GrovTec reached out to OMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, to for guidance and support improving their throughput and increasing capacity as well as with embracing digital and advanced technology. When GrovTec reached out to OMEP, their quality control (QC) department was a constraint, since multiple departments fed work to the QC team. An excessive amount of time was spent tracking orders, and prioritization of work was difficult. The existing layout did not accommodate the team’s needs and caused pace issues. Finally, the QC team performed many required repetitive manual tasks which caused fatigue and burnout among employees.
Working with OMEP has been fun and successful. It is always good to get an outside perspective and we can trust in the team at OMEP to help with their expertise. Their help has pushed us to improve ourselves faster and more effectively as we are growing.
OMEP analyzed the quality control area by creating a value stream map. Value stream mapping (VSM) is a diagnostic tool used to identify waste, improve flow, and ultimately improve efficiency. Insights from the VSM were pulled together to create an implementation plan detailing the improvement efforts necessary to achieve a future-state workflow with extensively less waste.
OMEP focused improving the manual system and accountability structure to proactively communicate product status throughout the organization. Drawing on lean principles, the layout of not only the QC area but also the packaging and shipping departments were evaluated and revised for better team dynamics and communication.
OMEP tested a Sawyer Cobot on-site. OMEP shared with the GrovTec team that cobots (or robots) do not replace operators. Instead, they work collaboratively with operators to perform dangerous or repetitive tasks, allowing operators to obtain more knowledge and develop other valuable skills.
Finally, OMEP partnered with GrovTec to evaluate their ERP system. OMEP worked with the process teams at GrovTec to map out how software is utilized in their current workflow. Using this map to identify key areas of rework, excess processing, and information delays, OMEP was able to provide a critical path list of requirements to be used for software selection.