Founded in 2010, Skana Aluminum Co. produces rolled aluminum at its plant in Manitowoc for a variety of uses and markets. The privately held company has 200 employees. Skana’s rolling mill once housed the Aluminum Manufacturing Co., whose roots date back to the early 1900s and the subsequent establishment of the Mirro cookware product line in 1917. The company was sold to Newell Rubbermaid in 1983. The plant was shuttered in 2000 and remained closed until Skana took over the facility.
As a result of a proprietary Profit Risk Assessment, or PRA®, conducted by WMEP Manufacturing Solutions in 2017, it was recommended, and Skana agreed, that the company should adopt a systematic management system. Skana’s executive management team reported involvement in too many initiatives, not enough progress, and gaps in communication of key business drivers. A comprehensive system to simultaneously accomplish all the initiatives was needed, along with an effective communication plan.
In January 2018, WMEP proposed that Skana adopt and run their business using an execution process based on a blend of Traction, the Four Disciplines of Execution, and a Balanced Scorecard. Combining these strategies provided a custom execution process that met Skana’s unique needs. WMEP facilitated a series of workshops to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) across the business and its breadth of stakeholders and processes. Each KPI was evaluated to affirm alignment with strategy, the ability to measure consistently and, most importantly, the ability of team members to influence the lead measure. Once these KPIs were prioritized and honed, systems were put in place to collect and summarize performance in a three-tiered, color-coded scorecard. The Skana scoreboard was tested and modified and then integrated into Skana’s management process. Skana’s leadership team meets monthly to review lagging and leading KPIs and take corrective action when performance lags.
- The client reported more than $1.3 million overall positive impact to its business driven by infrastructure investments in a new furnace and associated equipment, development of workforce practices, information system improvements and a refined pricing process.
- Subsequent to this project, Skana contracted with WMEP for Strategy Development in 2018 and Standard Work in 2019.
“WMEP is an extremely useful organization with virtually unlimited means to help a manufacturer. I have found the teams to always be very knowledgeable, insightful and forthright.”Dave Hauser, Vice President of Operations – Skana Aluminum Co.