Plains Fabrication & Supply
This Alberta-based steel fabrication company embarked on its Lean journey to improve profit margins, increase productivity and response times, and reduce waste.
Plains Fabrication & Supply is an Alberta based steel fabrication company that was established in Calgary in 1988, and now supplies to a global market. Since their inception in 1998, Plains Fabrication has grown from 16 employees to over 150 employees in both the offices and shop floor.
With sales of approximately $20 million annually, their products include sweetener packages, heaters, separators, pressure vessels, skid packages, and other custom fabrication.
Why they decided to go LEAN!
A decision by the owners to either invest in a new facility or end the business, based on possibilities of increased profits, initiated the Lean process at Plains Fabrication. Profit margins needed to increase from the current 4% to 8-10% to allow the building of a new facility.
Other concerns that needed addressing included:
- age and function of the original facility
- cash flow issues
- difficulty finding skilled labor in current hot labor market
- lack of training
- poor organization and use of shop floor
- production was tied to the needs of one main customer