STLCC Partnership Helps Hydromat Win “World Class Manufacturing” Award

By on October 14, 2015
Hydromat World Class Manufacturer

For over 35 years, Hydromat has been building machine tools that are unmatched in precision and quality, Since its inception, Hydromat has been committed to the creation of innovative and unique customer-driven manufacturing solutions, providing its customers with unsurpassed quality and reliability.

Realizing that excellence is a journey and not a destination, in June 2011 Hydromat partnered with the Corporate Services Group of St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group to accelerate their drive toward the highest degrees of product quality and customer services. To achieve this, and with the guidance of Corporate Services Group Lean consultants, they launched a tightly focused, intensive drive to develop a strong and lasting culture of continuous improvement, using the methodologies of Lean manufacturing.

As a first step in their launch of lean methodologies, their CEO, Bruno Schmitter, sent a memo to all employees in which he stated, “We have continuously benefited from the creativity of our teammates in improving product quality. Now we need your best thoughts and observations on steps that should be taken to make our organization more productive.”

Hydromat’s first step in launching Lean was conducting a “Lean Deployment Survey,” asking all employees for their ideas on how to improve their operations. Based on this survey, as well as one-on-one interviews with managers and supervisors, the Corporate Services Group developed a comprehensive Lean deployment plan that included the following:

  1. Implementation of the 5S System, a Lean tool used to eliminate all forms of waste in work environments.
  2. Launching of the Idea Board, an elegantly simple and powerful tool to drive high degrees of employee engagement in work process improvements.
  3. Enrollment of all managers and supervisors in the College’s widely acclaimed Lean Leadership Certification program, a series of ten seminars focused on giving Hydromat’s leadership team the skills and knowledge needed to serve as highly effective coaches in a Lean manufacturing environment.

Hydromat’s position as an industry leader was built on a culture of continuous improvement. Hydromat has never rested on its laurels. Through the continuing application of the thinking processes and tools of Lean manufacturing they are accelerating their drive toward industry dominance.

Hydromat’s unrelenting drive toward higher and higher degrees of excellence was recognized by the Missouri Association of Manufacturers at their recent “Made in Missouri Leadership Awards & Appreciation Event” held in St. Louis on October 2nd. Hydromat was recognized by the association as Missouri’s “World Class Manufacturer” of the year. A designation richly deserved.

Hydromat World Class Manufacturing Award 2015

Pat Tuttle (STLCC), Kevin Shults (Hydromat), Kevin Meehan (Hydromat), and George Friesen (STLCC).

Hydromat Accepting Award

Made in Missouri Manufacturing Award

2015 MAM Awards

About George Friesen

George Friesen serves as Business Practice Leader – Lean Manufacturing for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. He has led the College’s Lean business practice area since 2000. Prior to joining the College, George worked for Maritz Performance Improvement Company. Over the past 35 years, he has served a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, specializing during the past eleven years in Lean Manufacturing, focusing especially on the 5S System, Lean leadership and thinking processes, Value Stream Mapping, and Lean team building. George is a graduate of Washington University (AB), Webster University (MA), and United States Air Force Flight Training.

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