Paints & Coatings Manufacturer Increases


About the opportunity

The client is a manufacturer of protective paints and coatings for home and industrial use. The client’s paint products experienced significant demand growth because of increased home repairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. A brand-new high-speed bottling line was being put in place as a response to significant growth.

The Challenge

Bottling capacity had become a limiting factor for growth to the business. Product sales were hitting record numbers; however, lead times were continuously stretching due to material shortages and delays from the milling department. Upon evaluation of the situation, we identified changeovers as occupying significant production time. We later focused on the milling department and uncovered additional opportunities:

• The equipment downtime was significantly affecting orders
• Paint batches were being scrapped or reworked. This cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
• There were delays to orders from the warehouse.


We used a three-phase approach to help this client:

Phase 1 – We focused on reducing changeover times. Broke down the different types of changeovers, eliminated wasted activities, documented the best sequence, methods and staffing for each piece of equipment.

Phase 2 – We tackled the quality issues and the equipment downtime in the milling department. We developed a tool for identifying the correct wash cycle for equipment to eliminate cross-contamination. In addition, we documented standard work for the paint-making process. The variability between workers caused a significant amount of rework and scrap. Concurrently, we completed an assessment of the milling equipment and identified critical and vulnerable equipment. We then proceeded to roll out a preventive maintenance program to reduce interruptions.

Phase 3 – We analyzed the order picking process at the warehouse. We identified several reasons for the delays and eliminated them by re-arranging high-demand inventory for closer access, improved visuals to facilitate location and access, eliminated wasted motion to pick materials, and identified excess and obsolete inventory and removed it to open needed space. Finally, we developed standard work for all warehouse tasks to reduce variation and errors.


The client was able to better service the increased demand and with higher levels of profitability. Among the results the client accomplished as part of our engagement are:

• Changeover time reduction of 47% (This added US$1MM in additional bottling throughput)
• Increased first pass yield by 12%
• Reduction in scrap by 60% (savings of US$138,000)
• Increased efficiency at the milling department by 10%

About Us

We help manufacturers achieve and sustain operational costs reductions of 20%+, improve on-time delivery to 99%+, and reduce defects to improve product quality to 99%+. These changes help our clients grow company profit margins by up to 25%.
We have developed and used a proven approach to ensure manufacturers achieve and sustain significant performance improvement. Our consultants have over 15 years of experience working with manufacturers and developing their capabilities.
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