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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Critical Mass

Critical Mass is the point when you have enough of the right materials, put together in the proper way to create a sustained nuclear reaction.  It's the point when it all comes together to make the BIG BANG.

Ebsco is reaching critical mass.  All the ingredients are coming together to create our Big Bang.

Ebsco listened and surveyed our customers to find out what was important to them.  What did Ebsco need to offer to create a Big Bang as there partner. This is what our customers told us were the right ingredients;
  • The Best Quality Springs
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Short Lead Times
  • Responsiveness to Needs

We then looked at what our competition was offering and set our goals to reach critical mass by exceeding what they had to offer. Ebsco fared well against the competition but nothing short of "World Class" was going to be good enough. We are going to reach critical mass.

The entire Ebsco team looked at every aspect of our company, searching for improvement. Communication and cooperation between every department reached new highs.  Employees took ownership and greeted the challenge with enthusiasm. Working together, with everyone's input we are finding new and creative solutions and I must add, having allot of fun along the way.

Every aspect of quality is constantly monitored, recorded and communicated.  Anything short of perfect is analyzed and corrected.  The Quality Control department is now Quality Assurance, as everyone has taken on the role of Quality Control. Specifications are checked and re-checked by several team members throughout the process.  When something doesn't meet our standards, everyone is involved in finding a solution.

Our team constantly evaluates every step of the process from the initial phone call to customer delivery. We look for more efficient ways to operate and reduce costs.  Beyond simply eliminating waste, we look for any opportunity to improve the process.  Our key to success is our team work.  Looking beyond ones specific job into the whole process is illuminating several new opportunities.  As we become more efficient we have been able to pass along savings to our customers in the form of better pricing.  Even with drastic material cost increases we have been able to hold many prices to our customers.

Our biggest successes from our team members has been shortened lead times.  Team members have followed work orders through every step of the process looking for wasted time.  Working together they have found new methods that have reduced lead times up to one half.  New technology has been implemented to focus these gains and continually monitor our efforts.

Customer responsiveness has always been a priority but like everything else you don't find opportunities unless you take a critical look.  We have looked and improved several areas.  From the first call from the customer (to a team member, no automated systems here) to our reply, a new sense of urgency exists.  We strive to respond to any customer request, "NO PROBLEM" and make that response quickly.

We are proud of the improvements the team has made at Ebsco and are closing in on the "World Class" status we have targeted.  We realize we haven't arrived yet but if you truly want to be World Class you will never arrive because it requires continual improvement. We are at a point that we can stand next to any competitor and say "We Are Your Best Choice" without hesitation.

We are extremely confidant in the abilities of our team to provide the BEST to our customers and now need to spread that word.  We have recently added a marketing department to support our sales department.  In addition to spreading the word about Ebsco, they will work with our production and process teams to produce and distribute valuable tools to our current and future customers.  These tools will assist them in cutting costs in design and engineering. 

Ebsco has reached critical mass and is about to make a BIG BANG in the spring industry.

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