2019 Brings Positive Changes to StrongBox Manufacturing & Service Capabilities
Date Posted: March 26, 2019
As part of our ongoing commitment to quality at StrongBox, we are excited to share with you some positive changes that are happening behind the scenes this year that are already improving our ability to serve you better.
- We are growing. To better meet our needs, we moved into a new facility at the end of 2018 that now comfortably houses our entire manufacturing operation as well as our warehouse and administrative offices. The two-story, 60,000 SF. building nearly doubles our space and allows us to keep everything under one roof. This creates more efficiencies and streamlines our entire manufacturing capabilities. We have also added a second-shift to keep up with product orders.
- We are committed to quality. We are now accredited as an ISO 9001:2015 and Lean/6 Sigma – Best Practices company. So much so, that we have hired a full-time Quality Manager to lead our team and implement these programs across the board.
- We are embracing new tools and systems. We now use a fully integrated ERP System, a comprehensive software system that tracks stock levels, material purchases, and keeps us apprised, at-a-glance in real time of where we are in terms of the production schedule and delivery dates. In addition, we have made investments in state-of-the-art equipment such as our sheet metal fabricator that uses laser precision cutting technology. This not only ensures a more sophisticated end product, but creates a cleaner and quieter manufacturing environment.
“Many of these positive changes are the result of the ongoing commitment and investment of resources, leadership and vision that MUM Industries, our parent company since 2016, brings to the table,” says George Lowe, acting National Sales Director for StrongBox and one of several employees that have been with StrongBox for more than 20 years. “It’s a positive, proactive relationship that is bringing to StrongBox all the benefits of what working with a progressive, nation-wide corporation offers,” says Lowe.
In addition, some products are now able to be warehoused at the Mentor, Ohio warehousing space under one roof. headquarters of MUM. This saves on shipping costs and reduces shipping time for our East Coast and Southern customers. “It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship that is creating a win-win-win, which is exactly the position we want to be in as we move forward in the years to come,” says Lowe.
Meet Josey McLain, Quality Manager at MUM West (StrongBox)
Josey was hired in late 2017 to help strengthen the culture of quality at StrongBox. He brings years of experience as a Quality Manager from the medical device and FDA labeling industry and is passionate about transformational living and working within a culture of quality. Under his leadership, our company is now proudly certified by ISO 9001:2015 and utilizes Lean 6 Sigma philosophy in everything we do. Below, Josey shares answers to questions on quality.
How do you create a culture of quality?
It starts with each and every employee and the connectiveness we share. It’s about energizing everyone and looking at everything as a learning experience and then identifying where help is needed. It’s also putting pillars of philosophy and commitment into place that help us create the bedrock of what our company stands for- honesty, communication, access to information, trust, and community. We strive to blur the lines between productivity and quality by making them so integrated, they are seen as one operation. We constantly ask ourselves – “How can we make it better?”, “How can we reduce waste?” and, we follow the important, four-step system of the PDCA model – Plan, Do, Check & Act.
What does Lean/6 Sigma actually mean?
It’s really two things.
1. Remove waste in processes and in performance activities.
2. Reduce variabilities or uncontrolled factors in order to create repeatability and consistencies. Once you identify these factors, it’s easier to confine them and control them.
The whole process is about realigning how you look and think about something. Once you realign your thought process to include these principles, you find yourself reexamining all aspects of your life through the eyes of Lean/6 Sigma and suddenly you’re finding better ways to organize your garage or even load a dishwasher!
How do customers benefit from working with a company that is passionate about quality?
When you have an engaged workforce where the culture focuses on putting quality as its ultimate goal, the end result is a customer service experience that is second to none. It starts from the very first phone call with one of our employees to product delivery. It’s an energy that customers can feel and it makes for “an above and beyond” customer service experience that we are all proud to offer.