A local office-furniture manufacturer asked DISHER to identify and recommend cost-saving opportunities with their frame and fabric-tile materials, processes, and packaging.
Research and Methodology
DISHER Engineers met with the customer at their facility to gather firsthand information relating to their frame and fabric-tile materials, manufacturing processes, and packaging methods.
Ideate and Design
Materials: DISHER hosted an intensive half-day workshop on Value Analysis/Value Engineering to generate viable design alternatives to reduce costs in both fabric tiles and frames while maintaining quality and functionality. DISHER and the customer ranked the ideas based on the time to implement, customer acceptance, feasibility, and predicted cost reduction.
Process: DISHER facilitated a value-stream analysis workshop with the customer to determine their current and future state for both fabric tiles and frames. DISHER Engineers and our highly-engaged customer stakeholders generated 92 process-related cost-saving ideas during the workshop. The customer was impressed by the quantity and quality of ideas created.
Packaging: The team analyzed the following methods for cost savings: 1) 900-lb., triple-wall corrugated, 2) tube and tray-style boxes, 3) 4-pieces of hexacomb per layer, and 4) foam-piece inserts. DISHER noticed various packaging styles during the tour: with/without load-stretch wrapping; with/without corrugated bands; 3-to-5 hexacomb pieces; etc. Packaging standards would allow for better planning, inventory, and cost accounting.
Materials: Seven out of 35 frame cost-saving ideas and five out of 32 tile designs were selected to pursue further.
Process: A cost-reduction summary was presented to our customer’s stakeholders that would reduce labor, eliminate rework, and create utility routes for indirect non-value-added work.
Packaging: 1) Determine if triple-wall corrugated is needed, 2) simplify tube/tray design, 3) reduce hexacomb, 4) find lower-cost options for foam; and 5) standardize packaging.
The customer was thrilled with DISHER’s cost-saving recommendations in each area.
Materials: The estimated frame cost reductions were 16% while the fabric-tile cost reductions were estimated at 6% for a combined overall savings of 10% annually.
Process: The cost-saving recommendations for frame reductions totaled 15% and fabric-tile reductions totaled 14%, for a combined overall savings of 14% annually in process improvements.
Packaging: DISHER highlighted the most significant and impactful ways the customer could save on an annual basis based on historical data.