LEAN INITIATIVES AND GROWTH: AT ORLANDO METERING COMPANY
The Orlando Metering Company has been manufacturing water meters for the worldwide utilities industry for decades. Early on, OMC developed a friendly, cooperative, and supportive work environment. Even when the organization transitioned to a lean manufacturing operation that focused on working in teams, the collaborative and positive atmosphere continued. Employees felt empowered, and their contributions and suggestions were acknowledged and celebrated. However, OMC has recently lost its way. Its parent company decided to transfer the production of four product lines to the Orlando plant, and this shift has resulted in a number of challenging technical issues. Furthermore, the plant has had to double its workforce, so it has turned to temporary agencies to provide new workers. The plant’s leadership has been so consumed with resolving technical problems that they have not adequately trained the new workers, and all employees seem to have lost sight of the team-based work environment that is the hallmark of lean manufacturing. As a result, employee morale is low, turnover and absenteeism are high, and productivity is declining rapidly.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO ASSIGN
Why do you think employee morale is low? Explain.
How would you describe OMC’s culture? What caused the change in culture?
What should Ed do now to reduce turnover and absenteeism?