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CLASS A at DuPont Films

On February 18, 1997 ICI Polyester’s U. S. Melinex® Business (now part of DuPont Films) achieved an important company objective: Class A MRP II certification. Established as an objective in the fall of 1995, the Class A MRP II initiative was envisioned as an early step in a journey to Operational Excellence.

BENEFITS

Tangible benefits as of December 31, 1996 include:

  1. Record levels of customer service: 97% On Time In Full.
  2. Inventory at sustainably low levels, finished product inventory reduced approximately 40% from 1995 levels.
  3. Manufacturing schedule performance at the highest levels in company history: 95% on time, up from 72%.
  4. Master schedule performance at the highest levels in company history: up 57 percentage points.
  5. Data quality at all time high quality levels: inventory accuracy 100%, BOM accuracy 100%, routing accuracy 100%.
  6. Manufacturing cycle times slashed 50% on most process lines.
  7. Accounting closing down from 9 days to 2.

THEY DESCRIBE THEIR RESULTS

In a letter to Class A Item Owners (people with the primary responsibility for a Class A Assessment area) written in August 1996, they described some of the efforts and results that they have seen:

"Customer Care Reps are able to respond to 95% of all customer calls on the first call. This leads to satisfied customers and accepting more opportunity sales, because of on-line access to accurate information."

"The ICI Polyester strategies are linked to the budget process , the S&OP, the master production schedules and the material requirements schedules in a single set of numbers."

"Reliable, up-to-date product costs viewed by well trained associates are used to make good business decisions at all levels. Finance rework is reduced for monthly closing and month end closing is quicker by maintaining accurate bills of material, inventory and routing data."

"By working to the master production schedules (MPS) in concert, we maximize the value we get from our polymer trains, stenters, raw materials and human assets through reducing rework and waste. Our ability to plan and hold to schedules is excellent. We can accept an increasing number of changes while maintaining our OTIF (on time in full) metrics and product costs."

"Accurate finished goods inventory through the use of cycle counts allows reduced inventory (and carrying costs), reduced shipping costs, reduced obsolescence cost and accurate warehouse information. Similar parallels exist for raw materials, stores and work in progress."

"Smaller buckets (campaigns or manufacturing lot sizes) are run more often due to the constant reduction of cycle time, quicker changeovers and ability to use MRP. This leads to quicker response time and decreased finished goods inventories for us and our customers ."

HOW DID THEY DO IT?

Here were some of the factors that helped them achieve this important goal:

Leadership. As a management team they had a vision and never lost sight of it. That vision and the confidence that they could achieve Class A results, particularly at top management levels of the company, came from prior experience with successful MRP II operations at other ICI sites.

Aggressive goals. They were discontent with existing systems and results, and had high expectations, targets, and objectives for how things could be.

Concentration. Their efforts were never diluted by competing programs or "projects of the month".

Self confidence and reinforcement of results. Their common vision, management commitment, faith and a little hope propelled them to the initial improvements. These improved operating results created confidence, which created enthusiasm, which created effort and more improved operating results. As results grew, so did the core of "true believers".

Hard work. People all around the organization perceived the benefits to the company and their individual jobs and put forth the effort to make it excellent.

Persistence. They are winners: they don’t quit at the first sign of adversity as so many others do.

On March 11, 1997 they hung a plaque on the wall announcing to the world what they’ve accomplished. But with or without the plaque, their whole team can be proud of all the things they’ve done.

And in spite of all the hard work, long hours, and sometimes slow, painful progress they will look back on this effort as one of the most exciting and satisfying times of their careers.

Congratulations to everyone at DuPont Films.

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FEEDBACK

If you have specific questions about this article or want to discuss it with the author, call Chris Gray at 1 603 778-9211.

The Partners for Excellence specialize in helping companies set up comprehensive measurement programs and improving overall resource management performance.  Contact us at 1 603 528-0840 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..