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Maset News
November 17, 2009

Hands-on Problem Solving

A Success Story

By George Velenovsky, Maset LLC associate

The following is a Hands-on Problem Solving success story, utilizing methodologies, tools and techniques from Lean, Six Sigma and Quick Improvement.

The Problem

A major manufacturer of roofing materials was experiencing significant issues with customer dissatisfaction due to late deliveries of products to customer jobsites. In most cases, the customer would have extra crew on-site to handle the delivery and would hire a crane and operator for rooftop placement of the materials. A late or untimely delivery would result in wasted time, delayed work, and unnecessary labor and crane charges. The dissatisfied customer would typically back-charge the manufacturer for these extra costs.

The Approach

The manufacturer assembled a team consisting of representatives from customer service, operations, sales, transportation, finance, and information technology. The team kicked off their efforts with a 3-day series of meetings, in order to provide the proper discipline and focus to resolve the issue. Historical data and Voice of the Customer (VOC) information was collected and assembled for the team's use. The team quickly determined the scope and boundaries of the problem and their team goals and objectives. Process maps were developed that clearly detailed all of the steps taken in the order fulfillment process and the team closely examined the process and determined which tasks were value-added and which were non-value-added. Throughout the meetings, training was done as needed, to educate team members on the tools and techniques being used.

With all of this information at hand, the team then brainstormed potential ways to improve the process and developed potential solutions to the problem. A future-state process map was created and a detailed action item list to accomplish the improvements was produced. These action items were completed by the team within a 30-day period immediately following the 3-day initial meeting.

The Results

The primary outcome of this project was the institution of an 800-number system and Standard Operating Procedure where the delayed carrier could call in and the information would be quickly passed along to the jobsite customer. The implementation of this system resulted in near 100% advanced customer notification of late delivery. The team also easily exceeded its goal of 20% reduction in late delivery claims paid by the manufacturer.

This is just one example of successes using Hands-on Problem Solving. In this particular situation, results were achieved within a 30-day timeframe. Other, more involved problems may require different methodologies or toolsets and may need more time to resolve.

Maset LLC is available to help you with Hands on Problem solving using the correct tool from the many tools that our experts have learned and used. Give us a call so we can help you.

If you missed the radio interview with Charles Loew on KBZNZ - Radio Business Journal and you want to listen to it you will find it on our web site at -

Maset has the ability, the resources, and a history of successes, making us confident in our ability to deliver superior results for your organization.

Contact Charles Loew today to begin the journey.

Charles Loew
Maset, LLC

phone: 520-568-6355    cell: 602-721-3680    fax: 520-568-6355

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