BACKGROUND

With over 150 years of experience in textiles, Milliken is strategically focused on producing performance-grade fabrics that protect the human body from fire, chemical, and severe weather conditions. Due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, Milliken saw a huge increase in demand for their advanced medical fabrics for PPE (personal protective equipment) in 2020. The company was previously running Monday-Fridays,

but mandatory Saturday OT shifts every other weekend was causing burnout and turnover.

The company planned for 10% growth and hired CCG to design schedules to meet higher demand and with predictability, still offer great work-life balance for employees. 

CASE STUDY:
Milliken & Company

INDUSTRY:  specialty textile manufacturing

EMPLOYEES: 7,000 employees 

REVENUES: $ 500 million

HEADQUARTERS: Spartanburg, SC 

 

 

                                                                    

 

THE CHALLENGE

Milliken was manufacturing these specialty textiles at two facilities located about 20 miles apart, operating 5.5 days per week with approximately 300 employees. The company was working a 3 crew, 24x5 schedule with 8-hour shifts, but mandated Saturday OT shifts every other weekend and voluntary OT the other weekends just to keep up with production. Our consulting team recognized the mismatch between the workforce and the workload. It was clear that Milliken was missing the opportunity to fully utilize the capacity at the plants. Objective survey results made it clear that employees wanted predictable and consistent schedules, optional (not mandatory) overtime, and were skeptical of moving to a 24/7 operation. 

   

 

     "(Coleman) helped manage the project from start to finish, shifting our operation to a 24/7 model with a 4 crew structure. The educational components and employee engagement were far above expectations, as was the collaboration as a strategic partner throughout. We were able to move through the schedule transition without seeing an uptick in turnover, and while capturing back some of the idle time losses of our previous schedule."

                                                         

                                        Breanne Buzay, V.P. of Human Resources at Milliken & Company

 

THE RESULTS

         While labor shortages continue to plague the manufacturing marketplace, Milliken has seen reduced downtime during normal daily operations, and has relieved bottlenecks between different departments.  Production has increased, turnover has been reduced, and employee retention is higher.

Employees who want OT can volunteer for it and those that do not want OT can avoid it without compromising their schedule. 

          "I could not say enough to express how positively our experience went with Coleman, in an effort to fully leverage our manufacturing capabilities and capacity. Overall, this was a highly positive experience,

and I would recommend Coleman to any operation looking for a thoughtful data-driven approach at improving business functionality."

                       

                             Breanne Buzay, V.P. of Human Resources at Milliken & Company

THE SOLUTION

 The goal of the project was to expand production to meet 10%  growth, to plan for seasonality, to improve coverage and retention without sacrificing safety or quality. Our consulting team implemented changes over two phases. Phase 1 focused on Fix Mondays First by switching to a Monday morning start (versus Sunday night previously) with the same start time for each day. We established consistent procedures for shift turnover, startup and shutdown. Additionally, the new schedules would take into account more maintenance and training opportunities.  Phase 2 is focused on implementing the best equipment strategy for 24x7 operations, including buy-in from employees that the new schedules will improve work-life balance.