At Wiley Metal, we like to think we are proactive when it comes to the constant search to increase productivity. We are always looking for ways to be more efficient without, of course, negatively affecting quality. We recently had an experience which reminded us how important our customers can be in helping us to achieve these efficiency goals.

One of our areas of expertise is building utility truck parts. From boom rests to control panels and cone holders, we make a variety of parts for these hardworking vehicles and quality is critical. One part we make for a particular manufacturer is truck buckets.

A truck bucket is not something we construct using high volume manufacturing processes but we felt we could increase our productivity and so an idea was born.

The Power of Organization

Through experience, we’ve discovered just how powerful stepping back and getting organized can be so that’s where we started. We reorganized the cell where we produce utility truck buckets, putting parts in assembly order and placing them in color coded bins. We continued to make use of shadow boards for tools. We addressed how these buckets were produced and how part and tool placement could improve the flow of production.

A Little Help From Our Friends

We build partnerships with our clients and take pride in the relationships we have with them. We consider ourselves part of their team. When recreating our cell to more efficiently build utility truck buckets, we were pleased to get help from a company we produce these buckets for. This company actually sent a team to our facility in Indiana to help us rebuild the cell. It was invaluable to get their insights. We discovered that this company helps all of their suppliers in becoming more efficient. We found this is an exceptional example of building partnerships and appreciate their help.

The Proof is in the Results

By reorganizing and recreating our production cell, we are now able to produce the same quality utility truck bucket at twice the previous speed. Twice. This coming from a company that already thought we were pretty effective. It simply proves that whether you use low or high volume manufacturing processes, there are always ways to improve efficiency, sometimes dramatically.

Beyond increased productivity in building utility truck buckets, we were able to learn some aspects of efficiency we may be able to use elsewhere in our facility. To us, this solidifies the value of relationships in business. When we better understand their needs and they understand our processes, we can work together for the mutual benefit of each. This doesn’t just apply to efficiencies. OEM manufacturer and parts supplier cooperation and coordination can be used to improve quality, engineering, turnaround time, and even logistics. Communication is key, of course.

By opening a dialogue with customers, a wealth of information can be discovered. Ideas and information can be exchanged. As we again discovered, the results can be impressive.

If you are in search of a metal fabrication company for utility truck parts or have an idea you would like to see become reality, please feel free to contact us at Wiley Metal. We enjoy working with start-ups to companies and also those with a worldwide presence. We consider each a partner and work to help them reach their goals. Let’s start a conversation today.

Click below to watch our Utility Truck Bucket Cell Reorganization explained!