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Miller Welding is Nominated for the American Metal Market Award for Best Operational Improvements

Congratulations to Miller Welding & Machine Co, a long-time Global Shop Solutions customer, for their nomination for the 2016 AMM Award for Best Operational Improvements! Based in Brookville, Pennsylvania, Miller Welding & Machine is a total source solution for fabrication and an ISO certified industry leader in steel fabrication.

In 2011, in the midst of unprecedented sales growth, the company reached a turning point for the family-owned business. Product quality standards that had previously met customer expectations were no longer deemed acceptable. At the same time, exploding market demand required faster turnarounds, eroding the company’s ability to meet on-time delivery requirements. Unless these issues could be resolved to the satisfaction of its customers, the future of the company was at risk.

Over time, the company began developing and implementing processes and techniques to lean operations in order to improve quality and on-time delivery. These included:

  • Appointing a Lean Development Manager to guide the ongoing process of improvement.
  • Implementing 5S, a workplace organization method that improves efficiency by identifying and storing tools and equipment in a standardized manner.
  • Having department supervisors regularly review quality and safety scores and monthly production figures, discussing problems in each area and plans to fix them.
  • Ensuring everyone producing parts or information has the tools and knowledge to fix errors in the moment rather than after the fact.
  • Standardizing all work processes by providing step-by-step instructions and inspection sheets to check critical dimensions for every part.

Miller Welding achieved three significant outcomes as a result of their lean manufacturing efforts.

  • Customer retention. Miller Welding’s two biggest customers now describe them as their best and most reliable vendor. The customers are currently assigning more work to Miller Welding, and are considering pulling work from other suppliers to give to Miller Welding. In a recent audit for operational excellence, the largest customer awarded Miller Welding the highest score it had ever given a vendor.
  • Improved quality. The quality initial target was 500 defective parts per million. Miller Welding has now demonstrated the ability to maintain levels below 500 ppm.
  • Fast growth with minimal increase in overhead. Thanks to its improved operational efficiencies, Miller Welding has had to hire fewer people than expected in order to keep up with its rapid growth.

All of Miller Welding’s achievements, tangible and intangible, have been supported and integrated with Global Shop Solutions ERP software, which provides accurate, real-time data on every aspect of the production process.

Congratulations Miller Welding! We’re proud to serve such a quality-focused organization.

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