MISCO Products is a Reading, Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of liquid cleaning chemicals used primarily in exclusive branding for the janitorial sanitation, food service, education, healthcare and other commercial and industrial markets.
“MRC’s involvement has resulted in measurable improvements to our capacity and the effectiveness of new-hire training. ”– Dave Kutz, Vice President of Operations
MISCO Products faced several challenges relating to order scheduling and training standardization. The former involved accepting rush orders and changes until the time of shipment, which gave the appearance of flexibility and good customer service but essentially rewarded customers’ bad planning. These rush orders would be filled—sometimes multiple times a day—but often at the expense of other orders from customers who did not push the company to take such extreme measures. The latter was an area where MISCO recognized their shortcomings with regard to haphazard training. In many cases, long-standing policies and procedures were communicated informally and with insufficient accuracy. The company also sought to better understand the opportunities made possible by the ongoing “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
As a first project, MISCO Products engaged MRC for Customized Lean Coaching and Process Improvement and Problem Solving Training. The company’s operations, sales and leadership teams worked together with MRC to implement a policy accepting rush orders until 9:00 a.m. before the day of shipment. “Initially we were concerned about whether customers would be upset,” says Dave Kutz, MISCO’s Vice President of Operations. “We chose to communicate proactively, explaining that customers with rush orders get what they want that day, but their future orders might suffer when others make similar demands.” After many cross-functional meetings facilitated by MRC, MISCO implemented a definitive deadline for all rush orders. “Now, if the Vice President of Sales says they absolutely have to have something today,” Kutz explains, “we’ve empowered production to say “we can’t do that, but here’s what we can do.’”
As a follow-up project, in order to eliminate training shortcomings, MISCO turned to MRC for Training Within Industry (TWI) Job Instruction Training. “We’re onboarding new employees all the time,” Kutz says. “Together with MRC we put together a training committee and job instruction training process. Now, when new hires start, we explain what their first day looks like. Their first week is standardized, and they receive follow-up training in subsequent weeks. We’ve standardized how we train them.”
Finally, MISCO Products representatives attended an exploratory Bosch Rexroth Industry 4.0 event. “We want to understand what the opportunities are,” Kutz says. “We are still evaluating, and there may not even be a definitive endpoint, but we had a chance to see what others are doing to improve quality and efficiency by leveraging machine intelligence technology and how we might apply it ourselves. The event confirmed for us that there are a number of opportunities worth pursuing.”
- Kutz reports that the resulting reduction in direct labor, together with cost savings, totals more than $130,000 annually and they increased overall capacity by as much as 7%.
- In addition, MISCO yielded standardized training across all three shifts, improving efforts to bring new hires up to speed quickly and effectively.
For additional information about Misco Products Corporation, please visit www.miscoproducts.com