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Using Smart Data to Transform Your Business

By Laurie Harbour, President and CEO of Harbour Results Inc.

Improving revenue per full-time employee, increasing throughput and enhancing profitability are just a few examples of the improvements mold makers of any size can experience if they collect and analyze the right data and implement the right action steps.

Harbour Results Inc. (HRI), a leading business and operational consulting firm for the manufacturing industry, has worked with many companies to help create and implement a better business strategy and improved efficiency.

“As demand continues to grow, it is increasingly important for mold makers to optimize their business,” said Laurie Harbour, president and CEO, HRI. “With the right internal and external data, processes and methodology, companies can significantly improve their business and position it to grow profitably.”

Recently, after working with HRI, here’s how a North American automotive mold builder with more than $40 million in revenue and 180 employees achieved an improvement in profit of 10 margin points.

The Challenge

The family-owned company was transitioning to new leadership—from father to son—and although the company was profitable, the family thought there was opportunity to do better and improve as the automotive industry was experiencing growth.

The Transformation

After fully assessing the company, HRI worked with leadership to establish both a one-year and five-year strategic plan. Next, it was time to work on the organization’s operational efficiency. Through a series of proprietary processes, HRI worked hand in hand with the team to identify waste, increase visual controls and implement shop-floor improvements, such as increased runtime on equipment, more efficient assembly processes, reduced rework and improved scheduling systems. Additionally, the company identified opportunities for and implemented a training program, as well as created a better strategy to optimize its outsourcing strategy.

Finally, HRI demonstrated the value of gathering key data and information from inside the manufacturing facility as well as through relevant industry trends. Internal metrics were tracked, analyzed and used to make both day-today and long-term business decisions.

Continued Results

The mold builder experienced significant improvements in its business, including an increase in revenue per full-time employee, improved machine runtime and increased throughput, all without adding more equipment within the facility.

Today the company has hired a data analyst responsible for looking at smart data from various sources as well as continuing to work with HRI to maintain improvements while identifying further opportunities to strengthen the business.