How ATS Realized 200% Improvement in Productivity, Efficiency

Lawson Products provided a customized product assessment for 30 ATS locations nationwide.

Problem Solvers

As a factory maintenance and parts supplier, Advanced Technology Services, Inc. provides custom solutions for businesses around the world. So when they decided to improve their approach to servicing and repairing their clients’ equipment, they chose a custom solution with Lawson Products. ATS helps growing industrial companies in the U.S., U.K. and Mexico by deploying its own employees full  time  to  repair  machinery  and  perform  routine  maintenance. 

No  two  sites  are  alike  due  to  each  client’s unique operational needs, so having the right parts on-hand at the right time is critical. ATS  saw  an  opportunity  to  seek  a  formal  inventory  management  solution  to  organize  and  stock  the  many  parts  necessary  to  service  and  repair  their  clients’  equipment.  Some  locations  managed  their own inventory, while others outsourced the task to several suppliers—in some cases up to six suppliers—with different storage set-ups, schedules and inconsistent service. To complicate matters, mechanics wasted valuable time going off-site to pick up parts – sometimes as often as four times a week. “Our biggest challenge was not having the right items or being overstocked,” said an ATS spokesperson. “We worked closely with Lawson to capture the unique needs of each location and identify the right mix and right levels of product for each location.” Problem Solvers

Customized Solutions, Standardized Reporting

Lawson provided a  customized  product  assessment  for  30  ATS  locations  nationwide.  In  addition,  Lawson  established  consistent  reporting  and  service  across  these  sites.  Lawson  and  ATS  apply  a  stringent and methodical approach to measuring success using 5S, a standards-based approach to creating and sustaining workplace efficiency and effectiveness. After each site completed a 5S audit, an on-site Lawson representative developed a custom shop set-up unique to the tasks, behaviors and product needs of that site. All set-ups can be adjusted according to planned shutdowns or start-ups, market conditions or regular business cycles. 

One facility, for example, required hoses made off-site simply because ATS didn’t have the product or equipment to make its own. Lawson, however, worked to understand the site’s needs and created a stocking program, including hoses, fittings and the hose-making equipment. The site’s dedicated Lawson representative also provided in-shop training to ensure safe operations. This solution resulted in annual savings of $46,500 at this ATS facility. After Lawson completed the custom shop set-ups, the representative applied a results-driven approach to  ensure  continuous  improvement  at  every  ATS  site. Lawson conducts a  90-day  5S  audit  to  track  initial  results  with  quarterly  audits  thereafter. Important audit criteria includes measuring the impact of  having  properly  organized  parts,  efficiently  placed  set-ups,  lean  inventory  levels    and  consistent  service. To date, all the ATS locations serviced by Lawson have experienced an average of 200 percent improvement in efficiency and productivity. Problem Solvers 2

Bottom Line Results

Lawson Products’ managed  inventory  solution  gives  ATS  the  ability  to  track  part  usage  at  each  location. This helps the company compare stocked items  across  locations  and  share  inventory  as  needed, reducing overall costs. Lawson’s scanning solutions and online ordering tools also provide ATS with a quick and easy way to reorder parts without having to leave the job site. Today,  ATS  operates  more  efficiently  with  Lawson’s  managed  inventory  solutions.  Instead of facing  unreliable site visits from several suppliers, ATS has the right parts at the right time and a knowledgeable Lawson rep serving as a single-point of contact for its small-parts inventory. “Lawson takes full ownership of the vendor managed area and provides reliable management of our free access items that are critical to our operations,” an ATS representative said. “We have open lines of communications through all levels of the organization. Plus, knowing that Lawson is managing these products, we can focus on our maintenance services and other critical inventory items.”

For more information on Lawson Managed Inventory, visit www.lawsonproducts.com.

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