Perspectives from HVM Clients…
The High Value Manufacturing team is dedicated to improving clients’ manufacturing operations in order to increase productivity, cut costs, and generate cash to their bottom line. It is often an external financial stakeholder of a manufacturing company who initially invites HVM into the plant to assess performance. However, in the end, the results of HVM’s performance improvement services impress both the stakeholder and the often-skeptical plant managers with increased profitability and more efficient operations.
HVM clients include OEM and Supplier manufacturing companies across a range of industries. Our clients also include manufacturing stakeholders seeking a realistic perspective of plant floor operations and solutions for improving their ROI; this group consists of private equity firms, investment banks, valuation professionals, and other financial intermediaries. The HVM team has the experience and tools to quickly assess current plant operations.
At home, on the plant floor
Because each team member has more than 25 years of manufacturing experience, we recognize the value of the employees with whom we interact during the assessment period. All HVM team members are seasoned and experienced in shop floor manufacturing. Most team members have experience in multiple plants, multiple companies, various products, and, often, multiple countries.
This industry experience gives us the ability to integrate on the plant floor and a deep appreciation of employee contributions. Employees of a manufacturing company are treated as if they were our own. We open the door to conversation by dressing as if we worked there, often showing up in blue jeans, casual shirts, and, of course, required PPE. We ask questions, and we listen. One client passed along this feedback from his employees during a recent assessment project:
“I have been receiving positive feedback from my team about your interaction with them, and they have the confidence that you will help us to improve… am happy to see how fast you have grasped our situation.” — Plant Manager
After assessment, our team will make recommendations for performance improvement based on collected data, visual observations, best practices, industry standards, and client objectives. Sometimes those recommendations confirm the client’s perceived options, and sometimes they are new alternatives.
Post-acquisition assessment & improvement
In this example, a private equity firm reached out to HVM following the acquisition of a manufacturing company with several plant locations, but they were concerned about one plant in particular. HVM was contracted to assess the struggling plant’s operations and to provide a recommendation for its future. Based on the plant’s performance within the group, the options on the table were:
1) move the work to other plants within the company and close the plant, or
2) merge the plant with another company and close the operation.
HVM was encouraged to make another recommendation if supported by our assessment. After the team’s assessment, our game plan was obvious: maintain the operation and improve the plant’s performance.
HVM worked closely with the plant team, both leadership and plant workers. Perhaps our most important input was related to the hiring of the new plant manager, then supporting his commitment to implement the recommendations jointly developed by him and the on-site HVM team members. In concert with the new plant leadership, HVM implemented several viable systems and processes to improve many of their shortcomings.
Proof in the performance
Thorough, hands-on training allowed HVM to quickly transition out of the plant, leaving behind a detailed improvement plan for immediate and sustainable success. How did we know the plan worked? Here is an update, supported by direct statements from the plant manager mentioned above:
“In one year post-contract with HVM, operational improvements were such that another plant was shut down, not the original poor-performing facility. During a corporate executive’s visit, the plant manager included an acknowledgement of the significant improvements.”
In late 2022, there was a change in corporate reporting structure, prompted by a new and better-performing reality despite a challenging year within the industry.
“Right now halfway thru the year Plant overall performance is ranked 2 of 9… Word I heard to describe it from an executive was, Plant has their sh*t together. Last year this time it was, Plant is a piece of sh*t.”
“Weekly ranking #1. Last 4 week’s ranking: 1–2–1–1.”
“If this was one year ago you would have seen an upside-down plant. Over the last year we have completely turned the plant around.”
“The reason the Plant did not go under him originally was because the plan was to close the Plant and shift production to [another plant]. But we changed their minds, and the Plant is now in their long term plans. Right now the Plant is the least of the corporate worries… We are at $209k PD with $29k current; our shipping target for the month was $1.441m, and we are probably going to come in at $1.5m. Last week we hit 100% OTD M–W and finished the week at 96%. MTD at 90%. Far cry from 42% last December.”
Building value for the manufacturing stakeholders
It’s often not easy to see operational issues that are negatively impacting performance and cashflow. The team at High Value Manufacturing identifies and resolves problems according to industry standards so that a manufacturing business is positioned for success. HVM is able to implement training and highly skilled resources that will optimize ongoing performance, therefore maximizing value at any point in the sales cycle.
HVM delivers value to all client engagements and creates a Win-Win for all stakeholders.
You know the financials, but now is the time for a better understanding of plant floor operational performance. Contact the manufacturing experts at HVM.
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