American Empire Manufacturing Takes a Broad Stroke but Methodical Approach to Continuous Improvements and Driving Efficiencies

American Empire Manufacturing (AEM), a leading provider of contract unit dose packaging, labeling, and filling services, announced today it has made great strides over the last 12 months to implement a practical yet robust continuous improvement program that leverages principles from Lean, Six Sigma, Practical Process Improvements, Taguchi, and others.

The overarching thought process leverages common sense coupled with basic risk assessment/mitigation, root cause analysis and a "Get-Er Done" attitude. After rebuilding AEM from the ground up, overcoming tremendous challenges along the way, reaching a place of stability followed immediately by a steep growth curve, it was clear that the organization as a whole was poised for healthy change. This resulted in the creation and subsequent implementation of a continuous improvement program that would be sustainable, make sense to the firms' employees, and in their growth within the organization along the way.

The approach is simple. Safety, quality or customer issues are considered priority 1 and require a top down/bottom up approach to identifying/documenting a problem, establishing a reasonable baseline, brainstorming solutions with cost, resources and timing, assess/mitigate risks, test/implement a solution and track results. The thinking is that AEM's employees, customers, and their customers/patients are the reason we are in business and we have to protect them at all costs. Ultimately, the project may have a questionable or difficult to measure ROI but remain an integral part of the foundation and must be addressed.

Priority 2 issues are categorized as efficiency gains, general process/equipment improvements, fixtures, and equipment changeovers. These issues will often have financial implications and in many cases will be strategic in nature. The ROI will be important for further prioritizing. While priority 2 issues are extremely important, they have minimal effect on the organizations foundation but can yield cost savings, cost avoidance and grow the bottom line profits. As a result, priority 2 issues are not taken lightly.

According to the firms' Chief Operations Officer, Joseph Trznadel, continuous improvements are an absolute requirement at AEM as they are throughout most industries today. To be successful and to become a natural part of the culture though, the approach cannot be so cumbersome that nothing gets accomplished or folks don't understand why we are spending the time to address it. Rather than conforming to only one process/quality improvement approach, we look at the issue first before determining the best approach to solving. Ultimately, we end up employing several methodologies that are heavily entwined with common sense as the guiding principle. At the most basic level, we simply can't afford to leave money on the table while at the most crucial level, we can't afford to compromise our reputation through safety, quality or customer risk. We look at our customers products as if they are our own. We've spent the last year rebuilding a crumbling foundation and raising the organization from an unfavorable demise and refuse to go backwards.

Mr. Trznadel added, "Working hard physically and mentally has served me well throughout my career but finding ways to work smarter can be satisfying and rewarding to many. Knowing there is a better way is always top-of-mind for me as there is nothing better than to know that you made a process safer, improved quality, avoided unnecessary costs and possibly, widened profit margins but when you realize that you have given that power to others is priceless. Knowing that change is difficult and that resistance is a natural part of the process, I find that folks turn the corner much faster when I roll up my sleeves and jump right in to demonstrate the benefits as opposed to telling them what I think the benefits will be. In fact, I find the nay say-er's become staunch believers in process improvement principles once they can see tangible results for themselves. I have come to realize that because change can be difficult, push back is common however the game changes when the individual or team become the innovator as pride and ownership soar.  

About American Empire Manufacturing:

Headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, American Empire Manufacturing is a leading provider of unit dose contract packaging, and liquid filling services. Its patented Pro Swab and Snap Tip Tube technologies are ideal for companies operating within regulated industries such as healthcare, veterinary, dental and cosmetics due to their easy-open design, no-mess, one-time use application and accurate administration of topical and oral medications.

For more information about our company and services, visit our website or call (800) 664-8990 to speak with one of their knowledgeable and friendly account representatives.

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