Operational Excellence Implementation for Top Line

, Operational Excellence Implementation for Top Line, Future State Engineering


Located in Lewis Run, Pennsylvania since 1962, Top Line Process Equipment has been a leading supplier of sanitary stainless-steel process equipment serving the food, beverage, dairy, pharmaceutical, biotechnological, and personal care industries. The needs of this industry are typically quick response and reliability in terms of delivery. As part of the long-standing service to their customers, Top Line wanted to improve on-time deliveries that were in the high 70% to low 80%. They did not have a solid operational process in place and the systems were fragmented. As a result, they were experiencing too much expediting, too much overtime, and too many late orders.

The Case for Change

Staci Frantz, Top Line General Manager and internal champion who led the effort, wanted a solid plan to improve on-time delivery performance. “When on-time performance was low, the sales department spent a significant amount of time dealing with customer issues. Additionally the amount of energy used to expedite product shipments consumed too much of the organization’s resources which made it difficult to be productive.  We had too much chaos and we were reactive instead of proactive.” As a result, the organization was facing some negative implications including:

  • Losing credibility with some clients due to late deliveries,
  • Concern about their customer’s reputations and how they might be negatively impacted due late deliveries to their customers,
  • Too much time expediting to protect customer relationships,
  • Problem solving time took management’s attention away from the company’s strategic goals, and
  • It wasn’t the market position the company wanted.

To overcome these potential negative implications, Top Line contracted with Future State Engineering (FSE). By performing a ten-month Operational Excellence Implementation, the company developed a plan that not only defined how to increase on-time deliveries, but also defined clear roles and expectations for each employee, which made their job much easier.

A key part of their project was having processes that included prioritization systems.  Proper inventory levels to support sales, a way to manage supplier delays related to on-time deliveries, and a solid order promising system were also important.  These concepts drove all other company initiatives that supported the customer need for improved on-time deliveries.  Frantz said, “The operational excellence project showed us how to improve delivery performance and increase customer satisfaction through proper proactive processes.”

The Result

After conducting the Operational Excellence Implementation, on-time delivery went up more than 15% on a consistent basis and overall, continued to stay above 95%. The organization incurred less overtime and the employees gained confidence in the system.  They knew what they were doing, were able to prioritize their work, and they could see the direct connection between their role and improved customer satisfaction.  If you want to learn more regarding an Operational Excellence Implementation and what it can do for your organization, email Future State Engineering at info@futurestateengineering.com.


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