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Top Line Growth through Improved Capacity Utilization


Situation:   A U.S. national network of 12 food production operations was capacity constrained and laboring to meet all available market orders, leaving market share to be claimed by competitors.  In addition to its own name brand products, the manufacturer was also the primary private label producer for a major U.S. retailer with significant buyer power.  Due to high market demand, the retailer was placing increasing urgency to ensure all available orders were fulfilled.


Approach:  At the team’s recommendation, the client company agreed to focus on the best performing plant in the network to maximize the likelihood of identifying improvement opportunities that could rapidly be rolled out through the network.  With this focus, the team pursued a three-pronged approach: product profiling, asset availability, and end-to-end loss analysis.  Product profiling included complete SKU complexity and profitability analysis, resulting in complexity reduction in coordination with product management.  Asset availability included complete profiling of production equipment for uptime and maintenance patterns.  Outputs of this work guided targeted asset upgrades, as well as resulting in major revamps to maintenance operations and shift patterning.  End-to-end loss analysis comprised a 100% start to finish mass balance evaluation, as well a complete profiling of production rates versus engineering specifications, identifying key sources of production losses used to develop a program of targeted small capital investments.


Results:  Using the output of the team’s work, the client was able to increase output at the top-performing plant by 10%, resulting in immediate increase of variable profit flowing from the site.  Deploying the identified improvements across the remaining plants resulted in a total increased production output of 15% within the first year.


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