Hub Labels hosted a Lean Manufacturing Peer Group at their facility in Hagerstown, Maryland on October 31st. During the discussion, various Hub Labels employees, many in Halloween attire, discussed their efforts in 2019 to streamline processes and identify opportunities to implement positive change to improve production during the label manufacturing process.
Laura Crawford, Customer Service Manager at Hub aka Little Red Riding Hood, discussed how standardizing paperwork approvals and how those approvals are placed on paperwork by the customer service team decreased confusion and increased productivity during job production. “Instead of changing the process on my own, I gathered the customer service team and the production crew into a room so we could have an open discussion on how we could ease confusion and deliver consistent paperwork,” stated Laura. “Getting everyone’s ideas on the table is such an important part of the process. We don’t want to implement change in a vacuum. Getting everyone on board with why something is not working and how we can improve any process is such an important step. We’ve seen such great results from our efforts and October was our best month yet in regards to avoiding down time due to paperwork issues.”
Cory Martin, Finishing Supervisor aka Hub Labels Mascot, reviewed how splicing rolls consumed almost 10% of his team’s time in 2018 and how working with customers to find solutions to avoid the need to splice label rolls reduced roll splicing by more than 50% in 2019. “When my team needs to splice label rolls, that is time we aren’t making labels,” explained Cory to the group. “It was frustrating at times trying to gather the data we needed so we could establish a base line but with some work, we got there. When we realized how much time we were spending splicing rolls, we knew something had to change. With some help, we came up with a formula that customer service now uses when discussing labels with customers so my team can focus on converting labels for our customers.”
Brad Jump, Maintenance Manager aka Clark Kent aka Superman, stressed the importance of not having silos within the business. “When a machine goes down, that effects the entire company. As a maintenance manager, I work closely with our label print press technicians to track and analyze what is causing machines to go down and how often machines are not running,” explained Brad. “I depend on these guys to tell me when they notice a weird noise or when the machine is not acting right. They are the experts and use these machines everyday. The more we work together, the more proactive we can be to avoid downtime. We’ve even been able to train our pressmen to do small fixes on a machine such as changing out a ball bearing so they aren’t sitting around waiting for me to show up. We had big wins in 2019 with less down time than in years past because of these efforts.”
At the end of meeting, the lean peer group was invited on a tour of the Hub Labels facility. The group was walked through the various stages of label manufacturing and to observe in person the company efforts to increase productivity and find opportunities for future continuous improvement projects.
Happy Halloween from everyone at Hub Labels! Congratulations to our Best Halloween Costume Winner, Deric Bailey dressed as our Continuous Improvement Director, Jesse Hood.