Large equipment sales and service dealer achieves profitable growth through lean process improvement and space optimisation, delaying significant capital expenditures and bolstering employee engagement and morale.A U.S. based heavy equipment sales and service dealer was over capacity and out of space at a key facility in a growing market. Employees in all departments were working hard but running into roadblocks for future growth.
Challenge: Rapid growth led to space constraints, employee frustration, and the potential need to invest in a new facility.
Solution: Introduce operational excellence to improve profitability and increase employee satisfaction. Install a new daily management system and lean process discipline to enhance processes, engage employees, and improve productivity. Liberate enough floor space to accommodate near term growth within the existing footprint and potentially delay a planned capital expenditure.
TBM was hired to address three issues: space constraints, profitability, and employee morale. After a detailed operational diagnostic, everyone agreed that buying or building more space wasn't necessarily the best answer. Rather, optimisation of both processes and footprint could free up capacity, drive profit improvement, and improve employee satisfaction. These improvements would position the dealer to achieve and even exceed its future growth goals without an immediate outlay of cash.
The go-forward plan included several key priorities:
- Liberate space within an existing facility and free up capacity.
- Move the heavy duty truck bays (currently occupying significant space in one facility) to another facility located closer to the interstate and with available room to spare.
- Conduct a 2P (Production Preparation) kaizen event to determine the best possible layout to accommodate additional service bays for earth-moving equipment and an additional rental service bay.
- Eliminate high levels of non-billable time and work-in-process and hone in on key quality issues.
- Introduce a lean based management system with operator standard work, SQDC and Team performance tracking, and teach the organisation how to collaboratively solve problems and to rapidly implement solutions at the point of impact.
- Enhance operational leadership capabilities and introduce leader standard work,
- Conduct a change readiness assessment to identify underlying contributors to employee dissatisfaction and make recommendations to course correct and engage and retain associates.
- Use a strategic embedded resource to support the transition and to coach and mentor leaders in this management philosophy and empower them to train their teams in lean tactics.
Results: 6% profit improvement and delayed capital expenditures for nearly three years.
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