IndustryWeek – Cover Story
Nobody was clamoring for recyclable windows and doors. Although they would have been nice, it seems there were other more pressing environmental issues in the news and on the minds of Congress. But midsize manufacturer Republic Windows & Doors, with 750 employees, had decided it was time to introduce the fenestration industry to closed-loop production. The Chicago-based company worked with ecological design consultancy McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry to develop a cradle-to-cradle production cycle.
Read the Article: Giving Birth to Cradle-to-Cradle
MRO Today – Cover Story
Employees and managers teamed up to eliminate injuries at Republic Windows & Doors.
Republic stopped issuing discipline for accidents and safety violations and began emphasizing analysis and coaching. “We took on this initiative, which involved going cellular and utilizing kaizen events. Each production line was re-engineered. We targeted operational achievements in productivity, quality, safety and maintenance. There’s no ‘gotcha’ anymore.”
Read the Article: SAFE!
Wall Street Journal
At Republic Windows & Doors, fewer accidents and injuries lowered their insurance costs while enhancing productivity. A full-time safety manager was on the job but wasn’t perceived by workers as having any clout. Then, the company president and his other executives began attending regular safety meetings, letting everyone know that the safety manager was the last word on the subject. He could shut production down or order a process changed. They had given him organizational credibility. The company included a safety performance in its profit-sharing plan for employees, providing financial incentive.
Read the Article: Improving Safety for Workers Also Improves Company Health.
Successful companies focus on strategic data, invest wisely in a limited number of technologies and build appropriate data systems. Before focusing on information management improvements, Republic Windows & Doors wisely improved its production processes, implementing a lean manufacturing system that more than doubled turnaround times, cut floor space in half and slashed defects. Now they were working with Oracle Corp. on an IT system upgrade.
Read the Article: Surviving Information Overload
IMPO: Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operations
Republic Windows & Doors said that it would pursue a manufacturing policy that would introduce methods to eliminate all waste from its production processes. The “cradle-to-cradle” concept would stipulate that all materials used in its window products be perpetually recycled to maximize material value and safeguard the environment.
Read the Article: Window Maker’s Goal: No Waste
The importance of safety in manufacturing plants is not a new concept. However, knowing how a safety program affects the bottom line can bring the subject of safety into the forefront of a company’s strategic plan.
Read the Article: Serious Safety Dividends
While a high-tech approach to health and safety training is ideal for geographically dispersed organizations, a low-tech approach is hardly obsolete, particularly at an industrial factory with its veritable maze of hazards that can pinch a company’s premiums and send workers to the clinic.
Republic Windows & Doors found itself plagued with injuries–130 OSHA recordable injuries in 1999 alone– makign the company a high-risk enterprise for insurance coverage and, more significantly, for its valued employees who were getting hurt and missing work.
Read the Article: Safe & Sound