Cord Master Engineering – Six Days of Training Cuts a Week of Lead-time
Cord Master Engineering (CME) is an AS9100 Certified, and FAA repair certified custom manufacturer of power supply cords, cord sets, wire harnesses, and lead assemblies. Located in North Adams, Massachusetts, Cord Master has over 40 years of industry experience, turning OEM designs into cost-effective, quality controlled end products. Cord Master designs, molds, and manufactures products to support a wide variety of military and industrial needs.
CME was introduced to GBMP’s Dwight Bowen at a Raytheon vendors’ workshop, an event put on by Raytheon to help their vendors understand and appreciate the value of continuous improvement and the best practices of lean.
In 2010 Dwight began working with Cord Master to introduce the plant to lean principles and tools. Dwight provided a one-day lean overview class, two days of 5S/workplace organization training/practice, two days of Value Stream Mapping training and spent 1 day working with Cord Master employees on a work cell.
According to Bernie LaRoche, President of Cord Master, “we did experience some real benefits from the program Dwight started us on. Our factory lead-times were about 21 days before and now we are typically at 12-14 days but some orders go as low as 5 days, which is huge on our floor. Another great benefit from the lean training and practice is having a ‘clean house’, where everything has a place. We have weekly area assignments set up to make sure we sustain our workplace organization. In short, we found the Lean experience quite helpful. It was a great way to promote employee involvement and we believe learning how to map and improve our processes is a great way to keep us profitable. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Dwight and GBMP.”
“CME was not interested in simply sticking their toes in to test the lean waters”, according to Dwight. “Their attitude was ‘why wait, we need to improve now’ and they just dove right in. The plant was shut down to allow everyone, including the leadership team, to participate in the one-day Introduction to Continuous Improvement class. Then, the afternoon of work place organization training (5S) Bernie LaRoche, co-owner/President and Hugh Daley, co-owner/CFO, were on the shop floor, on their knees, cleaning machines. That really showed their commitment and employees really took notice of their involvement. After these amazing initial days CME was off and running; buy in from employees was strong and support from leadership even stronger.”