NEW ERA CAP COMPANY, INC.COMPANY New Era Cap Company, Inc. is an international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back more than 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.
SITUATION The Company recently consolidated multiple manufacturing facilities into its Derby 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 reduc- tion was seen as helping responsiveness in “Hot Market” times.
SOLUTION 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 evalu- ated 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.