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International Sleep Products Association

Factory Operations and Efficiency

Tim Smith has over 30 years of hands-on experience with some of the largest “S” company factories. Over the years Tim has been inside and worked with over 300 bedding factories. Each factory has a different approach, different equipment, different staff. But they all are trying to produce a quality product in the most efficient way. There is no “one” right way to do it. There are hundreds of ways to do it. Materials, methods and product design constantly evolve. If you’re looking to find savings in your operation, then Big Sky Bedding Consulting and Tim Smith can help.

Manufacturing Methods:
Big Sky Bedding Consultants can review your current operations and suggest alternative manufacturing methods that will improve your efficiency, improve your product quality, save you space and time, or simply create a new look for your product. Your needs and factory space dictate the best methods to use.

Machinery Acquisition and Choice:
Big Sky Bedding maintains an active relationship with all key machinery vendors and stays on top of all of their latest developments. The right machine for the job depends upon space considerations, personnel, production needs, etc. The best machine for the job depends upon the factory conditions you’re going to put it in. Every machine has its strengths and weaknesses. Big Sky Bedding will let you hear both sides before you make that machinery purchase decision. You’ll get a chance to hear a third party opinion before you buy. Get hands-on references from factories that already run the machine you’re interested in. Big Sky Bedding is completely independent of all machinery suppliers and does not receive any commission for recommending a specific brand of machinery.

Raw Material Purchasing & Control:
The Raw Material world changes every day, i.e. new materials, new sourcing opportunities, etc. Big Sky Bedding maintains extensive relationships with all key raw material vendors in the U.S. and many vendors overseas. If your looking to save money by importing or just looking for new or better components, let us help.

Inventory Turns
How many times per year do you turn your inventory? If you are turning your inventory fewer than 18 times per year then you are losing significant cash flow and losing profit.

Production Scheduling:
Experience has shown that in most factories which struggle to meet their production goals, the failure is poor production planning and scheduling. Understanding and controlling your production schedules are the keys to achieving your production goals. Does your computer system provide your floor supervisors and workers with clear written instructions?

Labor Analysis:
Big Sky Bedding can help you compare your labor costs to the industry and suggest ways to improve those costs. Do you have piecework implemented throughout your factory? Is it dollar based or time based? What method did you use to create the rates? How long ago were the rates established? Big Sky Bedding recommends implementation of MTM based time engineering. "MTM" stands for Methods-Time Measurement. It is a procedure establishing time standards by recognizing, classifying, and describing the motions used or required to perform a given operation and assigning pre-determined time standards to these motions. It is widely recognized as the most accurate and therefore defendable time standard in use today.

Waste Analysis:
Raw material waste is a savings opportunity lost in most factories. Shipping and Handling Damage, Second quality goods or just operator error can result in huge losses to the company. Don’t let waste run out of control.

Maintenance Analysis:
Are your mechanic’s keeping your machinery in top condition? Are they qualified to repair today’s machinery? Every year our machinery gets more and more complicated. Good mechanics now need to understand complicated circuitry, programmable controllers, etc. When was the last time you analyzed your spare parts control? Large plants can have tens of thousands and sometimes more than a hundred thousand dollars tied up in spare parts. Is your mechanic maintaining proper parts control?

Lighting Analysis:
An often overlooked area in most bedding factories is lack of proper lighting. Without good lighting, defects are difficult or impossible to see and operator fatigue plays a significant negative role in the manufacturing process. We produce products that are one hundred shades of white. Big Sky Bedding Consultants can evaluate each work area for lumens to determine where additional lighting is recommended or required.

Product Inspection & Packaging:
This is one of the most important jobs in your building and typically where the least experienced people are often employed. Shame on us! You cannot “inspect in” quality. Quality First and Always. Your inspectors are your final control point. The next step for any product, inferior or not, is your customer or the final consumer. Is your quality where it needs to be? Is your packaging sufficient to prevent damage to the product through final delivery? Everyone’s transportation considerations are different, therefore so are the packaging requirements.

Shipping & Handling:
Are you getting product damaged after it is bagged but before it gets to your retailer? Have you examined all packaging options ? Have you trained your shipping and trucking personnel? We can help you find the source of the problem and design a packaging solution that saves you money in the long run.

Transportaion Analysis:
Can you save money on the transportation side of your business? Do you own your own equipment? Do you use a dedicated logistics company to handle your delivery needs? Are you getting the most for your money?