Kaizen Success Story at IDEX: Fitch Ratings Affirms IDEX
From Business Wire (press release), CA ... At the same time, IEX is expected to continue to improve efficiency and drive costs down through Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma
and Global Sourcing.
... Fitch Ratings has affirmed the rating on IDEX's (NYSE:IEX) senior unsecured notes at 'BBB'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The rating is supported by IEX's leading positions in its niche markets, steady free cash flow, improving organic growth, disciplined balance sheet management and acquisition strategy, and stable credit measures. Concerns include cyclical end-markets and periodic hikes in leverage due to acquisition activities. IEX generates about $100 million in free cash flow each year, providing adequate capacity for making moderate size acquisitions. The company has demonstrated its disciplined approach to acquisitions and ability to quickly delever after temporary increasing debt, and Fitch expects IEX to continue to maintain a solid balance sheet while acquiring businesses. ...
IDEX Corporation is the world leader in fluid-handling technologies for positive displacement pumps, dispensing equipment for color formulation, and other highly engineered products including fire suppression equipment, rescue tools and stainless steel custom banding. IDEX products are sold to a wide range of customers for use in diverse applications throughout the world. IDEX is capitalizing on its competitive advantages and committed to creating sustainable, profitable growth through leveraging operational excellence tools, continually innovating new products and applications, and making high quality, strategic acquisitions in expanding markets.
IDEX is focused on process and rapid continuous improvement in all aspects of its business. By focusing on extensive training of its employees and leveraging operational excellence tools like Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, Six Sigma and Global Sourcing, IDEX has been able to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, improve operating margins and enhance cash flow - while driving for metrics that are important to its customers.
One cornerstone of operational excellence at IDEX is the use of Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen tools to eliminate waste and continuously improve our processes both in manufacturing and other areas of our business. The focus of Lean Manufacturing is to create a one-piece flow based on actual market needs, instead of a “batch” process based on forecasted use. Lean events typically take about one week. They are led by our trained Lean champions, who work with employees to create an “as is” process map. Together, the group determines a more efficient manufacturing flow using Lean techniques and principles. A new process flow is then developed that satisfies the actual customer demand.
Kaizen – which in Japanese means “continual improvement” – is one of the tools of Lean Manufacturing. Most Kaizen events within IDEX have been staged in manufacturing, where we have seen significant reductions in distance traveled, floor space, inventory, and cycle time. Increasingly, we also are utilizing Kaizen events to improve the transactional processes in the office. Kaizen projects usually last from three to five days. An internal Kaizen champion works with employees to develop a process map of how a given job is done, and how materials flow through this process. The group then considers how to use Kaizen principles to create a more efficient flow and to eliminate non-value-added steps. The process is changed, and parts or components are produced in a new way by the end of the week.
Labels: approach, competitive, inventory-management, japanese-management-techniques, job, manufacturing-excellence, manufacturing-flow, strategy, waste, waste-reduction