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Proudfoot blog

The latest in operational and digital transformation through people.


Dennis Santare

Recent Posts

Recession, tariffs, trade-deals – Oh My! How to turn the uncertainty to your advantage

While a ‘phase one’ deal may avoid further escalation, with the existing tariffs still in place and steel prices continuing to rise, along with the risk of recession and USMCA ratification on the congressional agenda, North American manufacturers find themselves at a pivotal moment.

Is your continuous improvement program stalled? Avoid these analytics mistakes

Implementing a continuous improvement program is an important step toward increasing productivity. Having your plant manager and executives look at data from your processes hourly gives you greater visibility of performance issues across your operation. This added insight is valuable, but is your team properly interpreting the data in order to know the right course of action for a given problem?

How much is S&OP misalignment costing your business?

More than ever, businesses today operate through a complex, interconnected system of handoffs. Often what looks like underperformance in one department is in fact a symptom of underlying misalignment between several business units, each acting on competing priorities.

How a major food producer transformed a struggling plant and boosted worker morale

When a major food producer acquired a new production facility to keep up with growing demand, the plant faced challenges in nearly every phase of operations. Throughput and quality were suffering, costs were increasing, and the work force was frustrated. With the help of Proudfoot, they rapidly transformed their wall-to-wall operations and engaged the enthusiasm of their people.

Prior to engaging Proudfoot, their new Ohio packaged foods plant was struggling with numerous challenges related to packing, sealing, and cooking. Inefficient changeovers and sanitation procedures were also leading to excessive machine downtime.

Lack of effective communication and management visibility were major factors. “One of the issues we had was communication from the supervisor on the floor.” said their President. There was also no accountability for performance on the lines. “It didn't matter whether you ran good or ran bad,” said a Production Line Lead. 

The organization was determined to quickly reduce costs and increase throughput in order to capitalize on the fast approaching holiday season. With no time to lose, the Proudfoot team got to work investigating the root causes of problems and addressing them at the source.

A key to the success of the project was how Proudfoot built trust with their people at every level from the beginning. “I am very proud of the entire plant embracing this project,” said their VP of Food Safety. This level of participation and trust allowed us to uncover improvement opportunities that leadership would otherwise never have known about.

In a short period of time, we helped the company improve systems, tools, and processes throughout their operation. Establishing our #HeadsUP active management leadership model increased employee engagement, contributing to:

  • 16% reduction in cost per 100 lbs.    
  • Exceeded production targets by 7.5M lbs.
  • 40% increase in OEE
  • 20% reduction in machine downtime
  • Changeover time reduced 19 hours per week
  • Year 1 savings: $6.3 million

“The level of engagement has gone up greatly… I think this not only helped us improve our operations and financials, but also the morale of our associates,” remarked the Senior Director of Finance.

Our end-to-end transformation of their operations and company culture propelled them to record production volumes and positioned them for ongoing success.

Download the full Case Study to learn more about how Proudfoot engaged their people to break through performance barriers and lift work force morale.

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Contact the Proudfoot Industrials Management Team today at 404 260 0600 or to discuss ways to increase production, reduce costs, and energize your work force.

Active Management, Business Intelligence & the Importance of Front Line Managers

As businesses get smarter and operations more efficient, we’ve seen many companies install a wide variety of business intelligence (BI) tools, all meant to improve systemwide performance management.

It's a great trend, and at many of our clients, these tools and techniques are yielding great results. But as teams adjust to these smarter ways of working, senior management often becomes over-reliant on their tools, leading to a self-perpetuating system that works only for the sake of providing insights to senior managers. Insight is important, of course, but helping the people who turn the wrenches achieve their targeted results is always the ultimate goal.

Interview With Jonathan Robinson, New VP Ops for MRO Americas

Dennis Santare: Good evening everyone, I'm here with Jonathan Robinson, Proudfoot's new V.P. of Operations for MRO. He Joins us with an extensive background in aerospace and defense and in MRO consulting. I wanted to get to Jonathan's thoughts about joining the firm and some of the trends he's seeing out there in the market and what he thinks he could bring to bear for us. We're extremely excited to have him! We've chased him for a long time, and we're beyond excited that he accepted his offer to join us in this MRO journey. Without further ado, Mr. Jonathan Robertson -- hi Jonathan, how are you?

Interview With St. John Cameron, MD Asia, Regarding Aerospace MRO

Dennis Santare (MD, MRO Americas): Hello everyone. I’m talking with St. John Cameron, our MD from Asia who recently, with his team, completed a project for a major aircraft aerospace MRO in Asia. We learned a lot, the client gained a lot, and we wanted to take some time to share that with you. Welcome St John, it's great to have you.

Interview With Mike Howard, New EVP of MRO Americas

Dennis Santare (MD, US MRO): This is an interview with Michael Howard who is joining Proudfoot as an executive vice president in the MRO practice. Mike, welcome to the firm!

Thinking Outside the Box with MRO Methodologies

As the 6-month mark approaches for my time leading the MRO Americas practice at Proudfoot, I wanted to follow up on my previous post outlining some of the key takeaways I’ve gotten from moving out of the aviation industry and back into the consulting world. As a former US Marine Aviator, and with 10 years’ experience at leading aviation MROs, seeing all of the advancements from other maintenance-heavy industries has given me new insights that I’ve been able to share with our Proudfoot clients.

Turning MRO Into a Competitive Advantage

April 15th, an inauspicious day for many, was a great one for me. After 10+ years in the US Marine Corps followed by eight years in the aviation MRO industry, I was given the opportunity to lead Proudfoot’s MRO Practice. I arrived viewing maintenance strategy from 30,000 feet and at 500 knots, and I was certain that I would be bringing “best practice” from the aircraft industry to spread across its “less developed” brethren.