As a full solutions manufacturer and integrator for OEMs, MPE offers a variety of manufacturing technologies and processes to our clients. The majority of our parts have multiple processes (commonly 3-8) performed to them as they are routed through the shop before shipping to our customers. On average we produce almost 4 million parts a year.
The “Lose Ur Shorts” C.I. Team was tasked with determining the cause for us to be short parts on certain orders each month with the goal of reducing those shortages by 50%. Statistically speaking our delivery performance was actually pretty good – 0.16% shortage of all parts ordered. However, in doing the math on 4 million parts annually, the result was that we were shorting orders by 6,400 parts annually. We don’t want to be pretty good, we want to be 100% – shipping 100% of the parts ordered 100% of the time and 100% on time.
During the investigation, our cross-functional C.I. team discovered a couple of key issues:
- The majority of the “missing” parts were 4” x 4” or less in size.
- The vast majority of these parts involved an outside service, such as plating.
The team studied internal processes to ensure we were accurately accounting for the parts as an order was moving through our internal production. By involving the operators in the investigation stage, we found the small 4” x 4” parts were typically ordered in larger quantities – 200 part orders vs. 25 part orders. The “Lose Ur Shorts” Team introduced containers with separators to flow with the parts for operators to easily count the parts, 10 per compartment.
By including this discipline into our processing, we are able to identify the shortage at the operation as it occurs allowing us to make the additional parts quickly. In the past, the shortage wasn’t noticed until later in the process, resulting in either shipping the order short, or delaying the shipment to our customer. A lose-lose result for our customers is now a win for our customers and MPE!
The outside service processes have an industry average of 2% fallout. One of the countermeasures discussed by the team was to increase the size of our orders by 2% to account for that anticipated loss. However, MPE has very strong supplier relationships so the “Lose UR Shorts” team engaged with the suppliers and actively explored improvements to their processes. The results– a 72% reduction in parts lost during their processing! Another win-win- for our supplier and MPE!
The “Lose Ur Shorts” C.I. Team lived up to their name with a 70% reduction in overall part shortages! In addition, we have experienced a 0% loss of parts from outside processing for the past several months.