Intersystems, based in Omaha, Nebraska, operates out of a 235,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility. This 55-year-old company reaches a worldwide market and numerous industries with expertise in the engineer and manufacture of bulk material handling products and industrials sampling systems. Intersystems is committed to industry leadership. They continue to exceed customer expectations by providing continual improvement, value and innovation in their products and services.
When Barry Beyer joined Intersystems in February, 2014 he brought to the job his training in Lean methodology and a long history of building highly productive teams and improving operational efficiency. As part of his initiative to improve processes at Intersystems, Beyer approached the Nebraska Business Development Center for a program to build the confidence and ability of team leaders for solving problems at the floor level. The results were impressive.
In an NBDC problem solving workshop, the Intersystems team members were introduced to the Deming approach, also known as the Plan, Do, Check and Act cycle. NBDC facilitator Beth Giesbrecht led groups in an exercise that identifed the root causes of their problem, developed and implemented solutions and measured effectiveness. Not only were the employees introduced to new techniques, but were immediately able to see how an actual workplace goal could be achieved by their application.
“The tools used in the Problem Solving workshop helped us push past people's feelings on the way things had always been done. We drilled down to the root cause of the issue and the actual financial impact on manpower and WIP/inventory,” said Emily Williams, master scheduler.
Understanding how and why time was being wasted during a manufacturing process enabled Intersystems to reduce labor on one task from an average of 15 hours per week to zero. Additionally, they were able to reduce the number of lost parts and eliminate overtime. This higher efficiency has led to greater sense of job satisfaction for the 250+ employees.
“When you push the gut-feelings aside and focus on what is actually happening, and the impact it has on the company, it is easier to come to solutions that net measurable results,” says Williams.