3850 Ohio Ave  •  St Charles IL 60174  •  
1-800-AT-BISON  •  +1-630-377-4327

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Conversion at Bison means added value for our customers

ManufacturingBison has successfully converted its manufacturing facility to function as a lean manufacturing plant. Utilizing a lean system, Bison is able to carry their product component parts in stock, thus allowing for rapid response to our customer needs. Regularly scheduled Kaizan events allow for maximum efficiency within our cellular work stations. Lean manufacturing allows Bison to offer our customers a cost effective product while working in a flexible production environment.

Lean Enterprise at Bison

In the early 90s, Bison deployed a formalized Total Quality Management (TQM) program that included practical training for all office and union employees. The TQM program evolved in 1999 to a Lean Manufacturing strategy using the tools of Lean such as 5-S, Kaizen Blitzes, Kanban, Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) as the primary means of improvement. In addition, inventory and production scheduling were converted from a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system into Kanban arrangements.

Bison Pride Ratings... put us to the test!

  COAR %   On Time %   Good Unit %   Pride Rating
Goal 97.0% x 98.0% x 99.5% = 95.0%


Like many other companies, Bison keeps track of our on time shipping percentage as a measure of customer satisfaction. We have made steady improvement in that area, but lately we've asked ourselves the question "If we make a shipment on time, can we guarantee that the customer is happy?"

Manufacturing FloorThe answer is no, because in many cases our customers have asked for earlier ship dates. This year we are tracking our change order acceptance rate (COAR). We feel that if we say yes to the requested ship date, and then ship on that date, we are truly meeting customer expectations.

In 2007 we created a new rating called the Bison Pride Rating. We calculate it by multiplying together our on time percentage, our COAR, and our quality rating. We have established an initial goal of 95%.We want Bison to be the supplier that is a pleasure to work with. We feel our Pride rating will help drive our improvement process in that direction.

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