K & S Wire Products, Inc. manufactures CNC wire forms, grills, grates, display units and custom products for a variety of industries.
The company is extremely well managed, but since it is essentially a contract manufacturer, making parts used in many products, intense overseas competition began to take a toll on sales and profits in the last several years.
In response to this competition and with funding from the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program, the company selected Missouri Enterprise to help create a “Lean Enterprise” culture of continuous improvement. The resulting multi-phase program introduced employees to “Lean Enterprise” principles and focused on hands-on implementation assistance of industry “best practices” and techniques to enhance productivity and compete with low cost producer counties.
In addition, it included development of current and future state Value Stream Maps, an extensive 5S project, implementation of improved plant layout/visual flow techniques and a series of continuous improvement Kaizen events.
According to K & S Wire Products President Gene Schwartz, Sr., the commitment to continuous improvement has yielded exceptional results, already including more than $2.5 million in sales retained or increased.
In February, 2006, K & S Wire Products recorded another important milestone in its “Lean” journey when the company sealed and sent a container of some 111,000 wire frames to China. The company’s newest division, Neosho Powder Painting Company is also meeting foreign competition and recently won an order to paint 857,000 parts which was originally planned for overseas completion.
“Working with Missouri Enterprise’s experienced manufacturing professionals helped us to create a culture of continuous improvement and to maintain and strengthen that culture,” said Schwartz.