Glass Manufacturer Continues on Its Path to Growth
ABOUT (Company profile)
Founded in 1937 as a general engineering company, Lattimer was called upon to assist a local glass container company to solve a problem in their production process. The solution was so successful it inspired Lattimer to develop other products for the worldwide glass market. Building on its early successes of the original Lattimer “Pusher” and “Belt Arm” in 1977, the company which is privately held, has continually grown both through organic growth and acquisitions to become a world leader in I.S. Variable Equipment. The products produced from the equipment Lattimer manufactures serves the glass packaging industries.
Lattimer maintains its manufacturing edge by keeping at the forefront of CNC machine tool technology. The company’s advanced manufacturing techniques assure its customers products are built to the highest quality standards. In addition, Lattimer’s design capability, investments in modern machine tools and product development technology helps it stay ahead of its competitors in the glass container manufacturing industry.
THE CHALLENGE (Situation)
In February of 2009, Lattimer reached out to New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) to request an assessment be completed to evaluate improvement opportunities within its organization and to learn about networking and other opportunities outside its organization.
Since the assessment, Lattimer has been following a plan, per the assessment, to review the organization and ‘lean out’ its processes, which they did through the help of two New Jersey Department of Labor, (NJDOL) grants. Their next step, achieve ISO certification.
Lattimer needed to train its employees in order to become ISO certified thus enabling them to meet the stringent requirements of the Department of Defense. To become certified requires documentation of the company’s refined processes.
MEP’S ROLE (Solution)
NJMEP was brought into Lattimer to assist with the ISO 9001:2008 certification and conduct a SWOT analysis in regard to pursuing growth opportunities once becoming ISO certified. To help reduce costs of the required training NJMEP assisted in securing and managing a NJDOL grant.
In addition to the assistance with the grant, NJMEP provided the company with:
- Utility Bill Verification
- Direct Hire Placement Search
And 21 employees with:
- 110 hours of ISO training
- 16 Hrs SWOT analysis
- 16 hrs of PC Skills training
Lattimer employees also participated in two workshops that complimented its ISO and Lean programs – The ISO 9001:2015 Update: Why it is Being Done What it Means For You and Principles of Lean Manufacturing with Live Simulation, 4Hr workshop offered in South Jersey.
Lattimer received ISO certification. The Audit was completed with Zero findings i.e., no major or minor findings and zero non-conformances.
When reporting the impact of the project in both the NIST Survey conducted 6-9 months after completion of the project and the grant close-out report Lattimer reported:
- Achieved an overall cost savings of $500,000 with $28,400 saving in workforce training as a result of the grant.
- Saw a $1,000,000 of increased sales
- Invested $70,483 in workforce training
($28,400 grant plus contributed $42,083.00 in matching dollars required for the grant)
- $100,000 was invested in new products or processes
Lattimer is currently part of an NJMEP/NJDOL consortium grant for 2015 ISO upgrade and is working with NJMEP to facilitate a strategic joint US/ UK meeting with Change Initiative and Professional Growth Opportunity to Benefit Both the Employees and the Lattimer Organization as the topic.
As a participant of the NJMEP Made in New Jersey program Lattimer has also used /sourced with NJ companies that they found on the program’s company directory.
George Plummer, the Master Scheduler of Lattimer, recently noted, “Through past projects and over the course of the last several years, NJMEP has worked with us to improve our processes and sustain these cultural changes. In our last project, we pursued and achieved ISO 9001 certification and we thank the DOL for providing these grant opportunities and NJMEP for their part in helping us offset our costs and successfully implement the ISO training.”
He then added, “Their trainers were thorough and knowledgeable. They quickly familiarized themselves with the company’s processes enabling us to start writing procedures almost immediately allowing us to test drive them quickly and make any necessary changes before the Internal Audit.”