the planning, through suggestions and bringing their own experiences to the table. Daily meetings are held so everyone knows what's going on. Inscape is a unionized environment with many long- term employees, but everyone understands the need for continuous improvement. The company makes sure that it delivers on time, in full ( OTIF) and to expected standards; defects are off the agenda. Shipping is on Fridays, and reliability is measured on Thursdays. Any problems are identified and rectified before they go out the door. First- pass yield is very high, and the OTIF is 99 percent. Inscape's improvement initiatives have yielded another benefit, of which it is very proud and which also helps morale. It's a safe place to work, with reportable lost- time accidents reduced by 25 percent over the past two years. This has been achieved by focusing on the small incidents. Reduce those, and you don't get the big ones. new products over the past couple of years than at any time in its history. It launched the Scala furniture line, licensed the Tisch system- which has won a Gold Innovation Award at the IIDEX/ NeoCon Canada exhibition in Toronto- and brought out Planna, which has just received a " Best of Canada" design award. The downturn also allowed the company to plan the relaying of its plants and to invest in automation; it has a new Finnpower automatic bender, for example. By building on its experiences with lean manufacturing, it has achieved a 10 percent reduction in labor cost and expects a further 10 percent gain when the relaying project is complete. The new layouts will help by reducing handling. They are based on lean principles, seeking to reduce indirect time consumption, such as the length of time it takes parts to travel, and to incorporate more value- add activity. Management makes the decisions, but the Inscape people have been much involved in Inscape Corp. NOVEMBER 09 www. bus- ex. com 109 Businessexcellence ACHIEVING ONLINE Every business aspires to be excellent, but by definition, only a few can ever achieve that status. Even fewer can sustain it. A business that is excellent today can be overtaken tomorrow if it does not commit to continuous improvement. As others improve, standing still means moving backwards.
Greater Peoria Mass Transit has tapped into than $ 4 million of federal stimulus funds to upgrade its bus fleet. The agency's general manager Keith Regan how the new equipment will augment strong and dedicated workforce and pave the for the next round of improvements 110 www. bus- ex. com NOVEMBER 09 up Gearing