Nearly 100 years ago, a young man with an entrepreneurial spirit and a better idea began manufacturing lanterns in Wichita, Kansas. His name was W.C. Coleman. The company he founded would change life in America and grow to be me known worldwide. Today Coleman continues the legacy operated under the Outdoor Solutions division of Jarden Corporation. Coleman continues to manufacture and distribute a wide arrangement of outdoor products in the United States and Nationally.
In 2007 Coleman implemented a new business solutions software SAP. The implementation highlighted issues in the business from Customer Service to Order Fulfillment. There was a need to quickly address these process issues and improve service levels to all customers. Dan Hogan, CFO identified 6 key areas that would need to rapidly improve to meet customer demands during their 2008 busy season. The areas included Sales and Operations Planning, Customer Service, Inventory Accuracy, Distribution & Warehousing, and Value Added Services.
Coleman's Six Sigma improvement teams had already begun the improvement process in all areas and to increase the rate of improvement Dan hired Definity Partners to help accelerate the changes. Dan knew he not only needed to improve the processes but in order to sustain the changes and continue improving long after the Six Sigma teams had moved onto other improvement projects and Definity Partners was gone that decision making would need to be driven to all levels of the organization including the front line leaders and hourly employees performing the work.
Dan Hogan, CFO and Sam Solomon, President established goals to increase On-Time Shipments and Fill Rates that would require dramatic changes to order fulfillment processes. Bob Fowler, Sr.V.P. of Global Supply Chain identified the need to establish an overall mixing center strategy and realignment of all 6 Coleman distribution facilities including a means to systematically keep inventory placed according to the defined strategies.
With Coleman's 2008 seasonal business (peak receiving and shipping months) quickly approaching the group knew that it would need to act fast. Establishing six cross functional teams and hiring Definity Partners to manage improvements the bar for new performance levels was quickly raised.
Definity Partners Plan
Definity Partners began working side-by-side with Six Sigma improvement teams, front line leaders, and direct hourly employees to quickly break down the old processes, identify waste, remove obstacles, rebuild new nimble processes, and educate and train the organization on the new way of doing things. The momentum of change gained a high level of awareness throughout the organization and champions stepped up to become part of the solution. As each of the areas became more and more successful, changes in other areas happened at a much faster rate. Employees from the initial areas of change would move to other areas to help accelerate the process and a team approach to improvements became more and more evident with every change.
Customer service level goals to improve On-Time shipments increased 15% from December 2007 to Feb 2008 wile simultaneously increasing fill rate to all customer by 6%. On-Time for one of our largest customers has been 100% since November 2007 with 100% Fill and only one exception. New SWAT Team goals have been set to exceed company goals of 95% On-Time and 97% Fill Rate.
Improvement Successes included:
What they had to say
"When I hear the groups talking, I hear what we are doing, and what others have done, not what I have done." "I truly see a team approach to improvement becoming more and more evident." ~ Sam Solomon, President
"These guys came in and embedded themselves in our processes, working side by side with our front line leaders and employees to identify the best process for our business and accelerate change." ~ Dan Hogan, CFO