A high-quality component is the result of many individuals’ expertise – including the person standing at the saw.

A single event can spark a continuous effort to make production more efficient. 

Greg Griggs—southeast VP of component operations with Builders FirstSource—and BJ Louws—president of Louws Truss—both see untapped potential for productivity gains in inefficient plants. They introduced BCMC attendees to a few basic concepts of lean manufacturing: Kanban, Kaizen, 5 S and waste walks. They also made sure attendees left with a very clear picture of the value of good instructions and of the wasted effort in an inefficient workflow.

Finding the best, fastest, most efficient process has always been part of the culture for this component manufacturer. 

Lean Six Sigma is a mountainous challenge, but there are some basic ways to prepare for the climb.

A tour can seal the deal with potential customers or cement a relationship with established ones.

There is no better time to re-think how you can streamline your processes. Answers to the questions outlined here can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.
Lean Six Sigma is just jargon for common-sense ways to improve your operation.

Consider for a moment the basics of manufacturing a truss. Based on SBCA’s 2012 Financial Performance Survey, lumber accounts for roughly 40 percent of the total cost. Plates account for about eight percent of the total cost. Design and production labor account for 30 percent, and delivery, sales and overhead account for the remaining 22 percent (these are rough industry averages). All other things being equal, if you could decrease your lumber costs by a few percentage points while raising your plate costs a small amount, would you take the trade-off?

  • In order for a company to grow successfully, it needs to evaluate its current situation and costs accurately and be able to articulate what the company wants to grow into. 
  • To improve production areas, start with the “5S” approach: sort, straighten, scrub/sanitize, schedule and finally, score the result. 
  • The right people, the right customers, the right vendors, and most importantly, the right motives grow a successful business.