New Era Cap Company Inc.
Queue Time Reduction
Rusty Hurst, Plant Manager
The Insyte consulting team, led by Jim Johnson, helped identify areas of opportunity to assist in reducing our facilities lead time by over 40%. Jim’s ability to effectively communicate key issues with management, supervisors, and production employees was instrumental to the success of the project.
New Era Cap Company, Inc. is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 90 years. It is best known for being the official on-field cap for both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The company has more than 14 offices across the globe with its world headquarters in Buffalo, NY and U.S. manufacturing operations in Derby, NY.
The Company recently consolidated multiple manufacturing facilities into its Derby, NY location. As a result of this change, current economic conditions and the company’s growth goals, the Derby facility was affected in several ways: product mix changed from primarily custom caps to stock caps; production demand increased by 33%; customer demands were increasing pressure for lead time reduction and increased on-time delivery; and lead time reduction was seen as helping responsiveness in “Hot Market” times.
Insyte Consulting was contracted to help evaluate the situation and to provide advice regarding how the company might reduce the queue time while utilizing existing assets. The consultant analyzed the current situation by reviewing historical data and trends, interviewing personnel and observing the operations. Working with key shop personnel, in a two-day kaizen event, the team identified and prioritized improvements to reduce the queue time. The improvements focused on FIFO, balancing of operations and establishing a pull system by limiting WIP. Computer simulations were created and evaluated to insure expected results. Revisions to specific areas were implemented in a two-week pilot program, revised and then fully implemented in a specific bottleneck area. Throughout the pilot and implementation phase, metrics of lead time, WIP and throughput were tracked to validate the improvements. The same approach was then used in a second bottleneck area.
Decrease in lead time of 48% from 16 days to 8.3 days.
Reduction of WIP inventory by 34% .
Increased inventory turns of stock product.
Worked collaboratively within a union environment to significantly reduce manufacturing lead times.