U.S.-based ANGI Energy Systems (ANGI) is a manufacturer of quality engineered gas compression equipment and a leading supplier of compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling equipment and systems. The company designs, engineers, and manufactures well-valued, reliable, compression packages and systems for CNG clients.
With strong growth in the energy industry, ANGI was facing a good problem to have, that of extremely high demand for its products. A particular product line’s annual sales were forecasted to double. As a result, ANGI needed to reduce cycle time, decrease lead times, and get products out the door faster than ever before. Recognizing the challenges ahead, ANGI engaged Wipfli.
Wipfli provided two key services across three of ANGI’s processes to help the manufacturer address its fast-pace growth needs—performing a Discovery Event and implementing Targeted Improvements. For its Discovery Event, a team of ANGI employees critical to processes was formed. The firm created an engaging and creative venue to foster employee collaboration in cross-functional teams, guided them in generating ideas, and promoted self-discovery and ownership of ANGI’s challenges and solutions.
The Discovery Event further included videotaping various processes to slow them down and allow employees the time, space, and permission to think differently about their work while gaining new perspectives on the tasks at hand. In doing so, employees more clearly understood the flow of information, products, material, and people and could identify areas of constraint and opportunities for improvement. As a result, three high-impact projects were selected for improvement.
Wipfli then helped to implement Targeted Improvements starting with ANGI’s final assembly processes. The firm analyzed videotaped processes, helped re-sequence process steps, and facilitated the redesign of the layout of workstations and the physical environment to support the new sequence. Exception reports were then used to track issues and downtime so that ongoing fine-tuning could occur. Business intelligence software helped further track performance and sustain progress. In addition, monthly steering team meetings increased communication, fostered management support, and kept projects on task.
Wipfli helped ANGI focus its efforts on improvements that would yield the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time. Critical to achieving success and sustainability was the employee engagement and empowerment that Wipfli worked to assure.
As a result, ANGI realized substantial benefits. The company was able to reduce its labor content from 220 hours to 110 hours in an ideal state, sustaining it consistently at 150 hours moving forward, a 31% reduction. ANGI also cut lead times from 10 days down to 3. In the process, the manufacturer realized substantial labor cost savings, gained additional capacity, and established more predictability and greater “standardized” work.
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