Improved assembly process cuts costs and improves customer satisfactionSurface Transport & Logistics

improved warehouse processes

In the furniture retail industry, many products such as tables and chairs are shipped from the manufacturer to distribution centers unassembled for space efficiency in shipping. From large distribution centers, teams assemble the product prior to local delivery to a customer’s home. For a global home furniture manufacturer, distributor, and retailer, this part of the supply chain can wreak havoc with increased costs, delivery delays, and unsatisfied customers. 

challenge

it is imperative that furniture is assembled in the distribution center with zero defects prior to delivery in a customer’s home. The existing furniture assembly process was inefficient, redundant and very costly. In addition, unnecessary and wasteful product movement was causing increases in product defects.

solution

Develop an assembly process that engages all associates at every level that incorporates all improvement opportunities. Develop manufacturing cells with dedicated tools, workspaces and visual cues that streamline the assembly process and provide maximum efficiency in processing time.

  • Conduct a multi-day Kaizen event with the assembly teams and managers utilizing lean principles and techniques to increase efficiencies in the assembly process, significantly reduce costs and eliminate wasteful steps and damaged product.
  • Build a model of an ideal assembly process of a product to enable higher efficiencies and visually illustrates to the team.
  • Exceed customer satisfaction by delivering zero-defected products to customers’ homes.

results

Built a functional assembly process that supports prioritization of work that is systematically driven by the in-house ERP system.  Incorporated Lean principles such as Heijunka (load leveling)spaghetti diagramsvisual cues, and process flow mapping to assist in the development of a systematic business solution. The process is scalable and can be easily adopted in other distribution centers and industries.

  • 72% reduction in product movement
  • 18% increase in manufacturing productivity
  • 99.8% customer satisfaction rating
  • 58% decrease in truck loading times

“A vision cannot be realized without the ability to execute.”

Khris K. Bhattan
PresidentPresident, RTG Solutions Group
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