CALGARY, Alberta (BRAIN)—Two years ago Chariot embarked on a Lean Manufacturing journey to improve the performance of its Calgary production facility. While only part way into the project, noticeable progress is being made, which is allowing Chariot to pass on some of the savings.
“Lean Manufacturing focuses on the removal of non-value added activities and the improvements of material flow,” said Frank McCurry, Chariot’s vice president of manufacturing. “Although we are only part way along the Lean journey, we have already seen significant improvements, both in terms of the measurable results and our employees’ attitudes. This initiative, combined with the addition of more automation in our fabrication department, has lead to an increase of more than 15 percent in labor efficiencies in less than two years. As a portion of our staff’s compensation comes from the company’s productivity, this progress is clearly a win-win.”
Strategic outsourcing will also play a big role in 2010 towards helping Chariot to improve its pricing and deliveries, while at the same time maintaining the high quality level that Chariot is known for. By carefully assessing and selecting some excellent new vendors, as well as eliminating some lesser performing ones, Chariot has made some critical adjustments to support its objectives of having superior quality and healthy margins for dealers and Chariot alike.
“We fully expect that dealers will see the results of our efforts this year with new sharper prices and more reliable product availability and deliveries,” said Dan Britton, president and chief executive officer. “The demand at the consumer level for the product is still high despite the difficult economic times. Reining in our prices will hopefully help our dealers move more product, while at the same time enjoying healthy margins.”