Situation: While IFS helped create and shape the industry they continue to serve in today, the leadership knew they needed long-term ways for continuous improvement and innovation to keep from falling behind. An active client with TechSolve’s Center for Small Manufacturers (CFSM), IFS was accepted into the Dayton Pathways pilot group. Their initial expectations were to build sales and marketing, address production, improve quality control and communication efficiency, and dive deeper into their market segments.
Project: Working with their TechSolve facilitator and appointed business coach, IFS’s interdepartmental team completed the six-month Pathways program. Using Pathways’ process and tools for business analysis, the team discovered that their target market was weakening. To fill this gap, IFS needed to redirect their focus toward exploring new markets and developing their operational capabilities.
They also discovered that a lack of communication to the shop floor was stalling production output and on-time deliveries. Their Quality Control/Quality Assurance Department workflow created delays. Plus, they had accounting issues that directly affected analytical job costing analysis, inventoried goods tracking and accounts receivable follow-up.
To tackle these issues, IFS used the Pathways Fishbone Analysis to improve quality control inspections, communications and throughput of inspected parts. These became “quick-hitters” for the company. In just three days, they also established a new location and office for QC/QA, as well as establishing back-up protocols.
The team has a working list of future projects that were inspired from this experience.
- Added two new employees in Sales and Engineering.
- Awarded a major project from an electric utility company.
- Activated a reformed Accounts Receivable program for faster turnaround.
- Implemented a managed machinery-maintenance staffer to prevent downtime.
- Improved drawing completion times by early communication and involvement of shop floor personnel with internal change orders and router modifications.
- Established a business development team to continually use the various Pathways analytical measurement tools and spreadsheets to seek new and emerging markets for growth.
TESTIMONIAL: “This program provided us with the tools and measurements we needed to move our company forward, and after hard work and a strong support from our staff and the TechSolve team, the rewards in the end have far exceeded our expectations.”
– Diana Partin, President