A Company-Wide Challenge
In 2005, the Accu-Fab (AFI) management team began the year feeling very optimistic about the company’s performance. Sales revenue was at an all-time high. Quality performance was at 99.9%. Customer surveys indicated that our performance exceeded the competitions’ in all categories measured. Our sales forecast indicated a steady increase for the year, with most industry indicators improving.
There was one fly in the ointment. Although in customer surveys, our on-time delivery was judged by our customers to exceed our competition, it was not at the performance level the management team expected. They knew the company could do better. AFI’s president called the management team together and revised on-time delivery targets for the year to ensure Accu-Fab would have bragging rights when it came to on-time deliveries (OTDs).
The management team went to work developing performance strategies. A root cause analysis was performed to understand the delivery situation more thoroughly. Cross-functional teams were assembled, meetings were held, and brain storming sessions were conducted. Action lists were drafted and measures were taken to ensure management had improved tracking and visibility of delivery performance.
The success of these new efforts was both swift and noteworthy. Delivery performance dramatically improved and has consistently averaged in excess of 95% conformance to customer’s desired dates. Customers have confidence in consistent delivery performance from AFI for both critical development projects and routine daily support of production requirements. Frequently receiving accolades from our customers, one large OEM’s thank you note stated: “I wanted to thank [The Accu-Fab] team for the excellent job in having all of the [parts] delivered yesterday…This is a new customer that has a zero days late tolerance. With AccuFab’s help…we will definitely meet the required dock date to our customer!”
How We Did It
We started by implementing a delivery tracking and reporting system that sends a daily email to associates. The email contains and “OTD Dashboard” that reflects delivery related KPI’s on critical-program portfolio performance. Following the dashboard, the email contains detailed information pertaining to any late shipment or critical shipment in need of attention. If there is a late order on the floor—which are now rare—the e-mail alerts every associate of the order details and the location in the manufacturing process. In addition to increased visibility, we modified our scheduling procedures to improve coordination of our production priorities in relation to our customer’s desired dates. The last piece of the puzzle was to change the way we handled expedite orders to minimize their impact on other routine orders flowing through the shop.
Still True Today
Since 2005, Accu-Fab has consistently maintained “outstanding” OTD performance. Our recurring customer survey results reflect this perception of performance from our customers. They consistently report our delivery performance exceeds that of our competitors. Accu-Fab is proud to report that once again the 2010 average on-time performance to our customer’s desired dates exceeded 95% percent!
Now that’s worth bragging about!