Berthold Kübler, Head of Operations and Logistics, Hawa AG, Switzerland
"How a value-stream analysis made a major impact"
Many companies position themselves as total solution providers who sell customers the fuzzy promise of delivering everything “from a single source.” Bossard takes a different approach – one with more value for its customers. Because Bossard focuses on its core expertise in fastening technology, the company goes deeper and is able to provide its customers with added solutions. We at Hawa AG benefit from this approach. We are a leading international supplier of high-quality sliding hardware systems for glass, metal and wood construction as well as for sliding shutters and furniture. We have purchased fastening parts from Bossard for many years and also use their SmartBin logistics system. In addition, we rely on Bossard’s quality and testing laboratories, and we count on their engineering and consulting services to help answer our questions about fastening technology. This includes the Bossard Next Generation service, a new approach to design and process optimization. This service uses value-stream analysis to map and, where possible, improve productivity in the manufacturing process.
Bossard introduced us to value-stream analysis at a time when we were thinking about how we could put one of our best-selling products, the HAWA Concepta 25 / 30 / 50 pivot-slide hardware system, to the test. We wanted to find out how well we were making the product and whether there was potential for improving productivity in manufacturing. There were three reasons why we turned to Bossard‘s Next Generation service to answer this question: First, an external partner can perform such a task objectively, whereas the company’s internal analysis could be clouded by preferences for specific procedures or machine. Second, we were familiar with Bossard and we knew the company has a high level of expertise. Third, we were impressed by the approach proposed by Bossard.
Bossard’s value-stream analysis identified considerable potential for improving productivity in our manufacturing process; in particular, it found potential to shorten the throughput time by no less than 83 %. However, to realize this potential, we would need to replace all the rivets currently in use with screws. What might at first glance seem like a minor change would actually have a major impact on our operations. It called for investment in new systems as well as extensive testing. The proposed change would also affect our customers. With screws instead of rivets, they would be able to undo connections and take apart our hardware. This poses the question whether this makes sense for our customers. To answer this question, we will closely review the proposal by Bossard in the coming months as we re-engineer our HAWA Concepta 25 / 30 / 50 hardware.
In addition to this design proposal, value-stream analysis yielded a second result: It confirmed that we are already doing many things right in manufacturing. This insight was just as important for us, and we were very pleased.