Like so many manufacturers, Compass Wire Cloth needed to position itself to be more competitive and improve profitability. In order to achieve this, Compass wanted to improve various areas of their business, improve manufacturing systems and grow sales.
The owners’ objective was to reduce inefficient activities such as the imbalance of material and work flow and bottlenecks. They also wanted to Reduce WIP and raw materials inventory, as well as chart the inventory turnover rate. Complicating everything was the pending move to a new building.
To accomplish these goals and do so as cost effectively as possible, NJMEP’s Field Agent, Karen Evanko, assisted Compass in securing a New Jersey Department Labor and Workforce Customized Training grant. The grant provided funding to train sixty-one employees in process improvement and communication skills. Process improvement training included Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Kaizen Events and 5S. Employees would also learn how to measure and chart production expectation. A team analysis would identify vulnerability that would allow Compass to avoid pitfalls as they moved forward. To address the customer service concerns, Compass would speak directly with their customers about the service they receive. Information that was learned from the VSM exercises and Kaizen Events would be applied to the layout for the new facility.
Over a four-year period Compass trained its workforce and addressed its concerns about the pending move. The training resulted in:
- Increasing efficiency and reducing costs and effort by about 20 % in process step reductions in 3 major projects
- The team analysis and conversations with clients provided valuable information that resulted in improved operations and service that Mike McGrath directly attributed to a 15% increase in sales
- Training enabled Compass to promote from within which has strengthened the company and provides greater opportunities for their employees
“Without NJMEP’s assistance, it’s unlikely we would be as efficient and Lean as we are today. As a result of this grant, every employee is more valuable to us today than they were one year ago,” Eileen Duffy, Director Human Resources.
In a recent survey conducted by NIST in order to capture the quantifiable value manufacturers experienced within one year of completing a project/projects implemented by MEP centers, Compass Wire reported the following …
- Increased sales – $300,000
- Retained sales – $200,000
- Realized a cost savings of $75,000
- Created two new jobs
Compass Wire Cloth Corporation is an ISO 9001:2008 certified fabricator of wire cloth screens and specialty products. The company was founded by Mike McGrath and Robert Abate in 1982 and has been a member of the American Wire Cloth institute since 1992. Compass Wire Cloth operates from a 65,000 SF, state of the art, fabrication facility in Vineland, NJ.
Compass Wire Cloth is a participant in NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey program. Click here to view their profile!