First Business

May 09, 2012

Topic: Manufacturing

Manufacturing Matters - Continuous Improvements

Speaker(s): Bob Hoganson, Don Drea, & Steve Straub

Listen to Podcast Online


This session will provide a short overview of the Profitable Sustainability Inititiative, as well as the results achieved by Wisconsin manufacturers participating in the program.

Bob Hoganson, President and Don Drea, Operations Manager at Quick Cable Corporation in Franksville will share their experience with the Profitable Sustainability Initiative, providing updates since the First Report of PSI results was released in June 2011.

The Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative was launched in April 2010 by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices by small and midsize manufacturers.

The PSI program - the only one of its kind in the U.S. - features a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability and reliance on expert partners to drive improvements.

Under the program, a team of energy, environmental, logistics, lean and finance experts take a 360-degree view of the participants' business enterprises to diagnose, assess and implement improvements.

A key reason for the success of the pilot program is that PSI is flexible and customer-driven. The program encourages manufacturers to prioritize sustainability projects based on business needs, fast payback and high ROI.

Bob Hoganson has been with Quick Cable for six years starting as Vice President of Manufacturing. He has over 30 years experience in the wire and cable industry with responsibility for operations, technical service and product management. While at Quick Cable Bob has focused on implementing improvements in manufacturing capabilities with employee involvement.

Don Drea has been with Quick Cable for twelve years starting as Production Manager and then taking on Inventory Control. He has over 20 years of experience in operations with responsibility for manufacturing, assembly and distribution, including time with UPS and Waukesha Engine. He has had the opportunity to make many process upgrades at Quick Cable including a new warehouse and distribution system and upgrades to manufacturing.

Steve Straub is an experienced continuous improvement practitioner who has helped Wisconsin manufacturers grow by reducing waste throughout the enterprise. Steve will provide an overview of the Profitable Sustainability Initiative, highlighting the results of one manufacturer that focued on continuous improvement to reduce costs and environmental impact - Quick Cable Corporation.

May 09, 2012

Topic: Manufacturing

Manufacturing Matters - Continuous Improvements

Speaker(s): Tom Duffey

Listen to Podcast Online


Many Continuous Improvement/ Lean Initiatives are cliche' ridden, top-down programs that do not produce lasting commitment or sustained improvements. In contrast, Plastic Components, Inc. has embraced a unique and effective process that is driven by the energy and commitment of all members of the organization. With a bit of planning, any organization can take the basic premise behind this process, apply it to their organization and get the journey started.

Proven success

Plastic Components, Inc. is in the third year of a cumulative process that has achieved dramatic improvements in productivity, quality, profitability and employee performance. Tom Duffey, the company's president, will share the essential elements that have made his program so successful. The foundation his success is placing the focus for change on each individual in the organization, and providing a process that helps internalize continuous improvement. In this system, individual goals are assessed and paired with organizational goals, making self-actualization a genuine, achievable goal for employees.

Employees view this initiative as an opportunity to improve their quality of life at work - and not as a threatening imperative driven from above. The program is "doable", and can begin to show positive incremental outcomes very quickly.

Tom Duffey (President, Plastic Components, Inc.) will walk-through the steps of the process, explain the very basic details behind the program, and talk about the benefits generated at all levels of organization.