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STLCC and RugDoctor Are Partners in Progress

April 05, 2011

RugDoctor employees participate in training session.  
A group of RugDoctor managers and supervisors are
completing the STLCC Lean Leadership Certification
program.

Like all advanced manufacturing companies in today’s economy, RugDoctor faces continuing pressures to increase the productivity and profitability of its manufacturing processes. 

 

For the past two years, St. Louis Community College’s Center for Business, Industry and Labor (CBIL), a department within the Workforce and Community Development division, has provided training and consulting services for RugDoctor’s manufacturing facility in Fenton, Mo. RugDoctor’s headquarters is located in Plano, Texas.

 

To aid in meeting this ongoing challenge, RugDoctor applied for and was approved for funding through the Missouri Customized Training program. The company, along with a group of other manufacturers throughout the St. Louis region, was selected because its continued corporate presence was considered vital to Missouri’s economic health. After receiving this funding, RugDoctor enlisted the services of CBIL’s Lean Manufacturing Business Unit to support its aggressive transition to Lean manufacturing.

 

“Lean thinking and work processes, including the use of tools such as 5S, Visual Management, Work Cell Redesign and Six Sigma, are being used by corporations worldwide to increase their competitive strength by driving higher degrees of employee engagement,” said Schubert Pereira, vice president of manufacturing and research and development at RugDoctor. “Lean works because it strongly encourages all employees to think about ways to make the work they do more productive.  And it’s certainly done that in our plant. Our team members are continually thinking about ways to improve their workspaces, and their ideas are making our plant more competitive.” 

 

Pereira noted that one team member submitted an idea on the company’s idea board that saved 30 seconds per processed box, equaling a savings of $3,162.50 per year. Another idea implemented has a line lead operator carrying a whistle to shut down the line immediately when the capping machine stops.  This idea prevents damage to the labeler machine and saves at least $1,100 in repairs for each incident. 

 

“These examples are just small ones,” Pereira said. “The Lean training and consulting services we’ve received from St. Louis Community College are playing an important role in our becoming a stronger manufacturer in the Fenton area.”

 

In the last 11 years, CBIL’s Lean Manufacturing Business Unit has provided training and consulting services to a wide variety of manufacturers in the St. Louis region, said George Friesen, CBIL’s business practice leader of Lean manufacturing.

 

“It’s always especially rewarding to work with a team of managers, supervisors and line workers like those at RugDoctor. Currently, we are providing training and consulting services in support of RugDoctor’s implementation of the 5S System, a powerful process used to transform work spaces. In addition, a group of RugDoctor managers and supervisors are completing St. Louis Community College’s Lean Leadership Certification program, a resource we designed three years ago to give managers and supervisors the skills needed to drive successful transformations to Lean manufacturing.”

 

Friesen added that RugDoctor employees have an obvious dedication to staying competitive.

 

“What’s happening at RugDoctor needs to be happening at all advanced manufacturing facilities throughout the state of Missouri,” Friesen said. “When the thinking processes of Lean manufacturing are put to full use throughout Missouri’s manufacturing community, our state’s economy will be much stronger.”