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Process Improvements Position Company for High-Tech Growth


Spiers New Technologies (SNT) is a provider of "4R" services (repair, remanufacturing, refurbishing and repurposing) for advanced battery packs used in hybrid and electric vehicles. SNT's 4R services allow vehicle OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to optimize the life-cycle management and maximize the value of their battery pack inventory. Founded in 2014, the company operates out of its headquarters in Oklahoma City with around 50 employees.

The Challenge

SNT has enjoyed success since it was founded. Its competitive advantage rests in its proprietary battery-grading algorithms and other distinctive innovations. The company helps customers better manage their inventories and maximize values over a longer life-cycle, and its unique technology is in high demand from a growing market. However, inefficient production processes meant the company was simply unable to capture all the business available. Having worked with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance (OMA),part of the MEP National Network™, on several projects in the past, company president Dick Spiers reached out to his trusted OMA manufacturing extension agent for advice.
What we do is unique and we are working to keep it that way. With the help of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance we can continuously improve and stay ahead of the curve.
— Dirk Spiers, President

MEP's Role

The OMA agent met with Spiers to lay out a strategy for a company-wide continuous improvement plan. After ensuring managers and other employees had a grasp of lean manufacturing concepts, OMA worked with SNT to develop value stream maps for most of the company’s processes.

While technologically complex, the SNT team used lean techniques to identify problem points and other inadequacies that hindered efficient production. The company restructured several practices to address the problem areas, and OMA applications engineers helped to reconfigure the factory floor for optimal flow. The project increased SNT's production capabilities significantly, positioning the company to capture more sales.

As SNT invested in plant improvements, OMA worked to audit the facility's energy use, leading to several cost-reducing schemes. It also developed an internship program for SNT that is exposing younger workers to high-tech manufacturing careers, and the company added new high-wage positions to support the growth in sales. As a next step, OMA is working with company leaders to incorporate collaborative robots into SNT’s production processes.
Created June 2, 2020, Updated November 30, 2022