PEAVEY INT'L. HEADQUARTERS - Peavey Electronics Corporation has begun a company-wide Lean initiative that will maximize efficiency among its 33 facilities and strengthen the organization's position in the global marketplace.
Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of maximizing efficiency within an organization. Although the movement first gained traction under the term "Lean" in the 1990s, the roots of Lean date to Henry Ford, and later, Toyota. Courtland Gray, Chief Operating Officer of Peavey Electronics, said that Peavey must refine its business model in order to position the company for continued growth.
"By embracing Lean practices, we can better understand the flow of production from plant to plant and come up with more efficient ways of doing business," he said. "Our goals are to apply skills efficiently, deploy freed resources where needed, and ultimately become more competitive. Peavey is committing to making a significant upward stride in performance in a short period of time, and that will benefit our customers, employees and community."
Peavey's Lean program is part of a massive, multi-million dollar reinvestment that Peavey Electronics has made in its infrastructure just since 2008, including a new ERP computer network to streamline the flow of information, enhance communication and unify its global affiliates. With this next phase, Gray said that Peavey employees hold the key to the company's future.
"Our Lean strategy depends on an internal team that will determine how to alter the company's workflow and processes," he said. "The team is a stratified representation of the Peavey employee family, including manufacturing line workers, plant managers and product engineers. It's important that our plan is shaped by the people who will ensure its success."
Peavey has a rich history of innovation in manufacturing. In the 1970s, the company revolutionized the way musical instruments are made, adapting CNC technology to make consistently high-quality guitars and basses. The move gave Peavey a substantial advantage over its competitors, and ushered in the modern era of guitar making.
Michael Harbaugh, Operations Manager of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi, a division of the Mississippi Technology Alliance, is working with Peavey on a transformational Lean business model that will ensure that the company retains that spirit of innovation and a competitive edge for years to come.
"Today's globally competitive environment demands that companies use every resource to its full potential," he said. "In traditional approaches to business, only 5% of the resources expended on a daily basis result in 'value-added' activities, or those that people are willing to pay for. The more we convert that waste into value-added activities, the more profitable, competitive and faster the company becomes. Customers want things faster, cheaper and easier, and Lean is the only known sustainable mechanism that makes companies operate faster and more efficiently.
"Manufacturing is the heart and soul of an economy," Harbaugh added. "The stronger we can make U.S. manufacturing, the stronger and more secure we will be. Lean secures the manufacturing base of America, and by adopting this transformational model, Peavey is helping lead the way."