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Establishment metrics and visual management at Bourns


Bourns is a global manufacturer of trimmers, potentiometers, automotive electronic components, circuit protection, magnetic and resistive products, sensors, and controls. The company's Logan, Utah, facility primarily focuses on providing Bourns’ sister facilities with quality ceramic products, which are assembled into finished parts for worldwide customers.

Bourns’ goal is to satisfy customers globally while achieving growth with innovative design, superior quality, and exceptional value technological products. Bourns’ vision is to be the company customers think of first for reliable electronic solutions. Bourns’ mission is to satisfy its worldwide customer base while achieving proper growth with robust application solutions based on technological products of innovative design, superior quality, and exceptional value.

The Challenge

Bourns was struggling with a lack of communication across multiple shifts, varying shift capacities and tracking uptime across numerous equipment and processes.

The metrics and visual management system training has provided us with a forum to communicate the direction and priorities that will make our plant successful. We’ve taken the tools, direction, and advice from the iMpact Utah team and have embraced the methodology, making the system our own. Our communication across the shifts and throughout the organization has improved, and morale has increased.

Though change is difficult, we have seen employees see what this system can do to drive positive behaviors and support change that will make their jobs easier. We’ve appreciated this system's focus on our employees—it provides an opportunity to recognize positive behaviors that we want to reinforce, providing these specific recognitions to both internal team members and driving awareness up to the leadership team’s level. The focus on safety and quality ensures that we have a broad approach to production and that we’re not taking shortcuts that may affect our team or our output poorly. This mindset pushes our team for resolutions with quick follow-up and opportunities for brainstorming solutions.

The system encourages us to look both to the future and recognize where we have come from and the challenges that we’ve faced and resolved. When we have failed or struggled previously, the visual management system helps us record these challenges to help us avoid them in the future and encourages us that we can make small changes that bring about large transformation.

— Mike Jensen, Plant Manager

MEP's Role

iMpact Utah a sub-recipient of the Utah-MEP and part of the MEP National Network™, together with their Business Excellence Group partners, worked with Bourns leaders to establish measurable metrics (transformational performance measures) on which to focus and then trained Bourns leaders and other employees in a visual management system (optimizing tactical performance) methodology explicitly designed for Bourns that is now integrated into daily operations.
Created February 26, 2024