Our client, a multi-location ready mix concrete, sand and gravel supplier faced the twin problems of escalating costs and eroding customer service. MLE was engaged to support the President as he implemented his vision for the firm. Central to his vision was the creation of a culture which valued quality, customer service and continuous improvement. Over a six month period MLE Consulting performed a TQM readiness assessment, organized the Quality Steering Committee, trained the management and hourly employees in TQM and supported the work of the departmentally based Quality Teams and the cross functional Corrective Action Teams. Our client has reported savings of $2 million to $3 million.
The firm is one of the largest ready mix concrete producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Over 350 employees are spread over seven different locations and four major divisions. The second generation management team recognized the need to change the culture of the organization without losing the strength of the family oriented culture. The company did not have a history of participative management and reacted slowly to opportunities. Initial interviews confirmed that management was viewed skeptically. Substandard internal communication fed fear and resentment on the part of employees.
Managers and employees were very loyal to the company. Most of them had grown up in the business. Management had a "shirt sleeve style" typical of the construction industry. Most of the truck drivers could read and write. Turnover was exceptionally low by national and regional standards.
The prolonged recession in commercial and residential construction had put them in a vulnerable position. They were faced with increasingly aggressive competition. A major objective for implementing TQM was to eliminate the waste in delivery and improve the reliability of delivery. The President made it plain that the savings from... [continues]
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