Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, Sytech is a sheet metal fabricator specializing in custom metal fabrication and finish from design to delivery including electrical enclosures and similar assemblies requiring cutting, bending, welding, powder coating, and the assembly of multiple sheet metal components.
Sytech was successful securing work, but lacked the necessary speed of production and delivery due to what they attributed to an ongoing capacity challenge within their plant. Unable to take on new sales opportunities (several million dollars-worth passed over the prior year), they struggled to stay on-time with current customers. They believed they were physically out of space, which adversely affected their overall manufacturing process. This led to massive overtime, low morale, reduced bottom line margins, and management was seriously contemplating purchasing additional property for expansion purposes.
Having been introduced to the concept of Lean, Sytech management sought out an expert to see how Lean might benefit their company. Through an internet search, they were introduced to Impact Washington.
Through our partnership with Impact Washington, our company received valuable access to knowledgeable industry professionals. By designing a training program personalized to meet our specific needs, the instructors created an open learning environment that encouraged team building and generated a renewed sense of pride in our company. While we were extremely impressed by the initial results of our training and its influence on our employees and company as a whole, the most impactful results far exceeded our expectations — namely a substantial spike in sales growth to near triple digits.
Impact Washington, part of the MEP National Network™, initially conducted Lean Champion training which included a Lean 101 seminar for all Supervisors, the President, and Vice President. During the training, 5S and Toyota Kata were emphasized. Sytech’s reaction? It changed their lives. The Lean training revealed that there was a better way to process product (more single part flow) that could help solve the company’s problems. Impact Washington later provided basic Lean training to all shop staff with several classes since for new employees.
Following the initial training, the Lean instructor continued to consult once a week for several months to help make the continuous improvement process part of the culture and the company’s daily management system. Sytech’s ongoing use of continuous improvement has since streamlined their process, removed obstacles, and freed up more capacity as well as space in which to work. They are still consistently trying to do better every day.