Vulcan GMS

June 22, 2011 09:00 ET

Vulcan GMS Says Empowering Employees Is Factor Behind Record-Breaking Performance

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - Jun 22, 2011) - Vulcan GMS, Inc. (, a supplier of custom-made radiation protection and lead products, today reported that the company's extrusion department has produced an average of 120 tons of parts per month in 2011 -- a 96 percent higher rate than the same period last year. It is also a higher rate than any time in the company's history. "Because we reward employees for thinking like entrepreneurs, we capture work we might otherwise lose, especially when we get busier, as we have in 2011," said Tom Ray, President of Vulcan GMS. Ray points to a customer that wanted more competitive pricing and planned to split the business among multiple suppliers to achieve that goal.

According to Director of Operations David DeJesus, "This situation was a challenge. The customer supplies the raw material, so our pricing is based only on machine time and labor. We had to show we could provide the highest value."

Extrusion operators and process engineers sought ways to cut the cost of lead extrusions. The proposed solution the company acted on came from the operators, who suggested increasing the extrusion rate until the material neared its melting point. The faster rate freed up an operator, who moved to an area where overtime was high. Recalculating costs after reengineering the process enabled Vulcan to offer more competitive pricing.

"Process owners know ways to raise productivity, but this in itself does not guarantee breakthroughs," said DeJesus. "It is the willingness of employees to think like business owners that makes the real difference. At some companies, employees stretch out work in the mistaken belief that means the work will always be there. Just the opposite is true. Our employees know being more productive makes us more competitive. It lets us keep offering customers better value. Employees know this to be true because they see the results of this approach in their profit-sharing checks."

About Vulcan GMS

Vulcan Global Manufacturing Solutions is a leader in the manufacture of custom-made radiation shielding products made from lead, tungsten, high-density plastics and non-lead metal polymers. ISO 9001/2008 registered, Vulcan GMS is a provider of components and assemblies for some of the world's largest equipment companies. The company specializes in the medical, security, aviation and explosives industries.

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