Posted by William Mullane | October 24, 2016
Location: Mountain Home, Elmore County
Project: New Product Development, Lean Manufacturing and Product/Process Documentation
UPDATE – IWS & Chuck Ceccarelli featured in NBC’s Blue Collar Millionaire
Idaho Wrecker Sales (IWS) of Mountain Home offers a full line of towing equipment as well as sales, service and parts. The IWS product line includes custom installation of towing equipment, detailed painting, custom graphics and lettering, as well as new and used wreckers and carriers. Owner, Chuck Ceccarelli, had been trying to nail down design specs for one of his unique “Side Puller” wreckers with little success. He called TechHelp at the suggestion of an acquaintance and within two hours, the TechHelp New Product Development Team had delivered an answer. Chuck was so impressed that he brought the TechHelp Team in for further consultation. What TechHelp discovered was a very innovative company that, after 11 years of growth, offered opportunities for product and process improvements.
TechHelp worked with IWS to:
- Install a CNC high definition plasma cutting table and press brakes and uploaded product designs to the CNC interfaces.
- Produce product and process documentation for all IWS side puller products.
- Make changes in product design that made it faster to manufacturer IWS products.
- Conduct Lean Manufacturing training to ground the IWS staff in the principles of Lean.
- Create design specifications, documentation and operations manuals for the new IWS products.
- The IWS Lean Manufacturing transformation led to reductions in inventory, lead time and work in process (WIP) and saved IWS from having to build two new buildings to accommodate growth.
- The IWS Lean implementation created a clean, efficient, orderly and safe workplace where there is a place for everything and everything in its place.
- The new Plasma cutting table and press brakes allow the company to produce parts quickly as per customer demand and redesign on the fly. This has resulted in better quality, less inventory, less scrap and much better lead time.
- Lean helped IWS reduce the lead-time on Side Pullers from 30 days to 4 days leading to a sales increase of 42% and improved customer service.
- Creating product and process documentation allowed IWS to improve product quality, service and sales.
- Standardizing training documents for IWS equipment and products reduced product cycle time and work in process resulting in less inventory and increased cost savings.
- IWS used TechHelp design specifications of its new Speed Dolly product to outsource production within Idaho, avoid costly capital investment and quickly ramp up sales.
- IWS continues to add new employees to meet increased product demand and hired former TechHelp employee and BSU grad, Kevin Haight, as chief engineer.