, Mandan Steel, Dakota Steel, Huron Culvert and Tank, Precision Stair and Steel, Roscoe Steel and Culvert, and Minnkota Windows were added since the inception of Fargo Tank & Steel Co..
Ole Rommesmo, Jr. now leads the business and in 2011, he integrated The Rommosmo Companies’ steel businesses into a single organization, forming TrueNorth Steel.
Their simple concept continues to guide their business today: "Be the reliable, dependable provider of the steel products our customers demand." They combine decades of experience with a detailed understanding of each project to find the best steel solution for customers in agriculture, construction, mining, road building, energy and a variety of other industries.
Wanted to Increase Productivity
TrueNorth Steel needed to increase productivity on their storage tanks they supply to the energy industry in Western North Dakota.
Value Stream Mapping
Impact Dakota worked with their team on a value stream mapping project to help standardized work processes and improve product flow in their facility.
Productivity Increased by 20%, Defects Decreased by 20%
At the end of the project, their projections were:
- Increased productivity 20%
- Safety defects reduced 20%
- Welding defects reduced 20%
"With three main goals in mind, we assembled a team of managers, supervisors, and production staff to spearhead our Value Stream Mapping Project. To Increase Safety, Improve Quality, and Increase Productivity. This team started off the project by identifying our weaknesses and strengths. After mapping our old process we were able to map the progress and allowed the team to naturally think outside the box and collaborate in a productive manner and naturally expose employee skills and talents.
Action items were assigned to an individual that wanted to take on the challenge and help the process improve. This gave the employee a sense of purpose, belonging, and ownership in making the commitment to overall improvement. By assigning the action items we were able to improve many aspects of our production line, such as removing internal flaws in the shop to improve production flow, changing our sub-arc welding process, and improving our workplace organization.
It is somewhat challenging to specifically quantify the percentage of improvement we had from this process because of the variable product lines that go through the Tank Line. However, we do know that employee morale has improved, more questions and ideas have surfaced and all three of the production workers that were on the project team have made positive advancements in their careers and they are new team leads.
Overall, working with Impact Dakota has been a very positive and rewarding experience that has made us a better organization as a whole."
— Bryan Zingraf, Vice President of Structural Steel