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Auto Parts Manufacturer



Auto Parts Manufacturer


Manufacturer of steel wheels sought external assistance to supplement its cost reduction efforts as well as its own profitability goals.


  • Achieve a 25% improvement in productivity.
  • Improve direct labor efficiency by 25%.
  • Achieve 100% schedule attainment.


  • Achieved 32% improvement in productivity.
  • Achieved 85% schedule attainment.
  • Reduced equipment breakdown hours by 49%.
  • Reduced quality problems by 53%.
case study image, CS-125

Case Study

Reduce Costs & Increase Profitability


A manufacturer of steel wheels for trucks and trailers sought external assistance to supplement its cost reduction efforts in order to meet customer delivery requirements in a growing market as well as its own profitability goals.

Highland Approach

The team facilitated a Driver Goal identification session with client leadership and conducted an analysis of the operation, involving client personnel in the visual mapping process—a technique that delineates gaps between the current and desired future state of the operation. The resulting implementation roadmap detailed improvements and projected benefits. Then, co-teams utilized a variety of Lean tools and methods to achieve savings. Structured management systems linked high-level Driver Goals to shop floor projects and kept everyone engaged in the overall operational improvement effort.

Actions Taken

  • Initiated a goal roll-down and translation process.
  • Designed and implemented a management and shop floor operating system as well as the required training programs to integrate management and supervisory staff in its use.
  • Implemented Lean Manufacturing principles.
  • Initiated a preventive maintenance program.
  • Introduced a barrier identification and resolution process involving shop floor employees.
  • Designed and implemented a quality system with new roles and responsibilities.
  • Trained 187 employees in the new processes.

improved direct labor efficiency by


led to client investment return ratio of 3:1

Related Information

subject matter-based

Project Leader

Manufacturing & Industrial

Joseph is a senior executive with more than 40 years of international industry management and consulting experience, primarily in the areas of process improvement, working capital optimization and operational metrics. Having served in more than 21 countries around Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, and North America, Joseph is skilled at implementing successful and sustainable change programs in culturally diverse environments.

Project Leader

Oil & Gas

North America

Tom is a senior project leader with over 25 years of international management consulting experience in the oil and gas, utilities, manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications, media and aerospace industries. He has served Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies in 15 countries across North America, EMEA and Asia.