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Well-trained supervisors detect and fix production mistakes

Case:  Furniture Manufacturer

Empowered Hispanic leaders lead a more effective and profitable team.


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By Eduardo Figueroa

After teaching participants about process improvement methodology, they reviewed each of the manufacturing stages, from receiving an order to delivering the finished product.

Hello again! Eduardo Figueroa here continuing our mini-series of productivity cases.

Thank you for watching this third case about how I helped a client transform their Hispanic employees so they can resolve issues and conflicts by themselves and eliminate expensive mistakes which took place in the different departments of their business.

Now, I am going to ask you to visualize for a few seconds. How would you feel if you do not have to deal with conflicts and potential lawsuits caused by your employees in a supervisory position, due to their lack of good leadership?

And, what will happen if your business is generating more earnings due to having a higher productivity, fewer mistakes, and reduced waste of resources, simply because you have a team of leaders better prepared?

I believe most of you will be happier and more relaxed, and this is what I want to help you achieve with these video cases.

Today I will explain how the employees, when they are well-trained, can evaluate themselves the production process from taking an order to delivering the final product, and redesign every step to eliminate errors that cause the company, sometime, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in losses.

As I mentioned at the end of video number 2, today I will talk about a manufacturing furniture.

After several training sessions on leadership and supervisory development, where the owner of the business and his daughter, the manager, also participated, we made an evaluation of the mistakes occurring during the manufacturing process. We found out that those mistakes were costing the company around $702,000 a year.

Some mistakes started when they were taking the purchase order from a customer. Sometimes the staff in charge would not pay close attention and would not correctly write the code of the model – either a sofa or chair, or the code for the kind of fabric and color, which the customer requested.

Other mistakes included, building the frame of the furniture requested using the wrong pattern or measurements.

Sometimes, they made the cushions before building the sofa, which turned out not being the right size for the sofa, and then they had  to remake them from scratch, wasting all the fabric and labor.

Other times, even though the color code for the fabric was correctly written in the order, the person in charge of getting the fabric from the warehouse grabbed a different color of fabric. And then the customer would return the product to be upholstered again.

Sometimes, the product would get finished with no mistakes, but would get damaged during transportation! The fabric would get pierced, or some parts of the furniture would get damaged.

As you can see, there were many different mistakes and accidents occurred during the manufacturing process, and most of them were human errors.

When we analyzed the cost of having to remake many of these sofas due to those issues, we estimated the annual cost was more than $700,000 a year.

After teaching participants about process improvement methodology, I helped them review each of the manufacturing stages, from receiving an order to delivering the finished product.

They started to propose solutions to reduce the mistakes, in each stage.

Some of the actions they took were as following:

  • They started reviewing the process and forms when taking orders. They involved the staff who were serving customers, revised, and redesigned the forms and process to reduce mistakes
  • A second revision and confirmation for each order was added
  • The patterns for the different pieces of furniture were revised and updated
  • After getting the correct fabric, the person in charge of cutting the fabric was also asked to check and confirm that the fabric and color required by the customer were correct
  • The person responsible for cutting the fabric, could not start until the frame of the corresponding piece of furniture was completed
  • The cushions could not be made until the corresponding piece of furniture was finished
  • The entire staff was trained about the importance of being careful and paying close attention during the entire manufacturing process to not damage furniture, as repairing and remaking it is very costly
  • Modifications were made to the forklifts to minimize the risk of damaging furniture when transporting it

These were some of the actions that took place.

After these changes were made, they estimated that savings would be up to $19,200 dollars a month, which totaled approximately $230,000 dollars a year in savings.

Here, the investment made by the company was of about $26,000 for the training program and some small modifications to their manufacturing process.

This resulted in a return of investment of 884%!

Just like in the other two case studies which I shared in the previous videos, what made these positive changes possible within the company was that we trained the Hispanic supervisors and leaders, in Spanish, allowing them to feel more comfortable, while teaching them how to work as a team to effectively look for solutions to any problems that may occur.

As you can see, the investment they made in the training, really paid off!

Maybe you can imagine how the owner of the business felt when he saw that his investment in the training would produce an important reduction in process errors, which would translate directly into profits for his business.

“I wished I have negotiated a percentage of the savings in all the cases.” ?

A few months later, I went back to see how things were going and the owner showed me how they were already working in developing a new line of rustic furniture. This was one of his dream projects the owner had not started due to dealing with all the costly mistakes in his company.

Now, going back to today’s case, we saw, once again, a transformation in the people who participated in the training, and indirectly in most of the employees in that company.

Also, the Hispanic supervisors who participated in the training now have the tools to be prepared for problems, analyze, and search for solutions, and work altogether as a team.

What makes my on-site and online training programs successful with my customers is that my training was created by a Hispanic person and provided entirely in Spanish.

Moreover, thanks to having studied engineering, I developed the mindset of solving problems and improving processes, which gives me a competitive advantage to communicate that to my students in a simple, and most importantly, practical way, without using very complicated language.

As you can see throughout the three cases, I am passionate about process improvement, and specially the transformation of participants to become better persons and productive leaders.

I hope that some of the ideas and examples I have shared with you in all these video-cases are useful to you!

However, if you want to know more about my online training program and the services I offer, and how they can transform your business and your life, then join me in the next video!

Some people think that any training is expensive, but my question is, compared with what, with constantly losing thousands of dollars every year due to mistakes, poor productivity, lawsuits, and time wasted in dealing with conflicts?  

What is extremely costly in the long term is NOT training your employees.

Please download the Pre-training economic situation tool, a PDF file, to determine your total annual cost of the following issues in your company:

  • Product waste
  • Process mistakes
  • Turnover
  • Lawsuits
  • Accidents
  • Low productivity
  • Time dealing with complaints of employees

This will help you decide whether to invest in the development of your employees to reduce those costly situations.

CLICK the button below to download it, and if you have questions how to use it, please email me or write a comment.

My question for you in case you are not giving any training to your Hispanic employees is: What are you waiting for?!

How much more money are you going to keep wasting, and most importantly, how much more time will you spend dealing with the conflicts and issues that keep occurring for not having a well-trained team of supervisors?

Again, please leave a comment or any question you may have, below.

Let me know what you think about this mini-case study, and if you found it helpful.

Remember to leave a comment.

And once again thank you for watching this video.

I hope you have an amazing week, and that you join me, in the next video.

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Assessment tool to estimate the annual cost of the problems and determine their causes, in your company


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Training in Spanish Ensures Better Understanding and Better Performance!


Online training course designed for Hispanic supervisors and leaders in Spanish with subtitles in English

Eduardo Figueroa

Trainer & Author

My mission is to help companies to be more profitability by bringing out the best in their Hispanic team of leaders and employees.

I achieve this successfully by training participants in their native language (Spanish) and by been a Hispanic.

I have developed on-site training sessions and online programs, in Spanish, that are practical, effective, easy to use and affordable. With great ROI, investment-benefit.

I have the education, knowledge and over 20 years experience, helping clients in manufacturing, agribusiness, hotels, all kind of service, restaurants, and construction, here in USA and Mexico.

I hold a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresas and a Chemical Industrial Engineering Degree from the National Polytechnic Institute, both in Mexico City.

Hispanic Business Consultants © – Eduardo Figueroa 2024  – Supervisor Eficaz

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