Blog #4: Shifts in the Market Call for Operational Changes
Unpredictable shifts in the market demand a unique approach along with a commitment to continuous improvement that supports customers amidst economic challenges, ongoing delays, and the synergetic complexities of the manufacturing industry. Amidst so much ambiguity, Curry Supply has truly risen to the top by implementing a variety of operational enhancements to improve our internal processes, while also displaying resiliency, adaptability, and transparency.
In this blog, our final for the series, we’ll explore the significant investments made to support our assembly, recruiting, and technology efforts, and highlight the exciting expansion of our manufacturing facilities, which conveys our steadfast commitment to both employees and customers during such an unprecedented time in our industry.
Key Insights Include:
- Conversion to a Progressive Assembly Line to Drive Efficiency
- Expansion of Facilities to Improve Manufacturing Capacity
- Why Strategic Recruiting is Crucial
- Prioritizing Technology to Make the Best Use of Resources
Conversion to a Progressive Assembly Line to Drive Efficiency
Continuous improvement is an integral part of any long-term business strategy. Most recently, we made significant operational upgrades by converting from a stationary bay build to a progressive assembly line build. By leveraging this model, the entire production team is better equipped to pivot quicker, drive efficiencies, and improve quality by fine-tuning standard, repetitive work.
Other benefits include:
- Measurable, high-quality outcomes due to repeatability
- Concise and efficient training to better integrate workers, especially new team members
- Opportunities to enhance ergonomics, tooling improvements, and safety at each station
Expansion of Facilities to Improve Manufacturing Capacity
End-market demand shows no signs of slowing down which means manufacturers must also discover opportunities to increase capacity while remaining flexible to meet demands. We’ve recently expanded our facilities to accomplish this massive feat. Having gone from approximately 80,000 square feet to nearly a million square feet of manufacturing space, it’s clear we are looking to the future as we expand and solidify our fabrication capabilities.
While some space is shared with sister companies, the expansion has doubled—or in some cases tripled—capacity to accommodate:
- Additional blasting and painting stations
- Dedicated build area for on-road water trucks
- Extended capabilities for off-road fabrication such as flat beds and other related products
We’re now flexible to increase or decrease production volumes depending on demand for specific products. For example, if our data indicates an influx in a specific work stream, our team will dedicate more stations to meet that need.
Why Strategic Recruiting is Crucial
To tackle one of the most common challenges impacting our industry, we are optimizing our teams by utilizing those with broad skill sets and working closely with local career centers to engage new graduates. As a result, we’ve bolstered our internal supply chain staff and built a dynamic team by adding new welders and fabricators at various stages in their careers.
Additionally, the Operations and HR teams at Curry Supply are both driven to upskill our workforce to prepare for the future. Efforts are underway to increase the number of team members who are AWS certified along with many other programs to ensure the right people are in the right place to dig in and create new processes where needed.
Prioritizing Technology to Make the Best Use of Resources
The utilization of technology must be prioritized to make the best use of scarce resources, sustain a long-term growth model, and better manage dynamic schedules for production, orders, and fulfillment.
Over the last several months, we’ve begun integrating the Microsoft Power BI system, which takes complicated data sets from our mainframe and converts them into displays and graphics that are easier to work with and understand. It’s live data that’s also predictive, revealing opportunities to plan, prepare, and pivot—especially if we have high volume jobs in the queue.
In addition, we invested in a new Bystronics 6K laser which has reduced production times and improved the quality of cut for all steel components we fabricate. A process that previously took 40 minutes in the past, now takes seven.
We hope you enjoyed our blog series, “Here for the Long Haul.” At Curry Supply, our unwavering commitment is to you—our customers. As a trusted partner in manufacturing, engineering, parts distribution, and field service, we’re dedicated to this new normal and will keep pushing forward to support your success. Since 1932, and into the future, Curry Supply continues to be your fearless, driven, and proven partner of choice.