Review and Update of Quality Standards

The client is a major North American manufacturer. In an effort to continuously improve the quality of its products, the company wanted to review and update its 167 quality standards developed over the past few years. The company asked GCC to analyze the existing standards, improve them when necessary and develop any new standard needed for the existing product. At the same time, the importance of quality was also put upfront.

GCC team first began the project by doing multidisciplinary work groups for its two plants. With those work groups, actual standards were analyzed and recommendations were formulated. Missing standards were identified and implemented, while others in place were improved when necessary.

The project allowed a 20 % reduction of non-compliances detected at the buses final inspection. Moreover, the number of standards went from 167 to 60 allowing more efficient documents management.

“The work that was done helped improve the quality of our product and allows us to link our quality assurance system to that of the parent company.”

Quality Manager

Setting up a Rental Centre

The client is a company that specializes in restoring building envelopes (shells). It operates a warehouse in Montreal, where it prepares and delivers lifting, tooling and scaffolding equipment as well as raw materials to over a dozen sites in Quebec and the Maritimes.  Following rapid growth, the company needed to set up its own rental centre.

GCC’s mandate was to set up such a rental centre to delivers equipment or construction material to project sites. The items must be delivered within the set deadline in a safe manner and at a cost lower than any competitor.

To achieve those goals, GCC started by implement computer software to facilitate inventory management. Then, standardized processes and procedures were put in place to optimize the client’s business practices.  Finally, additional personnel were hired and the whole team was trained on the new methods and shown their effectiveness. Operation support was also provided by GCC the smooth the transition and ensure client satisfaction.

In under four months, the rental centre was operational and was managing over 50,000 items, including a fleet of 45 vehicles and lifting equipment. Every week, the rental centre saved the company over $25,000 in rental fees to competitors.

Implantation of a Tracing System

The company is a major distributor in Quebec’s shoes industry. Higher sales in recent years have led to an increasing overload in its Montreal warehouse. Along with the construction of a new 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse, a high performance warehouse management system (WMS) now became a necessity to ensure the pursuit of an orderly growth.

GCC mandate was to increase warehouse productivity by implementing a simple, robust and high-performance bar code system. The first step was to map the chosen processes (the various receiving methods, put-away, inventory movements, order preparation, picking and shipping), to revise and simplify them and to integrate the use of bar code.

The information was then communicated to the ERP supplier with whom the programming of the bar code system was coordinated and validated. Tests and system debugging were also done with the ERP supplier.

Once the implementation and the tests were completed, the bar code system was put in use for all movements of stocked material processes which improved significantly the capacity.

Operations Recovery in a 3PL Centre

A large Canadian manufacturer is facing several major challenges, that is, an increase in production rate, a new product line that incorporates state-of-the-art technologies and finally, an expansion into the U.S market.  Since warehousing space is no longer sufficient, the company decided to open Third Party Logistics (3PL) centre with the help of a transport and warehousing supplier.  This 3PL centre is responsible for storing some of the plant’s parts and delivering them in production ready kits.  These kits are delivered in sequence for each production cycle.

When operations began in 2008, our client noticed that the supplier was unable to provide quality service.  Parts were being delivered late and the inventory precision level was only at 85% (monetary value).  The situation is very critical for the company because now has to set up an emergency plan to rectify the situation.

GCC’s mandate is set operations at the supplier’s premises back on the right track within 4 weeks in order to, re-establish an acceptable inventory precision level of 98% (monetary value), eliminate late deliveries and ensure supplies are delivered to the client in good condition.

APPROACH TAKEN

  • Quickly analyse the situation at the supplier’s premises and set priorities
  • Set up control measures on a daily basis until the crisis is over
  • Impose changes in the work process: improve the layout of the warehouse, make sure the offices and the warehouse are always in order, etc.
  • Suggest new assignments for those employees who have exceeded their level of competence
  • Improve how kits are packaged and loaded onto trucks
  • Support the supplier by teaching him the client’s process and proper industrial engineering practices

RESULTS

  • Inventory precision now exceeds 98.5% (monetary value)
  • Late deliveries have been reduced from an average of 4 per week to 0
  • Rush requests for parts due to supplier errors have been reduced from an average of 8 per day to fewer than 3

Warehouse Layout Design

The company is a general contractor specialized in the restoration of building envelopes. It owns a warehouse located in Montreal where five employees prepare and deliver jacking and scaffolding equipment, tooling and construction material to more than a dozen constructions sites in Quebec and in the Maritimes.

GCC mandate was to develop a warehouse layout plan. The requirements were that it had to be logical and safe, had to maximize use of available space, minimize movements and supports the company’s processes already in place. Through rigorous application of the Systematic Layout Planning method, different scenarios were generated and evaluated. GCC then identified and proposed the most appropriate one for the company’s need. The new layout was put in place in the within the established deadlines. Delivery time was reduced by 50 % and equipment failures are now almost inexistent.

New Assembly line Balancing

The client is an international leader in the railway industry. Its Canadian branch decided to expand by building a production line delivering up to five bogies per week. 

Having already executed a similar project in their France based plant, it was taken as an example from which to draw inspiration and share ideas.

To properly simulate and benchmark proposed solution, GCC used relevant information from the France based plant as well as historical data.  Different line balancing scenarios were investigated, ranging from one bogie per week all the way up to 5.

GCC was also tasked with updating the standard operating times in the database.  Workstations and work cycles time could then be optimized, ensuring the feasibility of the operation sets and taking into account all constraints and risks.

Manufacturing documentation was analyzed and critical stations were identified in order to evaluate the fabrication times and to determine the optimal line balancing and production flow.

As a final result, balancing for four different production volumes were developed and presented to the client respecting all initials constraints.