TBM names Milbank Seventh Annual “Perfect Engine” Site

– Electrical Meter Socket Manufacturer Recognized for Operational Excellence –

Durham, N.C. – September 28, 2010 – TBM Consulting Group, a leading global consultancy for the manufacturing and services sectors, presented Milbank Manufacturing Company, the industry leader in the manufacture of electrical meter sockets, with the seventh annual “Perfect Engine Site” award, recognizing the Milbank Kansas City plant for its commitment to “lean” excellence in manufacturing.

“The Perfect Engine” refers to the precision interworking of human resources and physical assets to achieve outstanding productivity results that create business agility, growth and profitability. It is also the title of a book authored by TBM Consulting Group’s CEO Anand Sharma, who has consulted with hundreds of companies worldwide in implementing the principles, tools and management process of the Toyota Business System.

“The Perfect Engine Site” award recognizes individual plants or offices that have successfully implemented a LeanSigma® transformation and demonstrated innovation and outstanding teamwork. LeanSigma is the fusion of the two most powerful business systems from Toyota (Lean) and GE (Six Sigma).

Anand Sharma Chairman and CEO for TBM, presented the award to Eric Krichbaum, Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer at the LeanSigma Global Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Mr. Krichbaum accepted the award on behalf of Trace Tandy, the plant manager at the Milbank Kansas City facility.  The Kansas City plant began its LeanSigma journey in 2005 after creating an overall vision and direction that required the facility to focus on operational excellence in order to become more agile and efficient.  Over the past two years, the Kansas City facility conducted over 30 kaizen events focused on critical shop floor and business process areas.

“We committed to a cross-functional approach for achieving our strategic objectives. By focusing on lead times, set-ups and stock availability, we are now able accommodate customer needs for variety.  At the same time, we reduced inventory and significantly improved our cash position in spite of the recent recession.  I am inspired by our accomplishments and humbled by the improvement opportunities that lie ahead.  Most importantly, we’ve invested in the development and retention of people to continuously improve our value delivery system,” said Krichbaum.

“We are very proud of Milbank because they defined a management vision and drove that vision throughout the organization by engaging employees at all levels.  Consequently, the site achieved its objectives by embracing LeanSigma tools and rapidly driving sustainable improvements in quality, cost, and delivery.  Milbank is mastering the challenge of sustainment and leveraging lean to achieve their important breakthrough growth initiatives,” said Anand Sharma.

About Milbank Manufacturing Company

Milbank Manufacturing Company is one of the largest manufacturers of electrical meter mounting equipment, including sockets, enclosures, power outlets and pedestals. Its lineup of 10,000 plus items also offers circuit breakers, test switches, and safety switches. Manufactured at five plants, products are channeled through a network of manufacturer’s representatives to electric utility companies, contractors, industrial distributors, and OEMs across North America. The family owned company was founded in 1927 by Charles A. Milbank, and is led by the third generation of one of Milbank Manufacturing’s entrepreneurs.

Robbie Flexibles Tour a Great Success

Forty-five manufacturers and their suppliers, even those who were out late at the Chief’s game the night before packed the sold out tour and presentation at Robbie Flexibles on September 14. Robbie Flexibles is a privately-held 40 year old company who provides both customer branded and Robbie branded printed and non-printed packaging solutions for supermarkets, processors, food service and consumer product companies.

Robbie’s recent accolades include:
• 2009 Pack Expo Award for Packaging Innovation
• 2009 Gold Award for Packaging Excellence from FPA
• 2009 Gold Award in Environmental and Sustainable Achievement from FPA
• Sustainable Green Printing Certification
• Best of the Best Workplaces in the Americas

Director of Human Resources Lisa Kist and Chief Operating Officer Pepper Stokes shared their strategy for keeping the planning process both relevant and focused. Ultimately, the planning process must be analyzed to evaluate both successes and failures. A common problem is trying to determine whether failure to meet goals is due to bad strategy or bad execution. A book which has guided their process is Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy’s Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done; which states “The greatest unaddressed issue in the business world today is the execution gap – the gap between setting a goal and achieving it”. In addition to the company presentation, attendees were taken on a tour of the facilities.

Donna Gordon, KCMN manager noted, “The team at Robbie Flexibles provided excellent guidance and suggestions to our members, and is a great example of a company that contributes their time to make KCMN a valuable resource to its members.”

KCMN member companies who would like to get more information on the Robbie presentation can contact Donna Gordon.

Navigating 2011: View of the Future and Resources to Help

The Outlook for the US Economy – Jon Willis
Jon Willis will give a presentation on the state of the U.S. economy and discuss the economic outlook for 2011. In the presentation, he will discuss economic factors related specifically to manufacturers. He will also discuss current issues affecting the labor market.

Expanding your Business Through Exporting – Regina Heise
Are you looking for ways to grow and increase revenue? Are you looking to foreign markets for the first time or interested in expanding to new international markets? Now is the perfect time to look at exporting, but do you know how to navigate the export process, look for new markets, identify customers, and avoid common pitfalls?

About the speakers
Jon Willis Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Jon joined the Economic Research Department in September 2000. A native of Iowa, Jon received a B.A. degree in economics from Grinnell College in 1993 and a Ph.D. degree in economics from Boston University in 2001. Jon conducts research on labor market dynamics over the business cycle and the relationship between the price-setting behavior of firms and inflation dynamics. In addition to working at the Bank, he has served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Regina Heise, Director, U.S. Commercial Service-Kansas City
Regina Heise has been the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service-Kansas City office since October 2005. In this capacity, she works daily with U.S. companies to pursue international sales opportunities and coordinates efforts with the larger international trade community to bring value-added programming to area businesses. An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Commercial Service is the main trade promotion arm of the U.S. Government. The Kansas City office works with companies in Northwestern Missouri and Eastern Kansas. Regina has been with the Department of Commerce since 1996, previously serving in Washington, D.C. as the Deputy Director of the Trade Information Center

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 7:30-9:00 am
Overland Park Marriot
10800 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS (435 & Metcalf)

Cost is $15 for members and $25 for guests. Guests may attend two meetings before having to join as a member. Sign up today by clicking HERE or contact Donna Gordon.

Our founding sponsors, Mid America Manufacturing and Technology Center (MAMTC) and Missouri Enterprise, will be our sponsors for this event. The event is open to area manufacturers and their suppliers. We invite you to join with us to make KCMN the premier resource for manufacturers.

Lean Confusion?

As we launched our Lean Benchmarking Group, this was a central issue – how do we define what Lean is? Brian McCarthy shared this article with me, and it’s a great summary on the issues surrounding Lean – how do you define it, and who is implementing it. Ultimately, the article summarizes the challenges of Lean, and proposes that employee buy in at all levels is the key to sustaining gains.
Link to the article: http://www.industryweek.com/articles/lean_confusion_22538.aspx