An operational audit is appropriate in any economic environment.

The economic downturn has impacted nearly all industries and everyone is trying to maximize budgets and prioritize spending. Our Global Packaging Solutions business unit is aggressively pursuing its own cost reduction action plan, and is working closely with strategically selected partners.

The service delivers added value to converters, which is enhanced by our high quality paperboards, technical expertise innovative design capabilities. These audits allow us to understand a potential customer's business on a very detailed level and to build long-term partnerships.

In 2009, our customer audit teams performed several of these audits for our strategic converting customers. The audit teams are created after an in-depth discovery process identifies each customer’s specific issues, at which point MWV employees are selected based on their diverse skill sets. Our audit teams use Six Sigma® and lean manufacturing tools to analyze equipment and process data.

 

Audits help reduce customers' costs and improve processes.

 “Our teams have been extremely successful with these audits and have saved customers anywhere between $50,000- $500,000 annually,” according to Jay Woodson, technical manager for Global Packaging Solutions, MWV.

“When you bring a fresh set of eyes in to a facility, it shines new light and brings a different perspective to the project,” added Woodson. “Our teams have seen converting lines all around the world and we have a substantial range of best practices to offer our customers for improvement.”

“We recently performed an audit for a major west coast converter and we asked a lot of pain-and-gain questions in the upfront process. Knowing information about the customer’s challenges allows us to create a systematic approach to process improvement. In this particular audit, we were able to address four areas: materials storage; inventory control; cleanliness of sheet; and incoming material quality check,” said Woodson.

“Our recommendations allowed them to reduce their material storage and inventory control cost by roughly 13 percent.  In addition, our suggestions from a converting standpoint gave them an 18 percent efficiency gain,” added Woodson.

 

Analysis, partnership and monitoring bring results.

We conduct these audits while a customer’s facilities are running at full capacity. The audit process takes around a week to gather needed information. The data is then loaded into our proprietary Paperboard Performance Model, and quantifiable analysis work begins. We developed this tool as part of a consultative approach that highlights opportunities to gain efficiencies throughout the printing and converting processes.

“The PPM allows us to quantify the impact of sheet cleanliness, press speed, impressions between blanket washes and the overall operational job costs,” according to Chris Moser, MWV Global Marketing Manager.  “This tool allows us to show customers how productivity can be increased and it calculates how many dollars can be saved.”

Following an audit and PPM analysis, we review detailed reports with customers. This typically includes a healthy dialogue about suggestions and ideas for the converter to consider. In addition, the audit team plans a return to the facility to measure improvement and monitor the overall success to the process.

Our approach is to provide a dedicated process improvement team to its customers that help build solid and long-lasting partnerships. The depth of knowledge these teams provide is an added benefit and service that can help customers in any economic environment by improving efficiencies, reducing total costs, and creating a more profitable operation.

Contact MWV Food Packaging for more information.

 

Note: Six Sigma is a registered trademark of Motorola, Inc.