SOURCE: Rucker & Associates

Lean Six Sigma

November 11, 2010 10:00 ET

Rucker Helps Truth Hardware Prove "Made in U.S.A." Can Be More Efficient

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - November 11, 2010) - Most manufacturing is outsourced overseas, often to save money, but Lean processes from expert David Rucker helped one company find a new truth. Truth Hardware found changing oil prices, shipping surcharges and currency exchange rates costing them time and money as they outsourced to China. After implementing Lean Six Sigma improvements, Truth found they could source components just as cheaply right here in the United States.

Owatonna, Minn.-based Truth Hardware manufactures more than 5,000 window and door hardware products, everything from hinges and double hung rail locks to sophisticated remote-controlled motorized systems for windows and skylights.

In addition to discovering the efficiencies of sourcing from domestic suppliers, the company also found they were able to respond more nimbly to customer requests thanks to the Lean improvements. Some of the challenges are described in the article "Home, Away and Back Again," featured in Assembly Magazine.

The Lean improvements were brought to the table by David Rucker, who founded Raleigh-based Rucker & Associates to help companies just like Truth Hardware to discover dramatic efficiencies in their everyday operations.

"When it comes to manufacturing, there is no place like home," wrote Doug Johnson, Truth Hardware's vice president of business. "Using Rucker's recommendations, we increased productivity, shortened lead times and freed up capacity, allowing us to provide better customer service."

Rucker's Lean principles have been honed by two decades of experience. Keen knowledge of manufacturing and industry best practices lead to some unique solutions for Truth that produced timely results. Truth's new pull-based scheduling system allowed the company to increase the number of products offered, yet decrease inventory.

"Companies are making tough decisions these days about their supplies, and cost is no small part of that decision," said Rucker. "Improving plant processes often makes the switch home from Asia cheaper, and yet can ultimately lead to a better quality product."

Although cost is a big factor, Truth Hardware discovered one other benefit to manufacturing closer to home: stronger customer service. Companies often forget that having domestic operations enables them to be close enough to respond to questions and ideas about improvements.

"Customer service is just as big a part of the business as overhead," said Doug Johnson.

A truth far too many organizations ignore.

Rucker & Associates is a high-performance consultancy dedicated to helping companies discover dramatic new efficiencies using Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma improvement methodologies. Rucker's hands-on mentoring process with clients produces dramatic results -- training teams to accelerate change and implement continuous improvement. Every Rucker project features an unconditional guarantee.

Established in 1914 and manufacturing window hardware since 1955, Truth Hardware is the North American leader in the design and manufacture of quality operating hardware for windows and patio doors. Truth employs 1,200 people and has manufacturing facilities in Owatonna, Minn., and Toronto, Ont. 

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Scott Misner
    (919) 235-0940