HVTDC Guides Orange County’s Monroe Cable Company Through A Successful Lean Transition

The term “six degrees of separation” rings true for the relationship between the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, Inc. (HVTDC) and the family owned quality cable manufacturer, The Monroe Cable Company, in Orange County’s Middletown, NY.

“It’s a small world” when Monroe Cable crosses paths once again with HVTDC.  In  2012, Virginia’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center, GENEDGE ALLIANCE  was asked to manage a Lean Supply Chain Management project for a major client involving a selected group of suppliers, one of which was Monroe Cable.  Monroe’s President, Mr. Abraham Wieder, contacted HVTDC and asked for the assistance of Mr. David Tooker, HVTDC’s Senior Lean and Quality Systems Engineer.  Monroe Cable was well aware of HVTDC’s services since they have worked together on various projects throughout the years.

Mr. Tooker began by conducting a comprehensive Lean supply chain gap assessment.  Based on the assessment and his recommendations, Monroe implemented a Lean transition in their company.  A series of value stream mapping sessions were held and a plant wide 6s process was kicked off in the fall of 2012.  As a result of a successful plant wide 6s implementation, the logical next step in the transition was to kick off the development of standard work procedures to post in the work areas and the use of visual controls and area metrics.  The combination of 6s, standard work procedures and area metrics will drive quality at the source practices.  Monroe has invested $650,000.00 with plans to invest another $7m in its Middletown facility 2013-2014.

A number of documented goals have been achieved or close to being achieved within the last 9 months.  Some of these include:

  • Expand focus of 6s, implementing standard work and Kaizen based improvements.  These have resulted in a 20% increase in on-time shipments.
  • Applying visual and real time monitoring and controls to reduce product defects, improve product and communicate priorities.  Less than 1% of product costs is lost due to defects and .18% attributed to customer returns, compared to between 2%-4% for “world-class” ratings!
  • Customer returns have dropped by 25%
  • Maintaining a safe, organized factory.

Mr. Michael Mayfield, Senior Vice President at Monroe Cable, was recently asked to present the company’s successful Lean transition to GENEDGE ALLIANCE’s client’s base suppliers.  Mr. Mayfield commented that Monroe is regarded as the client’s “poster child” for a successful Lean transition

Anthony Cerilli, GENEDGE ALLIANCE Engagement Manager states “Mr. David Tooker did an outstanding job evaluating Monroe Cable’s initial state and developing a roadmap to take their performance to the next level.  His coaching and mentoring was instrumental to the gains realized.”

Dave Tooker states, “Monroe Cable and its employees are committed to the Lean transition and maintaining it. They are effectively addressing the organizational and cultural challenges required to successfully implement and capture the benefits that Lean provides; it is not just about achieving an organized factory.”

The Hudson Valley Technology Development Center, Inc. (HVTDC) works with area businesses to help them innovate with new products and services, compete by improving operations, and grow their revenue and profits.  To learn more about how HVTDC can help a business or organization improve productivity, please contact Phyllis Levine at 845-391-8214 x 3001, via email at phyllis.levine@hvtdc.org, or visit www.hvtdc.org.